Noah’s rainbow sign: Good news for the 53rd Sunday in Lent in a pandemic?

Rainbow (at lower right center of picture) outside Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem Genesis 9 [NRSV]: 8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 “As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and … Continue reading Noah’s rainbow sign: Good news for the 53rd Sunday in Lent in a pandemic?

Casting out unclean spirits in the synagogue at Capernaum and on social media today (Epiphany IV)

Byzantine-era synagogue at Capernaum (security lights are a later addition). Mark 1:21-28 (NRSV): 21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a … Continue reading Casting out unclean spirits in the synagogue at Capernaum and on social media today (Epiphany IV)

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

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

Loaves, fishes and Luther’s concept of the Word as sacrament: How do you do church when you can’t go to church? (Pentecost IX)

Byzantine columns at Church of the Multiplication (Brotvermehrungskirche), Galilee. Matthew 14 (NRSV): ... 14 When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the … Continue reading Loaves, fishes and Luther’s concept of the Word as sacrament: How do you do church when you can’t go to church? (Pentecost IX)

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)

‘Incarnation lite’ at the holy places in Jerusalem and Bethlehem?

Copied here from Hemlandssånger, Jan. 1, 2019, with some light editing and compulsive tinkering, because I want to give it more thought and (maybe) write something more about the issues it raises ... Pilgrims from Eastern Europe lighting tapers at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, when I visited in November 2012. A print … Continue reading ‘Incarnation lite’ at the holy places in Jerusalem and Bethlehem?