Entries by Kristin Kieft

What Does the Gospel Look Like?

We don’t often put Jesus in the category of prophet. We tend to see him more as a teacher and a healer. That’s safer. Prophet sounds a bit too political, too confrontational. It moves beyond the personal to the systemic. But…there is a time to be prophetic, a time to speak truth to power, a time to stand up for justice, a time to resist the ways of the world, a time to refuse to give up hope even when the odds seemed stacked against you.

Ordered Chaos

It is only natural for us to look for linear patterns and sequences in our lives, especially in the midst of a shaky political landscape or personal upheaval. We may hope to approach our lives and the world in a linear fashion, but as scientist Ian Stewart notes, “life is relentlessly non-linear.”

Why Change the Water into Wine?

Jesus changes the water into wine to signal God’s hospitality to those rejected by others and to reveal God’s delight in those deemed to be former people. At the wedding feast in Cana Jesus launches a movement, a movement of joyful resistance against the baser impulses that run through each of us and through the principalities and powers of every time and place.

What Is the Promise of Baptism?

That day at the River Jordan when John the Baptizer looked up and saw Jesus coming, he felt his anxiety level rising. He was concerned; he understood the power of what he was doing in the water and did not want to trifle with it. He refused to baptize Jesus, saying he was the one who should be baptized by him.

What Do We Do About Epiphany?

From the heighten anticipation of the Advent season to the revelry of the Christmas holidays, the Gospel lesson this Sunday takes us on a dramatic turn to the dark days of this season. This sharp turn of the event serves as an important reminder of the duality of both light and darkness during this season of Epiphany.

What Do We Do About Christmas?

We adults need to be reminded by the children of the meaning of this night: love comes at Christmas, bright as a star in the dark, wondrous as an angel, gentle as a newborn child. Our job is to receive the love and then to share it.

What Did the Shepherds See?

The Messiah comes not as a celebrity hero, or fierce warrior, or revered religious figure, but as a shepherd, as one who gently cares for the flock and tenderly gathers the lambs, as one who feeds and defends and leads the sheep, as one who lives with them in the midst of rough places and difficult times. We need more shepherds in our day, leaders who serve others, not themselves.