“Those in whom the Spirit comes to live are God’s new Temple. They are, individually and corporately, places where heaven and earth meet.”
For what may or may not be the umpteenth time, E and I were belting out Hamilton on our way to her confirmation class this morning.
Most recently, it was White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer who claimed that Hitler “didn’t even use chemical weapons…on his own people.”
So, Donald Trump will be inaugurated on Friday as our next president.
My two children, my father, and I, we really lived it up for our New Year’s Eve last night, I tell you what.
“Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.”
So, tells Matthew in 2:7-8, said King Herod to the wise men after learning from them that the king of the Jews had been born.
In the late ’60s and ’70s, my father was a Professor of New Testament in the Religion Department at Concordia College.
A year or so back, thanks to my first cousin once removed (that’d be my cousin Peder’s daughter Solvei: I had to go to a website to make sure I had that relationship term right), I learned about the band Postmodern Jukebox.
What is, therefore, our task today? Shall I answer: “Faith, hope, and love”? That sounds beautiful. But I would say–courage. No, even that is not challenging enough to be the whole truth. Our task today is recklessness. For what we Christians lack is not psychology or literature…we lack a holy rage–the recklessness which comes from the knowledge of God and humanity. The ability to rage when justice lies prostrate on the streets, and when the lie rages across the face of the earth…a holy anger about the things that are wrong in the world. To rage against the ravaging of God’s earth, and the destruction of God’s world. To rage when little children must die of hunger, when the tables of the rich are sagging with food. To rage at the senseless killing of so many, and against the madness of militaries. To rage at the lie that calls the threat of death and the strategy of destruction peace. To rage against complacency. To restlessly seek that recklessness that will challenge and seek to change human history until it conforms to the norms of the Kingdom of God. And remember the signs of the Christian Church have been the Lion, the Lamb, the Dove, and the Fish…but never the chameleon.
Call committees, when sketching out a profile for their next pastor, are awfully drawn to words like these: kind, available, comforting, pastoral, articulate, flexible, intelligent, dynamic, wise, knowledgable, organized, trust-worthy, confident.
This morning, I found myself trolling some earlier blogs I wrote about Advent and Christmas, trying to remember what thoughts I have had about them in the past (I have lots of thoughts, but can hold on to only one or two at a time).
I know Christmas is around the corner (even my family is starting to bust out the Christmas decorations), but Advent does yet have dibs on our attention for a short spell.
“And Lincoln says to the woman, ‘Madam, do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?’”
If you know nothing else about Martin Luther, you know that he didn’t like indulgences.
The other day, two parallel events happened in my life.
A few months back, which was several years later than it should have been, I stumbled on poetry by Billy Collins.
On this occasion of the 70th Holocaust Remembrance Day, the following is a reworking of some thoughts I’ve offered in presentations over the last several months.
Persistently needy, glommy people, people who must satiate their need for affirmation by demanding to be in the limelight, are children of God.
Tuesday, post Holy Week.
Daughter Else asks magnificent questions.
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