I woke up to a rare bad dream the other night.
I woke up to a rare bad dream the other night.
“For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.” Romans 3:28
“Be still, then, and know that I am God,” Psalm 46:10.
Sunday, October 29 is Reformation Sunday, a High Feast Day of sorts in the Lutheran Tradition.
Yet it was you who took me from the womb; you kept me safe on my mother’s breast.
On you I was cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me you have been my God.
Standing in my jammies in the living room, cupping my coffee in front of the new fire, warming my chilly bones early on a sub-zero Minnesota New Year’s Day morning, I mulled, yet again, why I haven’t written or posted much on social media for such a long time.
Although we Lutherans like to think he did, Luther never used the phrase “priesthood of all believers.”
Do you ever find yourself with a tune in your mind?
You’re not even conscious that you’ve got a song going on your soul, and then suddenly you hear your lips hum, your mouth sing, or even your fingers tapping out the rhythm of the beat.
I’m willing to admit that it happens to me, but I am not willing to admit how often.
On occasion, when I discover that I’ve got some notes and lyrics in my mind…and others external to me are noticing…it’s because a certain apparently random tune was in fact triggered by a word or a phrase or an event: when I’m standing before an open fridge, an exasperated, “I’m all out of milk,” becomes “I’m All Out of Love,” or while making stew I discover myself singing our family favorite lullaby “Little Potato,” or (back in the days when my beloved baseball was actually played), when I’m looking for the weather radio to take into my garden so I can hear the Minnesota Twins play (sigh), I discover that I’m humming “Brown Eyed Girl,” which, by all informed accounts, is the best song ever, and while it may have overtly nothing to do with a baseball (though I’m sure that the ‘stadium’ which is mentioned is obviously one built for baseball and no other) has everything to do with baseball, not to mention young love, the best of which has to do with baseball.
But the other day, I woke up with Tracy Chapman in my head.
Straight away, at 5:37, eyes opened and there she was.
But because it was 5:37, it took me about 15 minutes into the day and a couple of sips of my coffee to realize that she was singing me into the day, and quite possibly into a new world.
I didn’t get a Good Friday blog done yesterday.
A paradox: something that is the opposite of what you’d expect to be true, even though it’s quite true, and maybe all the more true because of the contradiction held in the tension of competing truths.
I fell in love with the Minnesota Twins, and therefore fell in love with baseball, at the exact same time that I first fell in love at all.
“Mindful of the risks, we pledge ourselves to involvement in the social systems and structures, so that these become more responsive to God’s will for the world.
We will be our Lord’s advocates for the powerless, the poor, the lonely, the exploited, the deprived, the rejected.
We will resist any governmental, social, economic, or ideological force which would blunt justice or demean persons.
We will work with those who will be helpful us to respect all, care for all, and aim at freedom for all.
Thus committed, we look to Almighty God for direction.
In Jesus Christ and through the prophets, God gives us the vision of a world made new for a life of social justice and mercy, of reconciliation and peace, of promise and fulfillment.
We rely on the Spirt to give us power to do that which a faith active in love demands us.
Our hope is in God.” Mandate for Peacemaking, 1982, American Lutheran Church
Last weekend (although not by any means for the first time) I mentioned Trump and the Republican Party and GOP policies by name in some presentations I gave at a synod assembly.
When someone is honestly 55% right, that’s very good and there’s no use wrangling. And if someone is 60% right, it’s wonderful, it’s great luck, and let him thank God. But what’s to be said about 75% right? Wise people say this is suspicious. Well, and what about 100% right? Whoever say he’s 100% right is a fanatic, a thug, and the worst kind of rascal.
Every year I say it, and so I will say it again this year:
So in a few weeks, I’m hitting my Year of Jubilee, as they say: the big 5-0.
Oh little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
So today is Christmas Day.
I got myself into a bit of a pickle the other day, and the reason for it (as is the case with most of my pickles [I tend to generate a lot]) started innocuously.
I joke that R.E.M. is only a band to me.
A Reflection on James 2:1-17, 2nd Reading in the Revised Common Lectionary for the 16th Sunday after Pentecost, Sept. 9, 2018.
The last few weeks have been on the whirlwindy side: A long van trip up to and back down from Alberta, Canada for several presentations there, and all of two days here at home before we schlepped on another long van trip down to and back up from Houston, Texas, where I presented to a gathering there too.
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