Do You Love Me? A Sermon

First, a reading from Scripture: ‘When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”’ ~ John 21:15-19

“Do you love me?”
It’s a loaded question. When, in life, …

Jordan's Top 20 Films of 2016

Oscars season is here! This Sunday, ABC will host the 89th annual Academy Awards honoring achievements in film-making from the year 2016. It also just so happens that I watched pretty much everything that came out last year, so I figured I'd write a post ahead of the Oscars celebrating my favorites. Of this year's nine best picture nominees, seven of them made my top 20 (Hell or High Water and Lion are also excellent), but like most years, my list looks quite different than the Academy's. I like to think my tastes are pretty eclectic, so there should be something here for everybody. Or just trust that my taste is exquisite and watch all of them.

But first!
Hush: a home-invasion thriller with a deaf protagonist
Other People: written/directed by SNL head-writer Chris Kelly
The Meddler: Susan Surandan is adorable!
Paterson: Adam Driver's a bus-driver/poet in this poetically naturalistic film
The Jungle Book: a masterpiece of motion capture technology, and my…

Listening and Resisting: Life in Trump's America

I tried to fall asleep early on the night of November 8th. I figured, as did many Americans, that the election would go in Hillary’s favor, but that it might be a rough ride to the finish line, so I tried to skip the drama and wake up in the morning with a new president-elect. Needless to say, sleep proved elusive, as I checked election results on my phone every five minutes or so for hours. Around midnight, when the unthinkable suddenly became the inevitable, I sat up in my bed and started sobbing.
Few of my friends spent much time before the election worrying about the results. Hillary would take it for sure, they figured. Nobody seemed to seriously consider the possibility that we might elect an unstable reality tv star (with a racist and sexist streak) to the highest office in the land. But it was all I could think about. I carried a sense of dread with me every day for about six months, as friends, coworkers and family assured me it would turn out alright. But on that night, as al…

5 Most Unexpectedly Theological Films of 2016

For this list I singled out a specific scene from each film which captures its greater theological insight. Given this approach, a major SPOILER WARNING is in effect. I will address specific plot details for each of these movies, so if you have not seen one of them, but want to at some later date, please skip it!

Last thing: major trigger warning for details of sexual assault in #2.

5. The “Magic” - Pete’s Dragon
Mid-century American theologian H. Richard Niebuhr referred to the revelation of God in Christ as the “intelligible event which makes all other events intelligible”, meaning that once Jesus came to reveal the fullness of God, and the image of true humanity, we as followers of Christ are forevermore called to see the rest of life through the lens of that revelation. Everything else in the world, and in human history, must be understood in light of the incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Go figure a similar sentiment would show up in a Disney movie about a …