I have a new Jøtul F 118 Black Bear Stove.
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.
The Cedar Coffee Company is reason enough to move to Two Harbors.
“Remembering is a noble and necessary act. The call of memory, the call to memory, reaches us from the very dawn of history. No commandment figures so frequently, so insistently, in the Bible. It is incumbent upon us to remember the good we have received, and the evil we have suffered.” Elie Wiesel, Nobel Lecture, Hope, Despair and Memory
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).
“…our thoughts and prayers are not enough. It’s not enough.”
If you know nothing else about Martin Luther, you know that he didn’t like indulgences.
Hermey: Hey, what do you say we both be independent together, huh?
The other day, two parallel events happened in my life.
Saturday, my father, my daughter, and two friends went to cut our Christmas tree. Every year, we march out to some spot out of town for the annual sawing down of the Tannenbaum.
This year’s Advent launches us into the “Year of Mark,” the period when the primary gospel readings come from, well, Mark, obviously.
Last night, we learned that there will be no indictment of Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.
It’s been a rough couple of weeks, to be sure, in the news here and abroad.
Wally Taylor teaches New Testament at (the truly outstanding) Trinity Lutheran Seminary, in the fair city of Columbus, Ohio.
So tomorrow, on Ash Wednesday, many–not all, but many–people in the Christian Church mark the beginning of Lent.
(This blog is an adaptation of a recent presentation I gave at the Sawmill Retreat Center in Huron, OH, for a clergy and rostered leaders’ event for two combined ELCA synods. The theme of our days together was that of discipleship).
Appropriately, I think, I tend to keep personal updates off of my OMG Facebook page.
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