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Our Moveable Feast

With Ash Wednesday behind us and Jerusalem before us we are pilgrims once more. The traditions of the Church have nudged us out of places of comfort and put us on yet another journey to Jerusalem in hopes of learning and experiencing more of what it means to follow Jesus. The irony of Lent is […] Read More

The challenge of Ash Wednesday, indeed the challenge for the Lenten Season, is to find a different rhythm for life. The greater challenge is to find a way to let that seasonal rhythm set a new tone for living beyond a period of commitment to reflectiveness. In some popular versions of Lenten practice the season […] Read More

Many years ago, Baptists reacted against the liturgical emphasis of some church traditions and in the process we threw the baby out with the bath water. We lost the natural cadence of the “Christian calendar.” In place of the church’s holy seasons of Advent and Lent, we inserted revivals (or “protracted meetings”) each spring and […] Read More

Finding Another Road

The month of Advent anticipations and the 12 days of Christmas celebrations have come and gone. The Advent wreath is in storage and the Christmas tree has been recycled. Now comes the important and hard work of making our observations meaningful. If what we have been doing for the last eight weeks–awaiting the Christ and […] Read More

White Christmas

For the last month Bing Crosby, the quintessential crooner, has been treating us to “White Christmas” almost everywhere we turned. We heard him in grocery stores, shopping centers, elevators, and even when we were put on “hold” after calling places too busy to talk to us. Let’s give “der Bingle,” as the Germans call him, […] Read More

The Subtlety of Love

Americans are notorious for their holiday extravagance. Some theorists even suggest that holiday spending is a solid way to gauge the health or sluggishness of our nation’s economy. In related veins some see willingness to spend, spend, spend during the holidays as a sign of patriotism at most or civic loyalty at least. “Buy American […] Read More

The Sheepishness of Joy

Take a long, thoughtful look at the Advent Wreath as you approach it on the third Sunday of the season. The Candle of Joy appears to be blushing. The deep purples of the Candles of Hope, Peace and Love give an added starkness to the pink of the Candle of Joy. Approach the Candle of […] Read More

To speak in favor of peace always is to find a dissenting voice. There are in our generation peace protests and war rallies. World-wide more encourage war than protest for peace. Things have not changed much. Even casual observers of history–all of human history–will note that peace protestors always stand in a minority against those […] Read More

The Audacity of Hope

‘Tis the season for audacity. As Christians around the world enter the season of Advent we embrace hope. In a world hell-bent on immediate gratification with its attendant impatience Christians will light a simple candle, the Candle of Hope, on the first Sunday of Advent. As the world around us clamors for the now–-which always […] Read More

An Ephesian Breeze

Scripture is full of idol stories. The Book of Acts has two idol stories, one in Athens (Acts 16) and one in Ephesus (Acts 19). Paul was coy in Athens, a disposition he rarely displayed. Ephesus was a tougher audience, and the idol Artemis had a beloved place in the local economy. Many of us […] Read More