January 23, 2017

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.

Holy Week with Duccio: Crucifixion

I am one who has seen affliction    under the rod of God’s wrath; he has driven and brought me    into darkness without any light; against me alone he turns his hand,    again and again, all day long. He has made my flesh and my skin waste away,    and broken my bones; he has besieged and enveloped […]

Holy Week: Music of the Cross on Good Friday

I have the privilege of serving in a fine congregation in Indianapolis this spring as part of my ordination process. This church is filled with gifted musicians and the entire congregation has bought into the ethos of praising God through excellent music. For Good Friday, I will be joining the choir to sing “Die Sieben […]

Holy Week with Duccio: Washing the Disciples’ Feet

And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God,got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to […]

Holy Week: Preaching as Good as It Gets

Nothing could have stopped this Pascal mystery of God and humanity. No amount of super-good discipleship or wisdom or hindsight would make a lick of difference to God’s determination to draw all people to God’s self through Jesus lifted high and on a cross. See, we are no different than the shouting crowds – those […]

Holy Week with Duccio: Christ Taking Leave of the Apostles

“While Jesus is giving the new commandment to the apostles (now eleven), Judas betrays him for thirty pieces of silver. In Christ Taking Leave of the Apostles, his sideways position, shown up by the half-open door, is in contrast to the close-knit group of disciples. They are all turning the same way in thoughtful attitudes, the soft […]

Holy Week Hijinks…and Worse

Why is it that Holy Week seems to bring out the worst in American church culture? Ministries and church leaders that call anathemas down on venerable traditions that have stood the test of time and kept the faith alive throughout Church history have no problem adopting the cheesiest and most insubstantial gimmicks to get people […]

Holy Week with Duccio: Last Supper

Source: Web Gallery of Art “The Last Supper is dominated by the central figure of Jesus who, to the astonishment of the onlookers, is offering bread to Judas Iscariot (shown in other panels with the same features). An unusual experiment with space has been made with John, whose position is traditional: the head of the favourite disciple is painted […]

Holy Week: Another Look at “Cleaning Closets”

NOTE: One of the traditions of Monday-Wednesday in Holy Week is spring cleaning, which goes back to the customs of Jewish families as they prepared for Passover. In honor of this tradition, here is another look at one of CM’s posts from July, 2010. And, heavens no, he is not actually doing any spring cleaning! […]

Holy Week: Dinner with Him Once Dead

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. (John 12:1-2) * * * This story intrigues me. Normally, when reading John 12:1-11, we […]

Holy Week with Duccio: Resurrection of Lazarus

Source: Web Gallery of Art The Gospel reading for Monday in Holy Week is John 12:1-11. This tells the story of Mary, Lazarus’s sister, anointing Jesus’ feet at a dinner in their home in honor of Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead. That act of bringing Lazarus back to life is emphasized throughout the […]