Truly Precious

Near the end of David Brooks’ recent book, The Second Mountain, he describes, of all things, his faith journey. It’s remarkable. I have been reading Brooks’ New York Times column for years and always find them thoughtful and provocative, even when I disagreed with his argument. Likewise, I rarely miss PBS’s “Evening News” on Friday […]

Joyful, Joyful!

  I’m attaching an item I so enjoyed I simply have to share it. It is “Ode to Joy”, Beethoven’s magnificent chorus in the 9th Symphony, based on a Schiller poem, familiar to churchgoers as the great hymn, ”Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”. It moved me deeply, as music often does. But this presentation felt […]

We Will Find Refuge

Contagious disease has mystified and frightened humankind from the beginning. As I daily, almost hourly, hear myself counted as most vulnerable to Coronavirus, I find myself remembering how scripture lists “pestilence, deadly pestilence” as a threat to human life. Psalm 93 promises: “He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the […]

An Absence of Humility

153 Evangelical leaders convened recently in Nashville under the auspices of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood and issued a statement on sexuality. Signers include some of the most prominent and influential leaders in the Evangelical family: James Dobson, Richard Land, James Robinson, Tony Perkins. The statement targets gay, lesbian and transgender persons […]

If the Answer is “Yes.”

I have resisted the temptation to weigh in more than I already have on the Donald Trump phenomenon because we are saturated. Television news and the newspapers can’t keep their eyes off of him and I confess that I watch the 7:00 a.m. news because I don’t want to miss the latest outlandish thing he […]

A Blow to My Optimism

I am, and always have been, a hopeless optimist. I always expect that my team will win, that everything will turn out alright. My Christian faith tells me that there is always a light in the darkness and that the darkness will not overcome the light. But my optimism has been dealt a severe blow […]

This Land So Fair and Free

Nationalism seems like it ought to be synonymous with patriotism but nationalism is actually very different and much more than patriotism. Webster defines patriotism as “love for or devotion to one’s country.” Nationalism, according to the dictionary, is “exalting one nation above all others, promoting its culture and interests as opposed to other nations or […]

Simply Being Kind

One of the occupational hazards of the preaching vocation is that not everyone likes, or agrees with, what we say – particularly when we push on beyond the words of scripture to the behavioral and social ramifications. On occasion, rare to be sure, listeners tell us, in no uncertain terms that they did not like […]

The Unconscious Revolutionary

It was Confirmation day at our church last Sunday. Twenty-two 8th graders sat in the front pews, stood up and answered some questions about their faith and promised to be faithful members of the congregation and of the church wherever they go in the future, and knelt as the minister and Elders laid hands on […]

A Prayer for Brussels

It is all so distressingly familiar. On a perfectly beautiful, sunny morning beside the sparkling bay, enjoying the start and promise of a new day with gratitude to God for the gift of life, a daughter calls: “Turn on CNN. It has happened again.” It is so distressingly familiar: innocent men and women going about […]