The Wild Gospel

Just Look at This Mess

In Luke 14, Jesus at table is calling for a reversal–challenging privileged, powerful religious folks to shift from an ethic of scarcity to one of abundance. We’re still struggling to uphold that call today, but trying to do so reveals the beauty of God’s way through the mess of communion and community. 

Rhoda the Delighted and Pray-ers the Deluded

Joseph the Dreamer and Herod the Scared

While Herod’s villainy is obvious and extreme, Joseph heroically participates in what God is doing by becoming a refugee along with the Christ. Can we possibly tell the story of Christ apart from this family’s refugee status? 

Elizabeth the Laughter (and Zechariah the Silent)

Both the hero and villain of John the Baptist’s birth narrative are introduced as good and righteous people. The difference between them is whether they ‘push back’ or ‘live into’ what God is doing in the world. 

Three Cool Boys and an Uncool King

A persistent question throughout the Scriptures is, “How can we maintain faithfulness in a foreign land?” The crisis facing Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shows a moment when one has to take a stand, regardless of the cost.  

Abigail the Wise and Her Husband

The common biblical definition of a “fool” is one who denies that the world has any ultimate meaning or justice. The story of Nabal – whose name means “fool” – expands that definition to one who denies having interdependence with others. 

Jonathan the Lover and Saul the Loser

Jesus once issued a difficult description of being a disciple, which requires loving God above all other loyalties and loves that we have. Jonathan is a hero who did just that, betraying his father and giving up his own right to inherit the crown out of love for David, God’s chosen one. Saul, on the other hand ….

Vashti the Resister and Haman the Greedy

In the tragi-comic story of Esther, Queen Vashti is a hero (Shero!) because she is commanded to display herself as eye candy before the king and his drunken consorts, and she refuses. At the cost of losing her royal status, Queen Vashti finds the power to say ‘no’ when confronted with an unjust command. 

God the Merciful and Lamech the Arrogant

In our first “Heroes and Villains” story, we hear how God is heroic by mingling mercy vengeance when punishing Cain, the first murderer. Later, we will read how Lamech usurps God’s words and applies them in vain to himself, to give legitimacy to his penchant for vengeance.