Today, brothers and sisters of the Jesus-named faith, You must stop and hear the still of death The Holy One takes in no oxygen and blood does not flow Flesh grown cold Still, you and I, be still If you must move, let it be a mourning dance If you must reverberate, a groaning trance Today we re-member death’s hard truth a day of finitude, of lonely tears and deep longing for what is gone And death, people of Jesus, is today’s purpose sitting, prostrating, falling, being thrown or carefully placed into a tomb The One who loved, who spoke … Read the full post
The velocity of the car pressed my body against the seat with a force that felt impossible to fight. But, still I tried. Every muscle tense—as if working to hold my bones in place. I could hear his voice over the roar telling me my future—I would stay quiet, because no one would believe me. This vortex of force jolted me into silence with a potent tool: fear. Fear seeped into the ruminations of my teenage mind: fear of shame, fear of being judged, fear of his anger and hostility, and fear of losing my life. That fast car and … Read the full post
Have you ever had the patience to sit still and watch as one of God’s creatures goes about its normal business? Not a dolphin show or a dog doing tricks—not entertainment for us highly distractible human beings. I am talking about creaturely normalcy, for a turtle or a squirrel or a spider. Consider for a moment their capacity to focus on what really matters—food, home, awareness of their surroundings, knowing the true difference between friend and foe, being ever ready to protect and defend when needed, and being always watchful for the provisions they actually need. These creatures are … Read the full post
I married into your strange cadence
A drumbeat that never felt natural
All consuming was your intention
But I protected pieces of myself from your designs
And more pieces retrieved me
As you showed me your true colors..
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My last three sermons at Grace Covenant can be found here:
Summer of 2016 is giving us lots of reasons to feel terrorized. We need each other to remember that God is guarding grace even now–so that it can never be extinguished, so that it will always be loose in this world. Listen here. Read here.
Preached at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church
Asheville, NC 7/31/16
Scripture: Hosea 11: 1-11, Luke 12: 13-21
Our latest episode of Going Deep is with former UNC standout player Devon Ramsay, a strong student, a remarkable young man, and a legitimate NFL prospect during his collegiate career. Devon’s story lifts the veil on the nefarious nature of NCAA violations and collegiate revenue sports today. And Devon’s story is worth your time! Listen on iTunes or SoundCloud and find more information about Going Deep at www.shoopsgoingdeep.com
My first sermon at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville, NC. After an intense week of violence in our country, the Good Samaritan raises some new/old questions about white supremacy and the moral ambivalence of white dominant institutions around race and power questions. Link here to transcript and audio.
He’s been stabbed in the back, he’s been misunderstood… And he likes to be known as the angry young man. ~Billy Joel, The Angry Young Man Another shooting. This one distinguishes itself as one of the worst mass shootings in US history. This one encapsulates a bizarre tangle of pathologies from homophobia to xenophobia to Islamophobia to obsessive violence and crackling hyper-masculine rage. This one set off a firestorm of new public rants, social media tongue lashings, and political appropriations. This one induces a new depth of despair around the blood chilling vulnerability of bodies who, by their very existence, … Read the full post