Pentecost 15a: Distanced, Different, But Not Divided

The Second Reading for this Sunday is Romans 14:1-12

 

It contains words such as ideas:

Welcome, and do not judge others who have different convictions, and live differently than you.
Leave the judging to God, who is, after all, merciful and capable of helping the fallen get up and stand.
Ultimately, all differences are superseded by Oneness: the one […]

Pentecost 13a: Love beyond the Mask

The second reading for the 13th Sunday after Pentecost is Romans 12:9–21; and it starts off with this challenging and profoundly simple idea: “Let love be genuine.” And the word for “genuine” means “no play acting.”

 

Daniel Schorr, the consummate CBS and NPR journalist and commentator, said that, when he started work for CBS, he didn’t […]

Celebrating an Honorable and Vital Nation

As I transitioned from high school to college I had a burning desire to enter into politics. My patriotism burned hot.

 

On the wall of my bedroom were hung two replicas of paintings that I had paid a good portion of my meager income as a bag boy to have framed: John Trumbull’s famous depiction of […]

Farm Life and Our Desperate Need of Governing

One thing is for certain on a farm: No one can do it alone. If I had to do the farm chores every day by myself, the way I must do them when my wife is off on business, or to a family reunion, or in the hospital, I would soon collapse. There’s the sheep […]

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 […]

What Lives Matter? What Truths Matter?

What is it that feeds resentment in today’s political climate?

National Public Radio’s David Greene in a piece that ran on NPR’s Morning Edition on October 30, 2017, asked a woman named Jessica, who lives in southern Virginia, and is also a member of a group called “League of the South,” about her reasons for joining a […]

Seek Truth or Shut Up

What a miraculous time to be alive! Anyone with a smart phone can broadcast photos of cute puppies, videos or their friends prancing or pranking…or their opinions.

Opinion is too wimpy a word for it. Anyone and everyone can share their ecstasy or their rage. And everyone has access to a digital assault weapon to spray […]

Jesus, Save Us From Your Followers!

I take the title of this post from a bumper sticker I saw years ago. It should make a comeback.

The 2012 election has made many cultural shifts in America obvious. Not least of these is the diminishment of the influence of the politically organized so-called Christian evangelicals and the Roman Catholic hierarchy. A front-page article […]

Healing the Body Politic

 

Sometimes it takes a painful, physical experience to unlock an imprisoned mind.  It was early sunrise the day after our country’s birthday.  I had hardly slept a wink that night.  Now I was on my way to the hospital emergency room with my worried husband at the wheel.  Neck pain that seemed to escalate […]

Biblical Politics Favors Authority Over Authoritarianism

It is indeed an ugly thing when religious leaders, who claim to be guided by their allegiance to a Higher Authority in heaven, are indeed slaves to political ideologies that beat like waves, back and forth upon the face of the earth.

If people in the pews mean by their plea, “Keep politics out of the […]