April 23, 2014

About Chaplain Mike

Chaplain Mike works with a hospice organization in central Indiana. He has been in pastoral ministry since 1978, serving in churches in Maryland, Vermont, Illinois, and Indiana before moving into chaplaincy work. He is married to a wonderful gifted wife, Gail, and they have four children and three grandchildren. He thinks baseball is the greatest game ever invented, suffers annually as a Chicago Cubs fan, and is looking forward to putting on a cap again this spring to coach his grandson's Little League team. He loves a wide variety of music, spends way too much money on books, is happy to live in a place where there are four seasons, and is a "true believer" in Apple computers, having used them since 1988. Luther is his favorite theologian, Bach his favorite composer, James Taylor his favorite singer-songwriter, Chicago his favorite city, and hiking his favorite form of exercise. He would love to do more with photography and dreams of having a place in the mountains of Arizona some day. His heart has been captured by the grace of God in Jesus Christ and considers himself a post-evangelical disciple seeking a Jesus-shaped life and hoping to help the church do the same. He is forever grateful to his friend, Michael Spencer, for giving him an opportunity to write for Internet Monk.

Another Look: Easter Is a Season, Not a Day

First Published April 4, 2010. Many of us in our Christian traditions learned to celebrate Christ’s resurrection on a day — Easter Sunday. Easter is the great Lord’s Day, the climax of Holy Week, the high point of the Christian Year, marked by an explosion of color, wafting fragrance of lilies, majestic sounds of organ […]

Monday Monkery – Day after Easter Sunday Edition

Pastor Dan, who does our weekly iMonk Saturday Ramblings, got Holy Saturday off this past weekend so that he could focus on all the special services he was participating in. I remember those marathon occasions from when I was a pastor and I’ll be very surprised if Dan’s not sleeping in today. And tomorrow. But […]

Thomas Merton: Living in the Freedom of Easter

  These words from Trappist monk Thomas Merton about Easter could not have been said better by any Lutheran or Protestant. He reminds us that Easter is not just about Jesus rising from the dead, defeating death. It is about our death and resurrection as well. In particular, Merton has us meditate on Paul’s teaching […]

Why We Need Holy Saturday

Note: In honor of Holy Saturday, we will not have an edition of Saturday Ramblings today. We will have a “links” post early in the week to come. * * * For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance […]

Holy Thursday at the Tea Party

Sometimes, I’ve got nothing. Nothing to write about. No insightful words to impart. No interesting metaphors to spark the imagination. No provocative prose, no poetry to prime the pump. I’m sitting and trying to think, but everything is fuzzy, my mind full of inchoate thoughts, like bats fluttering around in an attic. I get the […]

Church: Not Where We “Find God”

Geoffrey Hill: What is there in my heart that you should sue so fiercely for its love? What kind of care brings you as though a stranger to my door through the long night and in the icy dew seeking the heart that will not harbor you, that keeps itself religiously secure? – from “Lachrimae […]

Holy Week Thoughts: Another Look – Jesus and the Temple

Then Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold doves. He said to them, ‘It is written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer”; but you are making it a […]

Holy Week with Zechariah (2): Woe to Toxic Leadership

Zechariah 9-14 was a key passage for the evangelists who told the story of Passion Week in the Gospels. In volume two of his “Christian Origins” series, Jesus and the Victory of God, N.T. Wright gives an overview of the subjects addressed in this text: The writer promises the long-awaited arrival of the true king […]

Holy Week Thoughts: A Cross-less Faith

…let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. – Matthew 27:42 * * * At Mockingbird, they have this helpful entry on the subject of “Theology of Glory” in their site glossary: Theologies of glory are approaches to Christianity and to life that try in various ways to minimize […]

Holy Week with Zechariah (1): Mismatched Expectations

A book which, as we have already seen, was arguably of great influence on Jesus, and which contained dark hints about the necessary suffering of the people of YHWH, is of course Zechariah, particularly its second part (chapters 9-14). …The underlying theme of the passage, as of so much Jewish literature of the period, is […]