November 30, 2015

Easter: do we just not “get” it?

Do we “get” Easter? This year, I’ve had this sneaking suspicion that I don’t really “get” Easter, and maybe a lot of the churches and Christians I’ve been around don’t either. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! (Repeat 3x.) Yeah, then it’s back to Monday morning and life as usual. This feeling became intensified […]

Music Monday: Appalachian Spring

The fate of pieces is really rather curious…you can’t always figure out in advance exactly what’s going to happen to them. • Aaron Copland, speaking about Appalachian Spring • • • I delight in listening to one of our most beloved pieces of classical music at this time of year: Aaron Copland’s orchestral suite, Appalachian […]

Easter Sunday 2015: “God’s future has arrived in the present” (N.T. Wright)

If Easter makes any sense at all, it makes sense within something much more like the classic Jewish worldview…: heaven and earth are neither the same thing, nor a long way removed from one another, but they overlap and interlock mysteriously in a number of ways; and the God who made both heaven and earth […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Shepherd-King in the Temple

In the liturgical calendar, today is “Good Shepherd Sunday.” Here are a few exegetical and contextual notes about today’s Gospel text. I love beautiful church buildings. In my own faith journey, my imagination has been captured by the wonder of natural light filtered through stained glass windows, the “lift” felt as one gazes up toward […]

In the Garden

I come to the garden alone While the dew is still on the roses And the voice I hear falling on my ear The Son of God discloses. Je­sus said to her, “Mary!” Just one word from his lips, and for­got­ten the heart­aches, the long drea­ry hours….all the past blot­ted out in the pre­sence of […]

Sundays in Easter: Not What You Might Expect

Not What You Might Expect A Series for Sundays in Eastertide God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not […]