|Posted on August 29, 2018 at 4:55 PM||comments (0)|
Things are not going to be the same again......ever. We will not go back to the days when church was number one in most people's lives. We will not go back to the days when the church building was the hub of our community. We will not go back to a time when every small church had their own pastor. We will not see again days when the seminary graduated 20 students, or even 10 on a regular basis. We will not see the days when our pastors were the default head of our various churches. In fact, s...Read Full Post »
|Posted on April 11, 2018 at 4:00 PM||comments (0)|
We are an Easter people.
So what does that mean?
The disciples were a simple group of men. When they were called out by Jesus to follow him, to learn from him and to serve those that they met, they stumbled as often as they succeeded. They were confused and often missed the point of what was happening. Likely, though they followed Jesus, they had one eye back on their former lives, wondering how their family was doing, how they were fairing without them. They weren't ready to carr...Read Full Post »
|Posted on February 13, 2018 at 6:35 PM||comments (0)|
Lent is such a downer.
And it can be, I suppose. We put away all the alleluias and the peppy liturgies. We break out the hymnody surrounding lament and repentance and forgiveness. We leave out hearing the words of the absolution during the course of the Confession and Forgiveness. And perhaps we even do away with some part of our daily routine for the duration of Lent. It can be a downer time, if measured according to everything that is put away for these forty days.
But we gain...Read Full Post »
|Posted on January 2, 2018 at 5:05 PM||comments (0)|
The first church I served was a beautiful little downtown church whose members were incredibly committed, engaged human beings who worked tirelessly to keep the church and the ministry of that church alive. And the ministry there was rich, as we worked to support (in our small part) E4C, worked with some of the inner city folk, worked ecumenically with Baptist, Presbyterian and Anglican churches. We worked closely with many individuals who suffered from Mental health issues. We were closely c...Read Full Post »
|Posted on December 11, 2017 at 4:20 PM||comments (0)|
Patience is not everyone's cup of tea. In fact, it frustrates people to be overly patient. We want results and we want them as soon as humanly possible. It is hard on the nerves to wait. It is frustrating to wait. Perhaps it is good news that is killing us not to know because we want to share it with all the world. Perhaps it is bad news and we know that our lives could be irrevocably altered by it. Waiting is hard.
For 2000 years, give or take 16, we have been waiting for the Christ. W...Read Full Post »
|Posted on November 23, 2017 at 2:05 AM||comments (0)|
What does it mean to say that Christ is our King? Sometimes, I think, kingship comes with the idea of tyranny and visions of the kings of old. It seems that in the annals of history, there are far more despots and cruel leaders than there were ever benevolent and wholesome rulers. And even the best of them had to resort to hard tactics to keep peace for the one's they ruled. Warfare, taxes, and the like were a part of any kingdom, empire, dukedom, etc. Kingship is a hard image for most to fin...Read Full Post »
|Posted on August 30, 2017 at 4:15 PM||comments (0)|
When Luther started the reformation, he did not have the end result in mind. Rather, he was responding to abuses that he had winessed within the church. Indulgences, a theology of fear and exclusion, a church hierarchy that seemed more about acquiring wealth than serving the people. He saw this and believed the church needed to go a different way. He did not expect to create a new denomination named after him. In spite of that, I don't think that would have stopped him. He saw a church in nee...Read Full Post »
|Posted on June 5, 2017 at 1:30 PM||comments (0)|
Here is a story of two types of unity.
The Tower of Babel is a story of unity. But it is a unity driven by human purpose, namely the desire to reach the heavens and become divine in the process. It is a unity that is broken by God because any time human beings seek to be God in God's place, it ends in disaster. The languiages of the people are confused to protect them from more attempts at the divine, more attempts at absolute catastrophe.
The story of Pentecost is a story o...Read Full Post »
|Posted on April 13, 2017 at 12:05 PM||comments (0)|
In our Bible study that wrapped up on April 12th, we studied Romans 12. In that chapter, Paul is exhorting the Roman church to offer themselves as "living sacrifices". They are asked to live out good and holy lives, seeking justice, loving kindness and walking in humility. This call echoes the call issued by the prophets of old, like Amos and Isaiah and Hosea. Empty sacrifices, empty ritual, was not what God wanted. God wanted Israel to live out their lives as living sacrifices. That was Paul...Read Full Post »
|Posted on February 23, 2017 at 12:40 PM||comments (0)|
Lent is a time that is often associated with sobriety, asceticism and sacrifice. The idea behind all of that was that we would deny ourselves the worldly pleasures that could keep us from seeing God, and in so doing, re-establish a closer, more poignant relationship with our Creator. However, too often it is like some trial of righteousness. "You gave up chocolate.....well I'll give up chocolate and coffee." It becomes a weird contest of wills wherein we want to out suffer the other person an...Read Full Post »