Find Our Voices

Something fundamental about our nation changed last week. In a period of three days the United States changed from a nation and its government that are primarily concerned to protect all its citizens to a nation that prioritizes the opportunity of some of its citizens to walk around, openly in public, carrying lethal weapons. Exactly […]

Gratitude and Thanksgiving

     “Praise the Lord! How good it is to sing praises to our God…Sing to the Lord with Thanksgiving!” I have never counted the times the Bible admonishes us to be grateful, to thank and praise God, but it’s a lot. Thanksgiving and praise are a major motif in the Psalter, ancient Israel’s hymn book. And […]

A Sermon for Labor Day My favorite teacher – one of my favorite human beings – was the late Joseph Sittler, Lutheran pastor, first class scholar and, for years Professor of Theology at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. In the world of religious scholarship in the last decades of the 20th Century, Sittler […]

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Beauty of the Ordinary

Every experience feels new, right and good and calls out in me a gratitude for the grace and beauty of the ordinary. For more than a year we put life on hold. It was March 2020 when our adult children went into full protection mode, doing everything in their power to keep us safe. They […]

An Easter Sermon

April 4, 2021 When you are faced with the challenge of expressing a truth for which you simply do not have words big enough – the preacher’s dilemma every Sunday, particularly this one – it helps if you have a fallback position – a great poem or good music. I’ll spare you my singing, but here are some lines […]

Wilderness

I remember it well. One day in late February or early March, classmates showed up at Fairview Elementary School with what looked for all the world like a smudge of dirt on their foreheads. I was mystified – and fascinated. There was a large Roman Catholic population in our industrial, railroad town. I didn’t put […]

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 […]