The historical Jesus and the Christ of faith on a dark and stormy night (Pentecost IV)

Bread and wine (actually Israeli grape juice) on the Sea of Galilee Mark 4 (NRSV): 35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37 A … Continue reading The historical Jesus and the Christ of faith on a dark and stormy night (Pentecost IV)

Yiddish author’s prayer jotted down on scrap paper brings joy — and a call to do better — in dark, divisive times

Memorial to Bashevis Singer in Biłgoraj, Poland (Wikipedia, Creative Commons) Discovered while I was looking for something else: A remarkable prayer by Nobel Prize-winning Jewish-American author Isaac Bashevis Singer. I was reading coverage of the struggle to form a new governing majority in Israel's parliament, and I was pulled right in by a headline that said … Continue reading Yiddish author’s prayer jotted down on scrap paper brings joy — and a call to do better — in dark, divisive times

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

Climbing up out of an English teacher-y rabbit hole with a little help from the Ursuline sisters and St. Philip the Deacon

St. Philip baptizes a eunuch, attributed to Jan Brueghel the Younger (Wikipedia) Acts 8 (NRSV) 35 Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! What is to … Continue reading Climbing up out of an English teacher-y rabbit hole with a little help from the Ursuline sisters and St. Philip the Deacon

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

Notes & Quotes: Article on Joe Biden’s faith in The Washington Post

Screen grab of the Post's website this morning. Seen today on the Washington Post website (the second Sunday after Epiphany, no less!), a perceptive article on President-elect Joe Biden's Catholic faith that raises some of the same issues I hope to touch on in my expanded study of cultural issues in the old Swedish-American Augustana … Continue reading Notes & Quotes: Article on Joe Biden’s faith in The Washington Post

Of faith and trust under a fig tree, East Tennesseans, Galileans and a Swedish-American historical research project

Bethany beyond the Jordan (from Qasr al-Yahud on Israeli side). John 1:43-51 (NRSV). 43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom … Continue reading Of faith and trust under a fig tree, East Tennesseans, Galileans and a Swedish-American historical research project

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

Notes on an election-day article about Lincoln, the better angels of our nature and the book of Job

https://www.facebook.com/133051906718090/photos/a.1509816089041658/3741315792558332 On the same day as Tuesday's election, the Jesuit magazine America published an article I thought was singularly appropriate to the occasion. It was what we used to call a "think piece" in the newspaper business, an essay by a divinity student and political activist on what comfort -- if "comfort" is the right … Continue reading Notes on an election-day article about Lincoln, the better angels of our nature and the book of Job

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