Take Virgin Mary Off The Pedestal

There is nothing worse than being put up on a pedestal. And there has perhaps been no one whose usefulness to humanity has been more misused than the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Our Lord.

When we hear this Gospel of St. Luke passage read (1:26-38) on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, the strains of countless […]

Turn the Page: Reflections on Lessons for Pentecost 24 A

The very first time I assisted with leading worship at my home congregation the very first thing I was assigned to do was to go to the altar and read aloud the introit from the big book lying there. I approached. I looked down at the open book, expecting to see the proper introit. But […]

Reflections on Lessons Pentecost 23 A

We had a spirited discussion today in our weekly Bible study of area pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). It was fed by a feeling of dread about recent signs of sickness in our society. One of our number put it something like this. “Why is it that we are Christians, and […]

Passion Sunday Petitions

Lifting our voices and turning toward God, let us pray for the church, the earth, and all who are in need.

A time of silence.

Lord of compassion, as we the people of your family, the church, conclude our Lenten journey with the walk through Jerusalem to the cross, help us to understand that Jesus’ pain and […]

Refugees, Trump and the Light of the World

Several months ago a team of people went into my heart and fixed it. They, in fact, probed with wires right up through both an artery and a vein in both of my upper thighs, right up into my heart, and burned a number of clusters of cells that were giving off electric signals that […]

The Animals Teach Us Advent Expectation

‘Tis the season for expectation. Pregnant waiting. Yearning flavored with confidence. Confidence born of experience.

Advent has always been a favorite time for me. Of course, as a child, it all led up to that moment when we drove home from Christmas Eve pageant, past the colored lights on the homes and along the runways of […]

Make Room for Tears

Make Room for Tears:
Reflections on Readings for Pentecost 19 C
Amos 6:1a, 4-7, 1 Timothy 6: :6-19 and Luke 16:19-31

 

 

Here’s to the millions embarrassed by tears.

They turn away. They stare at their feet. They avoid company and even cancel their doctors’ appointments and stand up and walk out on church services.

There is a name for them: […]

Mixing It Up with God

Exodus 32: 7-14

Reading for the 17th Sunday After Pentecost, Year C

 

Fundamentalists insist on a God of their predicting.
Fanatics, it is said, do what God would do if God had all the facts.
Atheists contend so much with the small god of small minded people that, eventually, they are incapable of considering any other.
These and many others think […]

We Need a Good Winnowing

Reflections on Texts for the Third Sunday in Advent, Year C

In this Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 3:7-18), John the Baptizer tells us that the Coming One will winnow people, giving us an ultimate baptism of wind and fire.

It is a terrible mistake to think that this text signals a burning of “them” and a saving of […]

Pentecost, Pain, and Patience

Many years ago I tried to reach out to someone I loved very much. I could see them hurting. They were feeling trapped by forces they could not understand. In their imagination this prison took the shape of a dreaded disease this loved one was convinced she had. She didn’t have it, but it was […]