Last week, I had the honor of officiating at a graveside funeral. It was simple. The family wanted only the simplest form of funeral – no sermon, no eulogy, just the scripture, the prayers, the commendation, the committal. The woman whom I buried never joined my church – but she was an active worshiper there … Continue reading What I Didn’t Say to You at a Funeral
The very first creed of the Christian church was two words: Kyrios Iesous. Or, in English, "Jesus is Lord." That was it. At first, there was no Apostles Creed, no virgin birth, no Council of Nicaea, no Holy Trinity, no theories of the redemption. Just two words. Kyrios Iesous. It was a political statement. The … Continue reading God loves us. Why have we forgotten?
I had a very intriguing meeting at church this evening. Lent begins in about a month, and we were discussing what we would be offering this year as a midweek Lenten observance. Some years we offer a worship service, other years an educational opportunity. We decided that it was time to offer some sort of … Continue reading Stoking the Fire
An image in words based on Matthew 3:13-17 Soon. So soon it comes. So soon silently a torrent rips across the sky. A wrenching rending thunderstorm cataclysm in reverse. Silently. So silently. The waters bubble and shimmer, hydrogen and oxygen quivering in homage to the one whose cells and humors descend into the darkwater abyss. … Continue reading The Watery Theophany
I must say this. I have to take a stand. As a Christian in this nation, I am increasingly upset every year. Each December, as I make my way through streets and stores, I hear holiday greetings. But never, never do I hear the name of the holiday I am celebrating. It's sickening. Oh sure, … Continue reading Merry Christmas? Bah!
Last week, I wrote a post about a recent event I attended with about six or seven other church leaders. While there, we were invited to answer the "Four Quaker Questions" together. I wrote about the first three questions in that post. If you didn't read it, feel free to go there now. Don't worry … Continue reading The 4th Quaker Question
While doing some work on my upcoming sermons, I found a website called "My Jewish Learning," which is designed as an encyclopedia of sorts for all things Jewish, to aid everyone from a synagogue leader looking to deepen her knowledge to a newcomer considering converting to Judaism. It has a nice article by Rabbi Ismar … Continue reading Easter is not about ME ME ME!
I did not preach a sermon in worship today. Today is Sunday of the Passion / Palm Sunday, which means that the gospel reading is the entire story of the passion of Christ, from the Last Supper through his burial. This year, the passion gospel was Luke 22:14 -- 23:56. Since the gospel itself takes … Continue reading Rambling about the Fulfillment of Scripture
The "Stations of the Cross" are a spiritual tool commonly found in Roman Catholic churches. The Stations themselves are stops on a path that one walks. The path is like a pilgrimage of sorts, telling the story of the Passion of Jesus Christ. Each Station on the path represents one part of that story, and … Continue reading Fourteen
When I was a child, all I ever wanted to be was an astronaut. I loved learning about outer space, especially about the planets in our solar system. (Although, I must say, I was not scandalized by Pluto's "demotion" to dwarf planet status in 2006. Given the discoveries of other objects in the solar system at … Continue reading Thirteen