‘They wanted a king, what they got was bread’ — some preliminary thoughts on the feeding of 5,000 and the Eucharist

Benedictine Church of the Multiplication at Tabgha in Galilee. John 6 [NRSV]. [...] 10 Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they[c] sat down, about five thousand in all. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who … Continue reading ‘They wanted a king, what they got was bread’ — some preliminary thoughts on the feeding of 5,000 and the Eucharist

How shall we know a prophet has been among us? Listening for the good news in Nazareth, Babylon — to a reggae beat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXf1j8Hz2bU Ezekiel 2 (NRSV). He said to me: O mortal,[a] stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you. 2 And when he spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet; and I heard him speaking to me. 3 He said to me, Mortal, I am sending you to the people of … Continue reading How shall we know a prophet has been among us? Listening for the good news in Nazareth, Babylon — to a reggae beat

‘Do not fear, only believe’: Unpacking the good news in a the miracle of healing a synagogue elder’s daughter in Capernum

Resurrection of Jairus' daughter, Albert von Keller, 1886 (Wikimedia Commons) Mark 5 (NRSV). 35 While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing[b] what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 Sunday's gospel … Continue reading ‘Do not fear, only believe’: Unpacking the good news in a the miracle of healing a synagogue elder’s daughter in Capernum

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

Bread and wine for Holy Communion on Galilee tour boat 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 great windstorm … 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