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)

The parable of the mustard seed, the historical Jesus, the kingdom of God and a couple of kudzu jokes (Pentecost III)

Mustard plants in Galilee (I think the sign says 'no trespassing' in Hebrew) Mark 4 (NSRV). 26 [Jesus] also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27 and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28 The earth produces of … Continue reading The parable of the mustard seed, the historical Jesus, the kingdom of God and a couple of kudzu jokes (Pentecost III)

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

Spiritual direction, August-September

Email, lightly edited to make sense of a couple of really clunky sentences, that I sent today to my spiritual director in advance of our September meeting. Excerpts from my earlier posts are in italics and linked to the original posts to this blog. Hi Sister -- Here's the usual note to confirm our appointment … Continue reading Spiritual direction, August-September

Back to the future (and the righteousness of the God of Israel) with a Jesuit spiritual exercise for Pentecost XIII

A swing and a miss, and then a clean base hit (imho) with Ignatian contemplation ... Ruins of Roman temple and grotto of Pan at Caesarea Philippi (Wikimedia Commons). What you're about to read is an experiment. Or, to use another metaphor, a test drive. Call it a test-drive in that time-traveling DeLorean made famous … Continue reading Back to the future (and the righteousness of the God of Israel) with a Jesuit spiritual exercise for Pentecost XIII

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)

St. Peter’s fish, a surprisingly tasty meal with a 2,000-year backstory in Galilee

St. Peter's Fish in Galilee restaurant | Photo: איתן טל Etan Tal,  Creative Commons. While I was working on this week's post about the miracle of loaves and fishes, I got curious about a delicacy served in restaurants around the Sea of Galilee called St. Peter's fish. It looks absolutely disgusting, but it's delicious. Especially with … Continue reading St. Peter’s fish, a surprisingly tasty meal with a 2,000-year backstory in Galilee

A parable of sowing the word of the kingdom of heaven on YouTube and Facebook (for Pentecost VI)

Sunday service, Peace Lutheran Church, Springfield, Ill., July 12, 2020 (Pentecost VI) Yesterday's lectionary reading, for the sixth Sunday after Pentecost (ordinary time to non-Lutherans), was the the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. Which means, if you think about it, watching the service on social media was almost like a parable about a … Continue reading A parable of sowing the word of the kingdom of heaven on YouTube and Facebook (for Pentecost VI)

John the Baptist does a bit of informal media advance for an event on the Jordan River (a meditation for Epiphany II)

Pilgrims at Qasr al-Yahud, traditional site of the baptism of Christ, November 2012. Security fence in river separates Israelis-occupied West Bank (at left) from Jordan. John 1 (NRSV) 29 The next day he [John the Baptist] saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the … Continue reading John the Baptist does a bit of informal media advance for an event on the Jordan River (a meditation for Epiphany II)

The Jesus of history and the Christ of the creeds — a movie-like scenario for Gospel Contemplation

https://hemlandssanger.wordpress.com/2019/06/24/dream/ D R A F T -- I never finished this, but I liked the setup, and I think the exercise (modeled after Ignatian contemplation) helped me get a handle on my personal conception of Jesus Christ. SCENE 1 EXT. RESTAURANT -- LATE MORNING (A picnic table is set up in a pavillion shaded by … Continue reading The Jesus of history and the Christ of the creeds — a movie-like scenario for Gospel Contemplation