Stray thoughts on original sin, Franciscan spirituality and a painting of the Garden of Eden by Jan Brueghel the Elder

Jan Brueghel the Elder and Pieter Paul Rubens, Fall of Adam and Eve (Wikipedia) When God closes a door, as an old saying down South has it, God leaves a window cracked open somewhere. We may have to exercise a little creativity to find it, but there's always another opening. Another old saying, one I … Continue reading Stray thoughts on original sin, Franciscan spirituality and a painting of the Garden of Eden by Jan Brueghel the Elder

A viral cat video, the archbishop of Canterbury and the dean of the cathedral remind me of the imminence of God

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy43J76bIwE Global News, the news and current affairs division of the Global Television Network of Vancouver, B.C.,  reported in 2020: "One of Canterbury Cathedral’s cats, Tiger, helped itself to some milk during a morning message from Dean Robert Willis on July 6." Brought together by serendipity -- a lovely, do-able brief explanation of my favorite Jesuit … Continue reading A viral cat video, the archbishop of Canterbury and the dean of the cathedral remind me of the imminence of God

What Luther said about the presence of God in his cabbage soup and why it matters

"Religionsgespräch [Colloquy] zu Marburg," Christian Karl August Noack, 1867 (Wikipedia) Seen on the unofficial ELCA discussion group's Facebook page, an allusion to Luther's comment "that God is [present] in his cabbage soup." I'd never seen it before, and I loved the quote! Hence this blog post, so I'll know where to look for it. Maybe … Continue reading What Luther said about the presence of God in his cabbage soup and why it matters

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

Theologian N.T. Wright rethinks ‘multi-ethnic, polychrome, mutually supportive’ early church, justification by faith

"Century Marks," Christian Century, April 21, 2021, p. 8. We're still quarantining magazines as they come into the house, and when I was going through them last night, a billboarded pull quote from British theologian N.T. Wright in a back issue of Christian Century jumped up off the page, snuggled up to me and wanted … Continue reading Theologian N.T. Wright rethinks ‘multi-ethnic, polychrome, mutually supportive’ early church, justification by faith

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

Advent festival at Sewanee: ‘Comfort, comfort ye …,’ but there’s a catch: We’ve got to act on the things that give us comfort

Screen shot from Sewanee's website. Click HERE to watch video of this year's Festival of Lessons and Carols (on YouTube) ... and HERE for bulletin with lyrics. One of the silver linings to sheltering in place during the Covid-19 pandemic has been re-establishing connection with old friends on social media ... and, through them, nostalgia … Continue reading Advent festival at Sewanee: ‘Comfort, comfort ye …,’ but there’s a catch: We’ve got to act on the things that give us comfort

Reflections on prayer in the parking lot of a walk-in clinic during a time of pandemic

It's a perfect late fall afternoon, blustery with tufts of white cloud scudding past in a blue sky. Temperature in the 40s, but enough sunshine coming through the windshield that I don't have the car heater on while I'm waiting in the HSHS PromptCare walk-in clinic's parking lot on MacArthur. This is how we do … Continue reading Reflections on prayer in the parking lot of a walk-in clinic during a time of pandemic

Well done, good and faithful servants: A memorial plaque in a university chapel and a meditation for All Saints’ Day

Memorial plaque in All Saints' Chapel, University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn. When my parents lived in the suburbs of Atlanta, Debi and I would drive to Atlanta and back just about every time I had a school vacation. Sometimes I'd drive down on my own. Either way, the trip settled into a set rhythm. … Continue reading Well done, good and faithful servants: A memorial plaque in a university chapel and a meditation for All Saints’ Day