Why Juneteenth?

Why Juneteenth?

Trauma’s impact is not restricted to the individual that endured the trauma, it affects those who perpetrate the trauma and the descendants of both. To heal from a traumatic experience involves dealing with not only the symptoms that are manifested because of the trauma, it involves reconciling with the source of the pain. This is not work that has been done concerning racism in America.

Children, the silent victims of the COVID-19 pandemic

Children, the silent victims of the COVID-19 pandemic

The church may become informed on resources for poor families, such as federal aids, and become a part of collaborations to create resources for immigrant families since they do not have access to federal aid. The church may also create informal networks among congregations and social agencies, and work with social services to stay in touch with children who have had to go into foster care.

Children, the silent victims of the COVID-19 pandemic

La niñez, víctima silente de la pandemia del COVID-19

Informándose sobre recursos para familias pobres: ayudas federales, etc. Siendo parte de colaboraciones para crear recursos para familias inmigrantes ya que estos no tienen acceso a ayudas federales. La iglesia puede crear redes informales entre congregaciones y agencias sociales. También podemos trabajar con servicios sociales para mantener contacto con niños que han tenido que ir a cuido de crianza.

Practicing resurrection

Practicing resurrection

I, and the Christian community of Minneapolis, cannot resurrect George Floyd, but we can do everything we can to create a community where BIPOC neighbors have lungs full of breath and where they live long, happy, fulfilling lives.

The critical importance of listening evaluatively

The critical importance of listening evaluatively

Listening evaluatively is the mark of a thinking mind. After the wars of disinformation which we experienced in the past half decade, we must rethink how we listen and how we think. I crave evaluative listening skills for my grandchildren, for my neighbors and friends, for all who sit in the pews, for all who vote, and for all who watch, read, or listen to the news. But I cannot wish it for another until I engage in it myself. So, may I practice what I preach, and may all of us desire to grow in our skills as people who think critically and listen evaluatively.

Can we talk about part-time clergy compensation?

Can we talk about part-time clergy compensation?

If part-time ministry supported by secondary (and sometimes tertiary) employment is truly “the wave of the future,” we desperately need to face the elephant in the room. We need to have honest, straightforward, and faithful conversations about clergy compensation and how the church can lead in economic justice.

From cowardly to courageous, from frightened to fearless, from denying to defending Jesus—Embracing the power and purpose of Pentecost

From cowardly to courageous, from frightened to fearless, from denying to defending Jesus—Embracing the power and purpose of Pentecost

The best way to think about Pentecost is to consider that without that event the church would have no power. Pentecost is the day when churches all over the world pause to remember the moment in Jerusalem when the Holy Spirit swept into the upper room where the disciples of Jesus were still in hiding, 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus. Up to that point, those men barely ventured outdoors for fear that what had happened to Jesus might also happen to them. Up to that point, there was no preaching going on and no healings occurring in the name of Jesus. There was just a group of frightened people not knowing what to do next. Christ may well have been risen, but before the Day of Pentecost “the church had no power!”

Pentecost is here!

Pentecost is here!

So this day, we hope to remember the day of Pentecost, as the Spirit of God breathed life into the Church, and remember that we are not at the end of that holy fire, as if we are the dying embers at day’s end. Instead, we dare to think of ourselves as the continuation of that story, with the desire to live our lives together as a spiritual community, responsive to the Spirit kindling within us, prompting us, pushing us, beckoning us to reach beyond our boundaries, beyond these four walls, and out into the world.

Devotion and honor, not violence

Devotion and honor, not violence

How shall we, as people of God, demonstrate love for one another in our neighborhoods and overseas? How shall we choose to be devoted to and honor one another while we remain God’s ambassadors of mercy, hope, and love while we serve? I humbly offer that Isaiah 61 invites us all to be a greater witness of God’s love as a resurrected people breathing for truth, mercy, and love. May our individual and collective breath last for more than 9 minutes.

Four things to admire about the singer Tony Bennett

Four things to admire about the singer Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett is a wonder. I’m astonished at the way he kept performing into his 90s. Recently his family made public the fact he has Alzheimer’s. Despite his diagnosis, he’s collaborated with Lady Gaga on a second album expected out soon. In a wonderful story in the AARP magazine, I was reminded of four things I admire about Tony Bennett, in addition to his music.

Veterinarians and mental health awareness—helping the helpers

Veterinarians and mental health awareness—helping the helpers

Perhaps, beginning this month, we can reexamine just how it is that we might play a role that could contribute to the rising incidence of suicide among veterinary professionals, and give them our best attention and efforts when we take our pets into see them. Our veterinarians are usually giving us their best, and reciprocation is a good start to helping them, ourselves, and our animal relatives live in an abundant way.

Mental illness and the Black church

Mental illness and the Black church

The Black church struggles with the stigma of mental illness. Due to past and present experiences with institutionalized racism in America, Black church leadership and their members have been apprehensive to collaborate with mental health agencies. However, the Black church is positioned to be a pivotal partner in supporting mental wellness in the African American community.

Remembering a special mom on Mother’s Day

Remembering a special mom on Mother’s Day

My mother was the one person that I believed had not given up on me. She was the epitome of kindness and loyalty, and her gifts were heartfelt, genuine, and long-lasting. Mothers who actively demonstrate how to love others and pass that along to us–well, they are the moms for whom Mother’s Day was created, after all.

Loving your neighbor as yourself

Loving your neighbor as yourself

While we may be able to legislate reform, mandate equitable policies, and reframe policing, this will still leave much work to do. The model of change that helps me to continue to embrace hope in a sea of darkness is the model of love. The concept of loving one’s neighbor as oneself is where not only reform happens, but transformation occurs.

Burma crisis—A rough road to democracy and freedom

Burma crisis—A rough road to democracy and freedom

The Tatmadaw (Myanmar military), long scorned for its disregard for human rights, is pressing its full might against the restoration of democracy in Burma. The threat to the people of Myanmar has spurred Baptists from across the U.S. and parts of Myanmar toward a common message: we all desire peace for the people of Myanmar. We lift the people of Burma and the diaspora communities in prayer. We pray democracy and freedom shall prevail.

Living well in continual overwhelm

Living well in continual overwhelm

Living well in continual overwhelm is possible through intentional, creative adaptiveness. We have agonized, lost, and mourned. And we have pondered, found, and moved on with new tools and techniques forged by ingenuity and necessity. Our response to complex, unrelenting challenge can be as much transformative adventure, as it can be daunting obligation. The choice is ours.

Embracing equality and justice: Opposing Christian nationalism

Embracing equality and justice: Opposing Christian nationalism

The belief in the dignity of every individual, be they Democrat or Republican, Palestinian or Israeli, is essential if we are going to be advocates of equality and agents of justice. This is my prayer: that our engagement in political action embraces the principles of equality and justice for all people—from the U.S. Capitol Building to the Middle East. Christian witness is at stake. Might all who follow Jesus commit to denouncing Christian Nationalism and offering a more compelling witness for the sake of our faith, our country, and the world.

The way of belief—seeing God at work in the midst of things, doing something that surpasses all expectations

The way of belief—seeing God at work in the midst of things, doing something that surpasses all expectations

Father Raymond Brown suggests that the deepest belief, the one that embraces with joy the glory of Christ’s resurrection, is the one that understands what is happening beyond the most visible signs. It is one thing to see the empty tomb. It is quite another to see God at work in the midst of things, doing something that surpasses all expectations.

‘Kumbayah’ is no joking matter

‘Kumbayah’ is no joking matter

Photo by Mike Erskine on Unsplash ‘Kumbayah’ is no joking matter Rev. Donald Ng April 21, 2021 I sang “Kumbayah” for the first time sitting around a campfire at Pond Homestead Baptist Camp in Wrentham, Massachusetts. It was memorable because the quietness of the night...
This Earth Day, remembering the fragile balance between us and our home

This Earth Day, remembering the fragile balance between us and our home

We face a choice of how we will live with each other and on this planet. We can bully all of the other birds out of the feeder with greed and malice, take the seeds of justice and hope for ourselves, pollute the resources that were meant for everyone, and go down together. Or we can remember who and whose we are. We can remember the fragile balance between us and our home. We can remember that we are stewards of our planet and stewards of each other’s well-being.

Healings of Jesus of Nazareth

Healings of Jesus of Nazareth

The Lord’s message arrived strong to the ancient cities of Nazareth, Capharnaum, and Jerusalem; it interrupted as an agent of kindness, mercy, and transformation, that was lived not just in physical health, but also in emotional, spiritual, familiar, social, economic, and political well-being.

Healings of Jesus of Nazareth

Las sanidades de Jesús de Nazaret

El mensaje del Señor llegaba con fuerza a las antiguas ciudades de la Nazaret, Capernaúm y Jerusalén; irrumpía como un agente de bondad, misericordia y transformación, que se vivía no solo en la salud física sino en el bienestar emocional, espiritual, familiar, social, económico y político.

The myth of the great pastor: Rightsizing pastoral expectations in the pandemic

The myth of the great pastor: Rightsizing pastoral expectations in the pandemic

Pastors are called to be visionary; they are asked to keep order and use tried and true formats and materials. They are called to innovate, and they are required to keep the cherished traditions of any individual church alive. They are called to take the long view; and they need to meet the day to day needs of congregants. Can one person do it all? Can that one person do it all well?

Mental health ministry—Beginning with worship

Mental health ministry—Beginning with worship

When liturgy and worship become the work of the people, space for the sacred stories of those living with mental health conditions begin to have space in the collective experience. Isolation can break down and connection can be formed as people begin to understand the deep humanity of their neighbor in the pew. Remember that worship is a collective act, and the collective is only truly inclusive when all can participate in a meaningful way in the act of worship.

Can you offer grace to yourself?

Can you offer grace to yourself?

Moving from self-judgment to self-compassion is a long, slow process. It’s a deeply spiritual process. It begins with simply noticing the judgmental thoughts. Frequently they are so automatic you don’t even know you are having them. A lifetime of self-judgment doesn’t disappear in an instant. In times of high anxiety (like now) it’s easy to go backward.

Recognizing, and practicing, the things that make for peace

Recognizing, and practicing, the things that make for peace

The way of peace is controversial. To favor peace in practice goes against the culture, and the consequences are negative. It was for Jesus. He mentioned the good news of the gospel in his hometown community of faith, and they were filled with rage and ran him out of town (Luke 4:28-29). Likewise, those who stand against war might find themselves run out by their communities of faith.

Discovering hope in a pandemic world

Discovering hope in a pandemic world

Finding and accessing hope in a pandemic world comes from faith in God that God is not done with our crisis. Who are we to pronounce judgment that God is finished with us, our problems, or our world?

This Holy Week, let us “go in peace”

This Holy Week, let us “go in peace”

Sam Baker’s brief, beautiful song has kept me going through these strange, otherworldly times of death from a virus on a scale not seen in over a century, of lives and livelihoods disrupted, of businesses, school buildings, churches and other houses of worship closed.

The hope that Holy Week brings

The hope that Holy Week brings

This particular Holy Week is crying out for God’s people to recognize the vitality that has always been there. Is it possible that we have never needed Holy Week more? People everywhere are yearning for a resurrection.

Please go around

Please go around

We are all tired of Covid-19, but evidently it isn’t tired of us. Therefore, we set the policies that feel right to us and respect when others do the same. As much as we care about making people happy, and want to make things easier for them, right now is a time we ask that they cross the river, stay on the train, and do whatever it takes to honor our boundaries. We do so in part because the lives we have, as created beings, aren’t a privilege but a gift we’ve been invited to tend with loving care.

Standing in solidarity with the Asian American community

Standing in solidarity with the Asian American community

When you see hate, combat it with love to bring justice. If you hear cries of violence, rise in solidarity to support movement into liberation. Do not be so concerned with your personal problems of the day that you forget to also extend care to your neighbor. Get to know your neighbors to strengthen community connection, harmony, and safety. Join with others to dismantle stereotypes, myths or misconceptions that prevent us from seeing each other’s humanity.

Preach like a girl

Preach like a girl

Given the broken nature of our world today, I say we need all the help we can get—Supreme Court Justices, astronauts, preachers, and all.

The inward journey

The inward journey

Lent is a season that calls Christians to reflect and look deeper within. We are summoned in this season to look into the mirrors of our souls. There is danger and deliverance in looking inward.

Hitting the pandemic wall, and how to move forward

Hitting the pandemic wall, and how to move forward

In times like these, we can feel adrift. We can feel that we are being pushed and pulled in all directions. We can feel like the wind will knock us down and off our feet if it hasn’t already. We can lose our sense of grounding—of what we believe, what we stand for, what matters most to us.

Are you tired of talking about the pandemic?

Are you tired of talking about the pandemic?

I’m tired of talking about the pandemic. I know there’s still so much to consider, decisions to make, adaptations to develop, attention to pay to matters like getting the vaccine. However, I feel like I’m having the same conversations over and over. Here are a few questions to generate some different conversations now. Some of these will still be about the pandemic, but it is possible to shift into talking about something richer and deeper in relation to it.

One year and counting—Christian Citizen reflections on the coronavirus pandemic

One year and counting—Christian Citizen reflections on the coronavirus pandemic

On March 4, 2020 we published the first of many articles in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Today, we mark the occasion with this series of excerpts from articles published over the past year. They are a reminder of trials and tribulations experienced and challenges that remain. As with all that we publish, we hope these excerpts will inspire, encourage, and challenge our readers to bring a greater measure of justice, mercy, and faith into our communities and world.

Deb and Deborah: extraordinary women for the past and present

Deb and Deborah: extraordinary women for the past and present

Women’s History Month for 2021 happily appears to be part of what is becoming the year of the woman here in the United States. Women have, of course, historically served in leadership roles. It is our appreciation of that fact that often seems absent. Deb Haaland has demonstrated effectiveness as a tribal leader, and America is finally gaining some ground with respect to recognizing Native American women.

Across denominations, where is God when it comes to mental illness?

Across denominations, where is God when it comes to mental illness?

From the United Church of Christ to the Church of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America to the Church of the Brethren, pastors across denominations are encountering people in acute mental health crisis. Despite the sustained stigma surrounding mental health in Christian circles, many people still turn to their local pastor before seeking out care from a mental health provider or physician. This undergirds the importance of clergy and church communities becoming better equipped to be welcoming and affirming spaces for those with mental health conditions.

Sackcloth and ash in a world burning to the ground

Sackcloth and ash in a world burning to the ground

For Christians in America, this particular Ash Wednesday might advance one of the most introspective Lenten seasons in memory. The turmoil of recent months—the pandemic, presidential impeachment, the violent expression of white supremacy—calls for a reconciliation with God that is apt to bring many into a season of meditation to which they haven’t been accustomed.

A season to live: Ash Wednesday one year into the coronavirus pandemic

A season to live: Ash Wednesday one year into the coronavirus pandemic

For Ash Wednesday 2021, when even gathering for in-person worship is a matter of caution and clergy have been debating if, let alone how, one might safely impose ashes, could we make space in such rituals to feel the heaviness of a year now past in our Lenten disciplines and reflection? If we keep our personal piety disconnected from our global and national problems, are we truly learning the ways of mourning and penitence?

Hang in there, don’t walk away

Hang in there, don’t walk away

We are called to build a more just, fair, equitable, inclusive, and hopeful society. In these troubled times, we cannot—must not—seek to go back to “normal.” Our fundamental task is to re-imagine and recreate our lives, communities, and this nation.

Better than “they” think we are

Better than “they” think we are

I am cautiously hopeful that representative, principled, leadership will rise up in this nation – that we will indeed build back better for everyone through a more equitable and unifying agenda more than we ever have before. Those of us who are Jesus followers have a role to play in leading in a more excellent way of love, and nurturing others to do the same.

Lent 2021 is the perfect time to relearn confession, penance, and ‘costly grace’

Lent 2021 is the perfect time to relearn confession, penance, and ‘costly grace’

Lent comes around every year in the Christian calendar as a time of reflection, self-denial, and confession. It has traditionally been a time of some kind of fasting or abstaining from certain things. If there’s ever a year to rediscover Isaiah’s words about ‘the fast God has chosen,’ it’s this year: “…to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” (Isa. 58:6 NIV). In particular, maybe this Lenten season is the time to get serious about loosening our chains of racism.

The bridge of love to healing: “Bridgerton” and our current national moment

The bridge of love to healing: “Bridgerton” and our current national moment

Like the Duke and Duchess of Hastings in the Netflix series “Bridgerton,” we have forgotten how to love. We have forgotten the joy of being together and hearing one another’s thoughts and perspectives. However, we cannot blame the pandemic on our separation. We have allowed social media to be the divider, allowing it to separate us into polarized camps. But if we could remember, we could heal. It is a choice, but it is one we need to make.

Seven trends to watch in 2021

Seven trends to watch in 2021

Now that we’re well into 2021, we’ve discovered that all the problems of 2020 didn’t just magically go away, alas. We can expect 2021 to maintain continuity with 2020, and in fact, carry forward the trends that have led us to where we are today.

The letter that liberates

The letter that liberates

In his Letter, King saw with clarity from a jail cell what many in Birmingham could not or would not perceive in the social order’s status quo predicated on segregation and inequality. I prayerfully hope that we will experience indictment anew from King’s Letter as a people gathering to celebrate King’s witness just weeks after early January’s national turmoil. The myopic habits to exclude and occlude others in society are still strong in the American psyche and certainly proved pernicious in the last few years—and devastatingly so in recent weeks.

Beyond American Christianity: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the love ethic of Jesus

Beyond American Christianity: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the love ethic of Jesus

King aptly grasped that the love Jesus displayed and taught was not reflected in American Christianity. American Christianity sought a gospel that suited itself, not a gospel that drew individuals closer to their Creator. King had moved beyond American Christianity, comprehending a belief that united humanity. As we reflect on Dr. King’s legacy, may we hear the messenger that spoke beyond American Christianity and challenged us. May the message of loving one’s neighbor challenge us to live lives that reflect the message Jesus proclaimed. May we find ourselves being the good Samaritan on the Jericho road, in Jesus’ parable, regardless of the stranger’s ethnicity, gender or age. May we reflect on the love ethic taught by Jesus and preached by King. May this message empower us to resist hate and recognize that we are all connected in the tapestry of life.

Lead like Martin? Yes and no

Lead like Martin? Yes and no

We can learn much from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s leadership when considering it in total: being guided by a foundation of beliefs; leveraging educational and formational experiences that help us connect with others; and employing courage to stay the course. However, we must additionally extend ourselves beyond King’s leadership by exercising a humility that seeks the ideas of those without power and amplifies the voices of those who have been marginalized.

The measure of a person

The measure of a person

What is the measure of a human being in today’s daunting world? We must return to the core of our being, the depths of our kindness, in order to answer that key question for ourselves, and Dr. King continues to show us the way through his writings and his spirit.

New Year, new you

New Year, new you

As the calendar turns and an extraordinary 2020 concludes, advertisers for gyms and weight loss programs bombard us with some version of, “A New Year, a new you!” The fitness industry’s perennial pursuit of profit based on our short-lived desires for self-improvement is worryingly ingrained into the lifecycle of the American psyche. However, the annual call to honest self-examination is an important challenge that resonates. Nobody needs honest reflection and a “New Year, new you” campaign more than the American church after its response to 2020.

A Holy Saturday faith this Advent and Christmas

A Holy Saturday faith this Advent and Christmas

Just as an Easter faith celebrates the resurrection each Sunday, a Holy Saturday faith—suspended between the bad news of the crucifixion and the good news of the resurrection—might have significance beyond Holy Week in a world similarly suspended between death and life.

“Prepare”

“Prepare”

Unbeknownst to my family when my husband and son were sick last Christmas, God was preparing us a year ago for a season of birthing that would be—and still is—profoundly difficult. When I read the song of Mary now, in the midst of this pandemic, my longing is not for the return of Christmas past. I believe we are laboring together for a world where the hungry are filled, unjust rulers removed from their thrones, and the humble raised to places of honor. I remember anew that the light we pass is symbolic of the call to radically redistribute God’s resources in the world. We aren’t yet holding that newborn life in our arms, but the midwife has asked us to breathe deeply and feel for when it’s time to push. We are preparing the way.

Living into the hope of Christmas this year

Living into the hope of Christmas this year

Being pregnant at Christmas, especially this year, feels in a strange way to be a sacred act. We made the conscious decision to try and expand our family in the midst of great uncertainty. For me especially, this pregnancy is a very real sign of hope after two years of infertility, miscarriage, my mother’s death, and then 2020 in general. Advent is the season of hope, regardless of how we will be able to celebrate it. Our family will retell the Christmas story and the expectation that God remains with us even in the midst of despair and turmoil.

A lesson from the Grinch this Christmas

A lesson from the Grinch this Christmas

Dr. Seuss’s classic tale, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” reveals that there are people who struggle with the “good cheer” at Christmas. There are people who do not find the season of expectation enchanting, nor do they look forward to it.

This season of Advent and Christmastide, plagued by a pandemic and the fallout of a divisive election, has the potential to be emotionally heavier than ever before.

How to connect this Christmas—pick up a pen

How to connect this Christmas—pick up a pen

It’s going to be a tough Christmas season with the need to be especially careful as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. How can you connect with the people in our congregations who need care and connection? In-person visits are still prohibited in senior living facilities in many places. No matter official policy, you don’t want to put any vulnerable person in your congregation at risk.

Observing Advent and Christmas this year—pivoting from church to home during a pandemic

Observing Advent and Christmas this year—pivoting from church to home during a pandemic

This pandemic has weighed heavily on our traditional plans of Advent and Christmas and required us to think creatively, but that does not mean our hope is lost. The Christian Church first started as a movement of house churches and micro-communities struggling to figure out how they can practice their faith in extremely challenging times. This year for Advent and Christmas, your church, family, or community can pivot to have a vibrant and imaginative holiday season.

A 2020 Christmas

A 2020 Christmas

It is not a new idea to consider Advent, Christmas and the new year as an annual “reset,” a chance to begin again to repair the broken pieces of our lives. But it may be time to rethink how we are to make our way forward in such a time as this – clear-eyed and determined, wielding glazing kits, sewing kits, whatever tools we can muster. We are people of hope, after all. And no matter the rancor and outrage and sorrow and fear of this year, a light is coming.

Advent, a season between

Advent, a season between

Advent is a season between. Advent is about celebrating the coming of the Messiah in Jesus and the second coming of Christ. It is about living in such a way that we are honest about our grief while also living with hope. It is asking God to show up and expressing our gratitude for all the ways God is already present. Advent is a lot like dawn…it is neither night nor day. But like a watchman, we turn our back on the darkness and turn our face toward the eastern horizon in hope for coming light.

This Advent, old traditions can be made new

This Advent, old traditions can be made new

Advent is the season of anticipation and hope, and we are all yearning to make connections and meaning in a season that promises to be unlike any other. The pandemic doesn’t mean that churches have to give up on traditions. They simply have to be creative in how they implement them this year. If done right, we might find that the new ways that we live out our traditions help us to make meaning in unexpected, delightful ways. Such surprises are always a part of this time of year, and the Great Surpriser is sure to show up this unusual Advent season.

We need a little Advent now!

We need a little Advent now!

The people of Israel had to wait more than 700 years before the Messiah promised in Isaiah would finally appear in a manger in Bethlehem as recounted in Luke. They could not rush the event. Employing a trait almost completely absent from the sensibilities of our on-demand culture in the 21st century, they had to wait in the hope that the bright, new day God had promised would surely come to pass.

Advent 2020 puts Christians in precisely the same position; we have to wait for the new day, for the emergence of what Josiah Royce, Martin Luther King, Jr., and John Lewis all referred to as “the beloved community.”

Thanksgiving or “thanks-taking?”

Thanksgiving or “thanks-taking?”

Happy Thanksgiving! If you are an American Indian, are of Native American descent, belong to a tribal community or not, the Thanksgiving holiday might not—speaking of the Mayflower—float your boat. But knowing that at least some people are cognizant of the missing links to so many Native American interactions with encroaching Europeans, and that they are willing to acknowledge them, gives those like me a sense of hope, and, remarkably, thanksgiving.

Advent hope for the mess we live in

Advent hope for the mess we live in

In the prophet’s prayer in Isaiah 64, read on the first Sunday of Advent, the mess is named. The bliss is sought. For a post-Exilic community and a pandemic-hammered Church, the full range of emotions is found in speaking to God. We hear the prophet’s call for thanksgiving. We are chastened to remember God’s past acts and the fierce love of God.

Praise and indictment—Matthew 25 on Christ the King Sunday, 2020

Praise and indictment—Matthew 25 on Christ the King Sunday, 2020

Appropriately, Matthew 25:31-46 is the Gospel lectionary reading for Christ the King Sunday (observed this year on November 22, 2020). On a day when we are just at the cusp of observing Advent, we hear a text that reminds us who we follow: the Christ who will know both sheep and goats, praising and indicting with a finality that leaves the reader with very “real world” choices about how they connect faith and personal responsibility together.

At our post, working at our calling—Thoughts from C.S. Lewis’ “The World’s Last Night”

At our post, working at our calling—Thoughts from C.S. Lewis’ “The World’s Last Night”

C.S. Lewis’ words from when the world first confronted the possibility of total annihilation, speak to us still. How do we face the possibility of the world’s end? That final last night?

We must see the good works we individually are called to do and do them. We must remain at our post, working at our calling, whether our activities are ended by catastrophe or by the true ending of the world.

Every day is Election Day

Every day is Election Day

We have a deadlocked country poised to blow, with leadership throwing gas on the fire. When the election is settled, the loss, shock, cynicism, disillusionment, and abandonment so many are experiencing will remain.

Veterans Day is every American’s day

Veterans Day is every American’s day

Veterans Day is every American’s day. It is justifiably set aside to recognize those who have honorably served in the nation’s armed forces, yet the people also have a role in national defense by virtue of citizenship.

Serenity in overwhelming times

Serenity in overwhelming times

The Serenity Prayer is not in the Bible, but arose from the lips of a renowned theologian preaching at a summer service in a small New England rural church. It is our prayer, not just for a momentary bit of spiritual relief, but for a soul-deep serenity in turbulent times, for a God-inspired courage, and for growth in our own wisdom to discern the difference between acceptance and action. In the worst of times, these crazy times, it become our earnest plea:

God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.