July 29, 2014

Jesus’ Ascension and Life as Gift

Many churches celebrate Jesus’ Ascension today, though the official observance was this past Thursday (May 29). We so often leave the Ascension out of our gospel. Christ’s “finished work,” however, includes Jesus’ incarnation, ministry, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and outpouring of the Holy Spirit — all of the above. These great events are the key […]

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 […]

Let’s Discuss: Christmas Music Recommendations

Back in 2010, Jeff and I had dueling posts about our favorite Christmas music. Jeff’s top five were: Bells of Dublin, The Chieftains Christmas Portrait, The Carpenters Ultra-Lounge Christmas Cocktails, Part Two, Various Artists If On A Winter’s Night, Sting Christmas, Bruce Cockburn He also gave honorable mentions to: A Charlie Brown Christmas, by Vince […]

My “December” Playlist

On Sunday, Advent begins. My annual habit has been to listen to only Advent and Christmas music from the beginning of Advent to the end of Christmastide. This year, I am adding at least one playlist that consists of seasonal music about the coming of winter in our hemisphere and in our hearts. I have […]

Ash Wednesday with Pancho and Lefty

Sometimes I don’t know where this dirty road is taking me Sometimes I can’t even see the reason why I guess I’ll keep on a-gamblin’, lots of booze and lots of ramblin’ It’s easier than just a-waitin’ ’round to die – Townes Van Zandt Our good friend Matt Redmond just wrote a poignant piece about how […]

Martha on Lent

Lent is coming! When I was young, I was confident in what Lent was and what it meant. Now I’m older, it gets more mysterious and complex. This week marks the start of the forty-day (plus Sundays) period which is one of the two seasons in the liturgical year where the purple of penitence is […]

The Font and the Tiny Casket

Baptism of Our Lord Sunday January 13, 2013 Recently, in my role as a hospice chaplain, I baptized a beautiful little three-month old baby girl, as she was being held in the arms of her mother in their home. The baby was terminally ill, and few days later she went to heaven. When I baptized […]

Another Look: Church Year Spirituality

(From Nov. 2010 and updated) Tomorrow is the first Lord’s Day in the Church’s Liturgical Year. On Sunday, Christians who follow this calendar will begin a new year of living in the Gospel with the commencement of Advent. The diagram on the right gives an overview of the annual Church calendar. Advent is the season […]

iMonk Holiday Gift Guide

I will be taking the rest of November off from writing, well, at least for Internet Monk. (I have a project to write for school, but that’s another matter.) At any rate, because I won’t have a chance to do this for another thirty days or so, and because some of the things on the […]

Blessing the Animals

Note from CM: Last Sunday, I pulled into the parking lot at the church I was attending and noted that they were having an outdoor service. Getting out of my car, I saw folks walking their dogs and carrying other pets toward the chairs. “Ah,” I thought as I smiled, “they’re blessing the animals this […]