What can Rabbi Kushner and a bawdy church camp song tell us about John the Baptist and the kingdom of God?

Herold's Banquet, Fra Filippo Lippi, Fresco Duomo, Prato (Wikimedia) Mark 6 (NRSV) 22 When his daughter Herodias[e] came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.” 23 And he solemnly swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give … Continue reading What can Rabbi Kushner and a bawdy church camp song tell us about John the Baptist and the kingdom of God?

God’s presence in an 11th-century Irish poem and a gust of wind on a nice spring afternoon — for Trinity Sunday

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lx-iI-kFDA St. Patrick's Breastplate, Church of the Redeemer, Kenmore, Wash. John 3:1-17 (NRSV). 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being … Continue reading God’s presence in an 11th-century Irish poem and a gust of wind on a nice spring afternoon — for Trinity Sunday

‘Christ was born in Bethlehem’ — an Appalachian ballad that sums up Holy Week and the Easter season

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzmzb1ZyL6c Norm Williams, Amanda Parker and Bob Mallalieu, Maidencreek Festival, Maier's Grove, Blandon, Pa., Aug. 29, 2010 (song begins at 1:29). Our services for Holy Week are all online this year, and it's quite a different experience for someone who always sang in the choir and couldn't quite shake the feeling they were performances. I … Continue reading ‘Christ was born in Bethlehem’ — an Appalachian ballad that sums up Holy Week and the Easter season

A ‘Lutheropalian’ take on confirmation classes and an Anglican hymn based on an old Irish legend of St. Patrick at Tara

https://www.facebook.com/peter.ellertsen/posts/2783699998557695 St. Patrick's Day came this year in a flurry of good news, answered prayers and an affirmation of my childhood faith. It came in the middle of a busy week, and I didn't even remember it was St. Paddy's until evening when I saw the pictures of corned beef, cabbage and full Irish breakfasts … Continue reading A ‘Lutheropalian’ take on confirmation classes and an Anglican hymn based on an old Irish legend of St. Patrick at Tara

Coming to terms with John 3:16 with the help of Johnny Cash, the Carter family and the gospel according to Wikipedia

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98jzQ478VNs 'Where the soul of man never dies' - Johnny Cash with June, Helen and Anita Carter John 3 [NRSV] 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.[i]16 “For God so loved the world that he gave … Continue reading Coming to terms with John 3:16 with the help of Johnny Cash, the Carter family and the gospel according to Wikipedia

Connecting the dots for Lent III on covenants, the destruction of the temple and the Church of the Nativity

Editor's (admin's) Note. Third of ___* Lenten meditations based on lectionary readings on the covenants of Noah, Abraham and Moses. This one riffs on the Ten Commandments and the passage in the Gospel of St. John where Jesus speaks of the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. 'My father's house' -- Church of the Nativity, … Continue reading Connecting the dots for Lent III on covenants, the destruction of the temple and the Church of the Nativity

A Lenten meditation on covenants, a Christian nationalist lynch mob, green bananas and a book proposal

Editor's (admin's) Note. Second of ___ Lenten meditations based on lectionary readings on the covenants of Noah, Abraham and Moses. This one takes off from the covenant of Abraham, makes a quick stop in Puritan New England and deplanes in today's central Illinois. Clearing skies over Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, November 2012 Mark 8 … Continue reading A Lenten meditation on covenants, a Christian nationalist lynch mob, green bananas and a book proposal

Noah’s rainbow sign: Good news for the 53rd Sunday in Lent in a pandemic?

Editor's (admin's) Note. First of ___ Lenten meditations based on lectionary readings on the covenants of Noah, Abraham and Moses. This one riffs on Noah the the sign of the rainbow. Rainbow (at lower right center of picture) outside Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem Genesis 9 [NRSV]: 8 Then God said to Noah and to his … Continue reading Noah’s rainbow sign: Good news for the 53rd Sunday in Lent in a pandemic?

Of law, gospel, a hungry she-bear and vocation on Elisha and Elijah’s way across the desert to the Jordan River

Road from Jericho (to the left) to the Jordan, the whirlwind and Elijah's chariot of fire. 2 Kings 2 (NRSV): 9 When they had crossed [the Jordan River], Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of … Continue reading Of law, gospel, a hungry she-bear and vocation on Elisha and Elijah’s way across the desert to the Jordan River

Casting out unclean spirits in the synagogue at Capernaum and on social media today (Epiphany IV)

Byzantine-era synagogue at Capernaum (security lights are a later addition). Mark 1:21-28 (NRSV): 21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a … Continue reading Casting out unclean spirits in the synagogue at Capernaum and on social media today (Epiphany IV)