Take, Bless, Break, Give, Pentecost 10 (B) – July 29, 2018

Proper 12


[RCL]: 2 Samuel 11:1-15; Psalm 14; Ephesians 3:14-21; John 6:1-21

You might be tempted to gloss over the miracle stories about Jesus that are recorded in the Gospels. Taken at face value, most of them stretch our credulity, perhaps further than we are willing to go, and for what? Is it necessary to believe that Jesus really walked on water, or magically multiplied the loaves and fishes? Why do we keep telling these improbable stories?

The story we heard in the Gospel of John today — about Jesus feeding the 5,000 — stands out in the Gospels. The Gospel writers clearly thought this story was important. It shows up in Matthew, Mark, and Luke — since these three share a common source and repeat a lot of material, this is not surprising. But John also includes it, which is interesting, because there’s not much overlap between John and the other Gospels. And on top of that, Matthew and Mark like this story so much that they tell it twice! The second telling is almost identical, except in that version only 4,000 people are fed. The point is, this story about feeding the multitudes was important enough to make it into the Gospels six times. And there are only four Gospels.

Let’s dig in and see if we can discover why the Gospel writers thought this story was so important. To begin: it’s more than a miracle story. In the Gospel writers’ hands, the miracle becomes a parable. The feeding of the 5,000 is a parable about what we are called to do and who we are called to be. If we are going to follow Jesus, at some point, he’s going to turn to us and say: You give them something to eat. And it matters how we respond to his command.

The more you begin to imagine the world of this story, the more you see that it’s not about magic at all. It’s about how we see the world, and what we do with what we already have. In a way, the magic has already happened: God has already given us a world out of nothing, already provided sun and earth and water and seeds—how much more magic do we need? Everything we have comes from God and will return to God.

God provides something out of nothing. That is the basic story of creation, and it is the way God provided manna for his people in the wilderness. But this story is different. Jesus does not make something out of nothing here. No — he takes what God has already provided. He draws out the resources that are already present in the community.

John has altered one important detail in the way he tells the story. In each of the other Gospels, it isn’t Jesus who asks, “Where are we to buy bread?” Instead, that question belongs to the disciples — and in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, when the disciples ask this question, Jesus turns to them and says, “You give them something to eat.”

But of course, the disciples can see that feeding so many people would be impossible. As Andrew points out, all they can find is five barley loaves and two fish belonging to a boy in the crowd. But then, Jesus gets them to see what’s there with new eyes. The disciples are coming from a place of fear, of scarcity: there will never be enough! Six month’s wages would not buy enough bread to feed them! What Jesus shows us is that, whatever we have, whatever God has already given us, is always enough. If we look at it in the right way. If we decide to share. If we let go of our fear and stop holding onto to what’s “ours” so tightly. If we can do those things, we absolutely have enough bread to feed the whole world.

And, it turns out, to throw a really big party. Imagine this crowd that Jesus confronts. Jesus sees a backyard cookout for 5,000 people, a picnic with everyone spread out on the grass, enjoying the sunset on the lakeshore and the cool evening breeze. That’s how Jesus wants us to see the world: 5,000 people on the lakeshore isn’t a problem, it’s a party. Whatever we brought with us is what we have to share, and there’s plenty for everyone, and more left over besides. This is a pretty compelling picture of what the Kingdom of God is like.

Here’s another way of looking at it: this story about feeding the five thousand is the first supper, instead of the last supper. Jesus sat down and broke bread with his friends many times over the course of his ministry, not just that last night in the upper room. It’s important to remember that the last supper is not the only Eucharistic feast in the Gospels. Every time Jesus broke bread with friends, it was a thanksgiving meal (for that is what eucharist means—thanksgiving).

Jesus follows the same pattern at this first supper as he does at the last supper. Here is how Mark records the scene: “Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.” Take, bless, break, give: those are the actions of the eucharistic feast. Jesus wants us to take what we have, whatever it is, whatever’s already here, and bless it: in other words, give it to God. And then break it open, divide it up, and give it away. Joyfully. So that all will have enough.

Jesus does this with bread, every time he shares a meal. And he does this with his life: lives it for God, breaks it open, gives it to us. And this is what Jesus wants with our lives too: You give them something to eat. It’s not enough to simply pray that God will change things, will feed the hungry and clothe the naked. God needs us to participate in this eucharistic action. God is calling us to take our lives, and bless them, and be broken open, and then given away in service of others.

It’s the breaking that can be hard to face. But you cannot be a follower of Jesus without the risk of being broken. Serving a meal to a homeless person or taking communion to someone dying of cancer — sometimes, such an encounter is going to break your heart. It would be easier to stay safe where you never have to face that reality. But we don’t have that option: you give them something to eat.

Take, bless, break, give. No matter how hard or impossible this seems, the end result is worth it: everyone ate until they were satisfied, and when they gathered up what was left over, they filled twelve baskets. This vision is possible. We already have what we need, right here in our midst. The Kingdom is waiting to be born. Will you join in this eucharist?

Amen.

The Rev. Jason Cox has served as associate rector at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., since 2011. Prior to working at St. Columba’s, he directed the Episcopal Urban Intern Program (part of Episcopal Service Corps), a year-long service and discernment program for young adults, in the Diocese of Los Angeles. Before ordination, he served as an intern in the Episcopal Urban Intern Program, working with homeless clients in a transitional housing facility on L.A.’s skid row.

Download the sermon for Pentecost 10 (B).

Give Us Our Daily Bread – Proper 12 (B) – 2015

2 Samuel 11:1-15 and Psalm 14; or 2 Kings 4:42-44 and Psalm 145: 10-19; Ephesians 3:14-21; John 6:1-21

We find in Christ the Reign of God breaking into the here and now. God knows our needs and provides strength for today and hope for tomorrow. It’s what the masses wanted when they tried to make Jesus their king, and we discover that eternal reign not for an age bound in time and then gone. In giving our lives to Jesus, we cross over from death to life, from the scarcity of an empire to the abundance of the Reign of God.

Click here to read the sermon.

Click here to download the sermon for Proper 12B

Today’s sermon is written by The Rev. Canon Frank Logue is the Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese of Georgia. He blogs at http://loosecanon.georgiaepiscopal.org.

Of cabbages and kings, 9 Pentecost, Proper 12 (B) – July 29, 2012

2 Samuel 11:1-15; Psalm 14; Ephesians 3:14-21; John 6:1-21

The world is a hungry place. People are hungry for food, for jobs, for love, for care, for leadership that cares. The list of our hunger goes on and on. What the Bible knows is what we all know – all of our hunger centers around a spiritual void. We are hungry for God. That hunger is very real, and yet we deceive ourselves into believing we can feed that hunger with other things such as food, money, fancy clothes, fancy cars, more technology, more stuff. We accumulate so much stuff, stuff that we believe says something about who we are – stuff that we somehow mistaken for who and what we are. We accumulate so much stuff that our homes overflow with stuff, until we have to go beyond the home and rent storage spaces. That is, we have to store the excess amount of our self somewhere else, so that our self becomes fragmented, separated into different places. We become a problem to ourselves – or what we believe is what we are, what defines us: the clothes we wear, the house we live in, the cars we drive and so forth.

This, in all likelihood, is mostly a Northern Hemisphere problem. It is a problem driven by our desire to be like everybody else – especially those who have more than we have. And it is becoming a worldwide problem, as our principal export is a lifestyle based on the accumulation of more and more stuff. The whole world desires to be just like us.

This is all driven by a belief that there is not enough stuff in this world, so we had better stockpile as much as possible for ourselves. This perceived scarcity of stuff leads to trade imbalances, the stealing of resources from other parts of the world, and eventually manifests itself in trade wars that can soon turn into outright warfare. So then we need to accumulate more resources, more stuff, dedicated to the protection of what we already have. We end up demanding leaders who can assure us that our stuff will remain ours forever and ever.

Into such a world steps Jesus. Rome had conquered Israel and turned it into a client state, exporting all its goods to other parts of the empire, and charging outrageous taxes on those goods at the same time. It was a dangerous time to be a client of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Rome demanded full loyalty.

So along comes Jesus. The Jesus in John is declared from the first verse of the fourth gospel as God – the Word, the logos – in the flesh. Indeed, this is the only way to make sense of someone who can take five barley loaves and a couple of fish and feed thousands of people with lots and lots of leftovers! Barley loaves, as opposed to wheat loaves, is the food of the poor. The lesson here is quite simple, and yet one that we refuse to accept: The need of the world is not too great for our resources if it is the Lord who directs the use of those resources.

A mighty big “if.”

Meanwhile, the people try to make him king. That would seem to be appealing. Look at how people in every conceivable human community clamor to become king. Right now we are looking at two individuals who will marshal millions if not billions of dollars for the right to become or remain “king.” Look around the world where competing individuals and groups of individuals resort to violence to gain and maintain “kingship.”

Then look at Jesus. Nothing doing. As soon as there is a hint that the people might make him the next king, he sneaks off to be alone. Why, we might ask ourselves? It might have saved him having to go to Jerusalem only to be crucified, dead and buried. Why would he turn his back on what others count as the ultimate goal?

Here we may do well to recall that Jesus appears to have studied scripture pretty carefully. At every possible turn of events, he can marshal quotations from every corner of Hebrew scripture. So no doubt at this juncture he very well may have the eighth chapter of the First Book of Samuel in mind. This is the episode when Israel demanded that the boy prophet Samuel appeal to God to give them a king – because, after all, they reasoned, all the surrounding countries have kings, so they should have one too.

This signaled a lack of trust in the God of the Exodus, who up to this pivotal moment, had raised up judges to pull the tribes together in times of great danger. When the danger passed, so did the judge, and folks went back to life in their tribal clans with their diffuse political connections. But at the time of Samuel, with threats from surrounding kingdoms, the people demanded a king to unite them and make them strong. God tried to dissuade Samuel. Samuel tried to dissuade the people in chapter 8 of First Samuel, saying, in effect, “A king will take your sons and make them soldiers and send them to war; and take your daughters and make them his servants; he will take your fields and produce, and tax you on all of it; until you will wish you had never asked for a king, but by then it will be too late.” But the people persisted and God gave them Saul, which did not work out particularly well. And then David, and, well, look at what happened to David in this Sunday’s episode in 2 Samuel 11:1-15. After failing to pull off a cover- up of his indiscretion with Bathsheba, he used his authority of the military to have her husband Uriah killed in battle. Under the reign of Solomon, the kind of consolidation of power and goods becomes so acute that the people attempted a social revolution, so unhappy were they with their once-desired king.

Verna Dozier, a wise lay leader in the Episcopal Church, in her book “The Dream of God,” called this demand for a king the “Second Fall” after the episode in the Garden of Eden. The third fall happens early in the life of the church, at the time of Constantine, when the church goes from being an alternative to the Empire and allows itself to become the Empire – the Church becomes king. The impulse is the same in 2 Samuel as it is under Constantine – we want to be like everybody else. And yet, to this day we are still looking for a way out of being an Imperial Church and somehow find our way back to the very beginning.

For as anyone can see, Jesus will have none of it. And yet, we continue to hitch our wagons, our stars, our souls and our very being, to the belief that with just the right “king” all shall be well.

We find ourselves clinging to models of leadership and institutional power that the Bible repeatedly warns us against. And we wonder why it no longer works. Again, read about David and the so-called Wise One, Solomon, and see how quickly it all fell apart even then, approximately 900 years before Jesus.

It is no wonder that God decided the only way to get our attention was to come down himself and be one of us. God in Christ invites us once and for all to give up any notions that being like everybody else has having any life-giving sustainability. The accumulation of power and stuff will never fill the spiritual void that keeps us from becoming the people God wants us to be.

Our portion of the gospel ends with the disciples heading off in a boat across the sea. They run into rough waters and high winds. When all seems about lost, Jesus appears. The text is not entirely clear – it could mean he was walking on the water, but it can also mean he was “on the seashore.” So we can read this to say there he was, on the shore, to welcome them ashore when after much hard work and treacherous time they approached him and the shore. He simply says, “Be not afraid.” Note, as soon as they see him, as soon as he says this, they are immediately safe ashore!

Can it be that for St. John the meaning is to be found in the peace that pertains once we willingly receive Jesus to be our companion? Companion – literally, one with whom we share bread. He who is the Bread of Life, the Bread from Heaven, the True Bread – our manna, our sustenance, our daily bread. As theologian and former Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple said, “Christ is the guide of life whom we follow in the strength that He supplies into the way of Peace.”

That’s pretty much it. We can continue to trust in our appointed and elected leaders, and trust in the accumulation of more and more stuff. Or we can trust in Jesus, who withdraws again to the mountain to be alone.

What if we were to withdraw day by day to be alone with Jesus? How might we allow him to be our daily bread? The need of the world is not too great for our resources if it is the Lord who directs the use of those resources. Once we trust in the Lord, we will find ourselves on the other shore, safe and secure from all alarm with nothing to fear. Our deepest and true hunger can and will be satisfied, if only we will continue to row our way to the other side – his side – to the country that needs no king.

 

— The Rev. Kirk Alan Kubicek has served as rector and assistant in a broad variety of parishes over the past 28 years. He is currently chaplain and teaches at St. Timothy’s School for girls, the diocesan girls’ boarding school in the Diocese of Maryland, where he teaches World Religions and English. His sermons are archived at www.perechief.blogspot.com

Jesus continues to gives us our daily bread, 8 Pentecost, Proper 12 (B) – 2009

July 26, 2009

2 Samuel 11:1-15 and Psalm 14; or 2 Kings 4:42-44 and Psalm 145: 10-19; Ephesians 3:14-21; John 6:1-21

The crowd clamors after Jesus for healing. The Great Physician is healing the sick and there are many in search of his healing touch. Yet there is something more going on here than a health clinic or even a faith healing revival. The Gospel of John tells us “A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick.”

Notice that John tells us the crowd “saw the signs.” In John’s gospel, miracles are signs that point beyond themselves. The miracles are not important merely because this or that person is healed or because Jesus changes water to wine and so on. The miracles are signs that point to the reality of who Jesus is by showing his mastery of creation. And so the crowd gathered for healing, but they keep following him because of the signs.

Then Jesus provides a new sign. The crowd is hungry and Jesus will feed them. He has been feeding them spiritually and now he will fill their stomachs as well. He takes the small offering of bread and fish, gives thanks for them and distributes the food to the hungry multitude. There is enough bread for twelve basketfuls of leftovers. As for the fish, we are told that everybody ate “as much as they wanted.”

This new sign points not simply to Jesus’ mastery of creation, but how with Jesus we move from scarcity to abundance. There was a lack of sufficient money or food. Philip told Jesus that there was not enough money to buy food as, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” Andrew told Jesus, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?”

The disciples look to the situation and see that there is not enough to go around. Why spend what little money we have when even a mound of money would not be enough? Why take the little food the boy brought when it wouldn’t be an appetizer for Jesus and the disciples, much less a meal for a multitude? Resources are scarce. When there is not enough to go around, it is not the time to share, but the time to hoard.

Jesus has a different view of the situation. Jesus operates out of abundance. Not only is there always just enough, but there is more than enough. With this hungry hoard, there is fish enough for all to get what they want and bread enough to gather together twelve basketsful of leftovers.

This is a sign that points beyond Jesus to the earlier experiences of the children of Israel. John has tipped us off that the Passover is drawing near. And at that time of year, thoughts of the Jews naturally turn toward the Exodus experience. Under Pharaoh, the people had been enslaved. The book of Genesis ends with the story of their enslavement. In times of plenty, Pharaoh hoarded the surplus produce of the fertile Nile plains. During famine, the people had been forced to give first their money, next their livestock, then their land, and finally their lives to Pharaoh in exchange for food.

The bread of Pharaoh was the bread of fear, scarcity, and slavery. Pharaoh demanded your very life and even still, there was never enough. By the time of the Exodus, the Children of Israel have long been slaves in the land of Egypt.

As the people were brought out of Egypt, they were fed in the wilderness with manna, the bread of angels. Although to get from Egypt to the Promised Land they had to cross an uninhabitable wasteland, each day God gave the people all the food they needed. There was always enough and nothing could be hoarded. The manna would rot if someone tried to store it for the next day. This was the original daily bread, a sign that God would be faithful day after day after day with enough to meet the needs.

With this story in mind as well as the miraculous feeding stories of the prophet Elijah, the people gathered that day on the grassy hillside saw a new sign. They ate the bread and fish that Jesus broke and shared, and in so doing they saw the ultimate sovereign. Why bow to the Roman Caesar, or even the Jewish King Herod? With those leaders, things were hardly changed from slavery under Pharaoh. No matter which leader, the empire offered scarcity to its people and hoarded the riches in palaces the people could never enter.

But here was Jesus on the hillside, freely offering abundance. Everything the people needed for life came without cost. Jesus offered not merely free healthcare and free food. Jesus offered a change from scarcity to abundance. There would be more than enough for everyone.

John’s gospel tells us, “When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.”

Jesus pulls back. The people have seen the sign and misinterpreted it. Jesus did not come to set up an earthly kingdom, but to inaugurate God’s eternal reign.

Just after our reading for today, Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.” Jesus wants much more than to heal people who will later get sick again, or to feed people who will again hunger. Jesus wants to give them more. The something more Jesus offers is that to which these signs are the markers. Jesus tells them, “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life.”

As we continue reading through John’s gospel in coming weeks, Jesus will draw out the lesson of how he is the Bread of Life and will further connect what he is doing to how God fed the people in the wilderness during the time of Moses. For now, we see that the crowd wanted Jesus to be their king. This is perfectly natural. Who wouldn’t want a king who fed you spiritually and bodily? Who wouldn’t want a king who could heal both the body and the soul?

The multitude, satisfied by the meal, desired to always have Jesus care for their every need. And from our viewpoint twenty centuries later, we can see what the crowd that day could not see. Jesus did come to begin a reign of abundance. But his reign was and is eternal, not bound by time or place. Jesus came and gave life to those bound to the soul-killing ways of the empire where everything you have to give is never enough.

With Jesus, we offer our very lives – ourselves, our souls, and our bodies as a living sacrifice. We offer the broken places that need healing. We offer the sinful places of our lives that need repentance, forgiveness, and redemption. We offer our spiritual hunger and thirst and find spiritual food and living water in abundance.

We find in Christ the Reign of God breaking into the here and now. God knows our needs and provides strength for today and hope for tomorrow. It’s what the masses wanted when they tried to make Jesus their king, and we discover that eternal reign not for an age bound in time and then gone. In giving our lives to Jesus, we cross over from death to life, from the scarcity of an empire to the abundance of the Reign of God.

Jesus continues to gives us our daily bread, and that is one commodity never in short supply.

 

— The Rev. Frank S. Logue is a church planter in the Diocese of Georgia and the vicar of King of Peace Episcopal Church in Kingsland, Georgia.

We only need to open our eyes, 8 Pentecost, Proper 12 (B) – 2006

July 30, 2006

2 Samuel 11:1-15 or 2 Kings 4:42-44; Psalm 14 or 145:10-18; Ephesians 3:14-21; John 6:1-21 

“So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves … they filled twelve baskets.”

Isn’t that amazing? From five loaves of bread, the disciples gathered fragments enough to fill twelve baskets, and that’s even after feeding about five thousand people. John doesn’t tell us how much of the two fish were left over – perhaps none – still, it’s an amazing story.

It’s a gospel we love. It has all the elements of a wonderful story. Jesus is a terrific main character. He has people following him by the thousands because of his teaching and preaching certainly, but mainly because of the signs they see him doing. There are the disciples – willing enough, but still unsure of this very different leader. And there is a little boy with his small lunch that miraculously ends up feeding thousands – with more to spare. It’s a story with a happy ending.

It’s also a mystery of sorts, because we desperately want to figure out just how Jesus did that magic trick. If we could figure it out, if Jesus would just let us know how to take that little amount of food and multiply it to feed thousands, we could feed all the poor in our own time, couldn’t we? If God would just give us the directions, give us the words, give us the actions to be able to do this, we would be able to do what Jesus did. The walking on the sea in the middle of a storm would be a neat thing to be able to do, and don’t we wonder about that, too? But the best part of the story is really the feeding of the five thousand, and that’s what we should be trying to figure out, isn’t it?

Of course not. It’s intriguing, and we can be sorely tempted to focus on the how, but this isn’t about a magic trick. The how doesn’t matter. The if it really happened this way doesn’t really matter either. What matters is what this account teaches us about Jesus, and who he is, and what that has to do with us, and how we relate to this gospel story. It also has to do with how we relate to the person of Jesus, and finally how all of this fits into our living together as a worshipping community here and in the world.

So we look at the passage again. The people on the hillside were filled with food. In fact, they ate until they all had enough, and even then there were twelve baskets left over. But that wasn’t all that Jesus wanted to give them. Verse 15 of this chapter says, “When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.” They hadn’t gotten the point that Jesus wanted them to see much more than food. He wanted them to be fed not just with something physical, he wanted them to be fed with spiritual food: the truth about the kingdom of God, the truth about the God who sent him, and the truth about what it truly meant to be his disciples. This story doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Jesus, the teacher, knew people needed to experience the truth as well as hear it. They needed to be filled with the word and to experience what this life with God was all about.

So, it might have been a good idea to include most of Chapter 5 with today’s gospel reading, because in feeding the people, Jesus was actually showing them what his words meant. In Chapter 5, Jesus explains who he is. He describes who God is and exactly why God has sent him. Jesus also explains how the people will fit into the life of God if they listen to his words and what the consequences will be if they don’t. We read: “For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he himself does, and he will show him even greater things than these, works that will astonish you … whoever listens to my words, and believes in the one who sent me, has eternal life.

But he also warned, “You search the scriptures, believing that in them you can find eternal life; it is these scriptures that testify to me, and yet you refuse to come to me to receive life! … You have no love of God in you.” These were tough words, but hopeful ones. Jesus was telling them that they needed to do some serious soul searching.

Then, like any good teacher, Jesus gave them a glimpse of what he was talking about. He didn’t let the people go away hungry, for anything. Even when they didn’t listen, he fed their spirits and their bodies. Maybe with the hope that in time it would sink in.

So, what about us? We’re asked to listen to the scriptures, examine our lives, and take seriously our response to God’s invitation. Just like the Israelites, we are nourished with the word as well as with the bread and that should be pretty filling. If we take that seriously, we’ll be well satisfied.

We need to take a good look at Jesus’ words in Chapter 5. We often gather together to “search the scriptures.” We all believe that in the scriptures we can find eternal life and that they testify to Jesus, but we also have to examine whether or not we’re coming to receive life. Our lives are bound up with the whole people of God as well as with our communities. We are called by our baptism to continue spreading God’s message through our faithfulness to God’s word.

Then there is that feeding of the five thousand to deal with. Jesus showed his followers exactly what he was talking about. He fed them with food – real food. And again we’re so tempted to ask, “How’d he do that?” Lots of scripture buffs try to figure it out, but we’ve already said that’s not the point. It doesn’t matter how it happened. The important thing was that Jesus was preparing them for the gift of his own self that would carry them on when he was gone.

He does that now each time we gather to share the Eucharist with each other. We’re fed with real food, the sacrament of his body and blood. And that’s a much more impressive miracle as far as I’m concerned. We’re the inheritors of the promise he gave to his followers that day, and we’re still constantly filled to overflowing with both word and sacrament. So, in the end we have been given the directions, the words, and the actions to do what Jesus did.

But remember, we’re also the inheritors of the apostles’ ministry. Jesus is saying to us, “What are you going to do so these people can eat?”

There are lots of hungry people right here in our own communities. Summer, when so much food is visibly growing right before our eyes, is a good time to reflect on how we’re helping Jesus feed them.

And what are we doing to feed people with more than physical food? Jesus has given us more than enough food to be fully satisfied in body and spirit and to strengthen us as we continue his work. We only need to open our eyes to the richness of the word and sacrament that is already an intimate part of our lives and let it empower us in love and service to others.

 

— The Rev. Dr. Susanna Metz is Executive Director of the Center for Ministry in Small Churches at the School of Theology, Sewanee, Tennessee, and Assistant Professor of Contextual Education. She is also publisher of Tuesday Morning, a quarterly journal of ministry and liturgical preaching.