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)

God’s presence in an 11th-century Irish poem and a gust of wind on a nice spring afternoon — for Trinity Sunday

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lx-iI-kFDA St. Patrick's Breastplate, Church of the Redeemer, Kenmore, Wash. John 3:1-17 (NRSV). 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being … Continue reading God’s presence in an 11th-century Irish poem and a gust of wind on a nice spring afternoon — for Trinity Sunday

‘Christ was born in Bethlehem’ — an Appalachian ballad that sums up Holy Week and the Easter season

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzmzb1ZyL6c Norm Williams, Amanda Parker and Bob Mallalieu, Maidencreek Festival, Maier's Grove, Blandon, Pa., Aug. 29, 2010 (song begins at 1:29). Our services for Holy Week are all online this year, and it's quite a different experience for someone who always sang in the choir and couldn't quite shake the feeling they were performances. I … Continue reading ‘Christ was born in Bethlehem’ — an Appalachian ballad that sums up Holy Week and the Easter season

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

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

Notes on ‘melting pot’ from America’s website

By Cecilia González-Andrieu, a professor of theological studies at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, Calif., and a contributing writer for America. Excerpts: We know ourselves heirs of a promise that transcends the brief span of our individual lives; the promise of the resurrection. At the same time, we know that we will get there not … Continue reading Notes on ‘melting pot’ from America’s website

Word, sacrament, a Lutheran chorale and reading the bible: Lessons from a Swedish immigrant church in Chicago during a time of cholera

First phrase of chorale by Philipp Nicolai Svenska Psalmbok (1819), Nos. 55, 412. O Gud! ditt ord och sakramentLåt aldrig bliva från oss vändt ...-- Svenska Psalmbok (1819), No. 412, v. 6[O God, let your word and sacrament / never be turned away from us ...] No doubt it's just a coincidence, but since I … Continue reading Word, sacrament, a Lutheran chorale and reading the bible: Lessons from a Swedish immigrant church in Chicago during a time of cholera

Was Luther a mystic? Hard to say. But an offhand Latin pun and a Lutheran T-shirt offer a new way of thinking about it

Volunteers from First Lutheran Church, Rock Island, Illinois, serving at smörgåsbord. Augustana Founders' Day Reunion, 155th anniversary, Andover, Illinois, April 25, 2015  I have begun to preach and lecture once more; in fact, yesterday I preached in your place. ... Christ lives; and we are Christs -- with and without the apostrophe (Christi sumus in … Continue reading Was Luther a mystic? Hard to say. But an offhand Latin pun and a Lutheran T-shirt offer a new way of thinking about it

Of outward signs, inward grace and Pastor Nadia’s prayer for a time of pandemic when the sacraments can’t be celebrated

Screenshot from Pastor Nadia's FB post. Click HERE for permalink. Click HERE for text. Sometimes you find exactly what you need at exactly the right moment, and you don't know why. Serendipity? Coincidence? The Holy Spirit at work? In 12-step recovery meetings, sometimes you'll hear the old-timers say a coincidence is what you call it … Continue reading Of outward signs, inward grace and Pastor Nadia’s prayer for a time of pandemic when the sacraments can’t be celebrated