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

Next year in Jersusalem? Keeping the faith in a time of pandemic, absence and exile

Everydayness in Jerusalem -- stray cat surveys his domain in the Old City. A couple of days ago we brought several weeks' worth of magazines in from the garage, where we quarantine our incoming mail. So I've been binge-reading the Christian Century, and an article from the Oct. 7 issue reached out and grabbed me. … Continue reading Next year in Jersusalem? Keeping the faith in a time of pandemic, absence and exile

Rethinking grief, detachment, the Book of Job and the engravings of William Blake (!) in a time of pandemic

William Blake, Illustrations of the Book of Job, Plate 21 William Blake has never been exactly my cup of tea. When it comes to English Romantic poets, I'm more of a Byron and Wordsworth guy, and I like cats too much to get much pleasure out of thinking about Blake's tiger "burning bright, / In the … Continue reading Rethinking grief, detachment, the Book of Job and the engravings of William Blake (!) in a time of pandemic

Plenty to think about on the road to Caesarea Philippi (Pentecost XII)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwlJtc_3Ioo&t=114s Grace Lutheran Church Chancel Choir, Tallahassee, "Built On A Rock the Church Shall Stand" Oct. 30, 2011. P. The Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew the 16th Chapter.C. Glory to you, O Lord.At a climactic point in Jesus’ ministry, God reveals to Peter that Jesus is “the Messiah, the Sonof the living God,” and … Continue reading Plenty to think about on the road to Caesarea Philippi (Pentecost XII)

An unfinished outline on a Finnish theologian: Mannermaa, theosis and Lutheran-Russian Orthodox dialog

NOTE: This is something about Luther's concept of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that I was working on last month, before I learned my proposal had been accepted for the Illinois History Conference sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum -- and my priorities changed! Now I have to crash my paper, … Continue reading An unfinished outline on a Finnish theologian: Mannermaa, theosis and Lutheran-Russian Orthodox dialog