November 12, 2018

A Thanksgiving Sonnet

A Thanksgiving Sonnet 2015 When in these dark’ning days the world goes bare And gray the sky above and brown beneath When I awake to frosty silver morns Break out my woolen coat and cross the heath All life seems to have fled and left behind A scene bereft of color’s warm embrace Through breath’s […]

Another Look: Saints with two left feet

“All Saints Day is a witness to God’s way of blessing the world…” (David Thiede) Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? (James 2:5) • • […]

Another Look: Our Relational God

In the Western Church, yesterday was Trinity Sunday, the day that bridges the two main divisions of the Church Year. We have been walking through the life of Jesus from Advent to Pentecost since last November. Now, we begin the days of “Ordinary Time,” when we live out the faith daily as Christ’s church, embraced by the Good […]

A Memorial Day Meditation: Pentecost and Memorial Day

   It is an odd conjunction of special days: Pentecost Sunday and Memorial Day (U.S.A.). Memorial Day looks back and commemorates the sacrifices of the past. Pentecost, an event which grew out of the greatest sacrifice and triumph, looks forward to a new day. The one recalls war. The other anticipates peace. One emphasizes what […]

Ash Wednesday: Psalm 51 in music

For Ash Wednesday Two renditions of Psalm 51 “Have mercy on me, O God,     according to your steadfast love . . .” • • • Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts Psalm 51:14-17 O God of mercy, hear my call, My loads of guilt remove; Break down this separating wall, That bars me from thy […]

Let’s Discuss . . . Mardis Gras

I don’t normally put two posts up on one day anymore, but today is Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), the day before the Lenten season begins, and I would like us to talk about something. Let me put my thoughts in a brief paragraph for you to consider and respond to today: One measure of our […]

Why I won’t be going to church Sunday

Last week, our pastor announced that we would be having a patriotic service on the Sunday of July 4th weekend. I won’t be there. Let me make something perfectly clear. I love my country, the United States of America. I have no trouble displaying the flag on appropriate occasions (though my wife, with her Mennonite […]

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 […]

MLK on the Church

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day January 20, 2014 Today, we present an excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail, written April 16, 1963. King wrote this in response to a public statement that had been made by eight white Alabama clergymen, who disapproved of Dr. King and his methods of civil […]

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 […]