July 26, 2014

How Old Was Jesus When He Died – And Does It Matter?

Some matters are not straight forward as they might originally seem. For all we know about Jesus, there is a lot we do not know. The Bible, for example, tells a grand total of one story about his childhood. Jesus’ age at his death is not known with any great certainty, and there is much […]

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 […]

Why the Change in the Crowd?

A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Holy Week with Duccio: Appearance behind Locked Doors

Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands for our offenses given; but now at God’s right hand he stands and brings us life from heaven. Therefore let us joyful be and sing to God right thankfully loud songs of hallelujah! Hallelujah!  So let us keep the festival to which the Lord invites us; Christ is […]