A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Scriptures and Prayer for the Fifth Sunday of Easter

First Reading: Acts 11:1-18

Psalter: Psalm 148

Epistle: Revelation 21:1-6

Gospel: John 13:31-35
Alpha and Omega, First and Last, glory outshining all the lights of heaven: pour out upon us your Spirit of faithful love and abundant compassion, so that we may rejoice in the splendor of your works while we wait in expectation for the new heaven and the new earth you promise when Christ shall come again. Amen.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Saturday at the Cinema: How Household Income Affects Childhood Brain Development

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Quote of the Day: For Those Who Prioritize Security Over All Else

"If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom."-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Fifty Years Ago, the Apollo 10 Made Apollo 11 Possible

See the source imagefrom Jim Bell, The New York Times:
Soon we will recognize the 50th anniversary of the first humans to walk on the moon.

We remember and celebrate the heroism of the Apollo 11 crew: the humility of Neil Armstrong making those first bootprints; the cool bravado of Buzz Aldrin during the critical moments of the Eagle lander's final descent; and, the lonely vigil of Michael Collins in orbit above his mates, waiting to bring them back home.

But we also need to celebrate the many pathfinders who made this historic mission possible. Among the most critical were the crew of Apollo 10, who were asked to perform a full dress-rehearsal of the Apollo 11 mission just two months beforehand. Commander Thomas P. Stafford; John W. Young, the command module pilot; and Eugene A. Cernan, lunar module pilot, did almost everything that Aldrin, Armstrong and Collins did, but they stopped just before landing on the moon.

Imagine if Ferdinand and Isabella had sent a ship to the New World in 1491 and asked its captain and crew to find new lands to the west without getting out of the ship to set foot on them, because the next captain and crew were scheduled to do that in 1492.

Or picture President Thomas Jefferson sending a party to scout passage to the Pacific Ocean in 1803, then saying, don't touch a thing, especially not the ocean-- because Lewis and Clark are scheduled to do that the following year.

It seems unfathomable, to go all that way, to take all of those risks and then pull back, not grabbing the brass ring and reaping the rewards. In a sense, though, those were the instructions, and that was the burden, borne by the relatively unheralded crew of Apollo 10 fifty years ago this month.
The rest of the article, "Why Apollo 10 Stopped Just 47,000 Feet From the Moon," here.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Quote of the Day: UnChristianizing Christianity

"If you take the 'love your enemy' out of Christianity, you've 'unChristianed' the Christian faith."--  Miroslav Volf

Where Christian Persecution is a Reality

from John Fea, The Washington Post:
Vice President Pence on Saturday warned the graduating class of Liberty University to be prepared to suffer for their faith. "The truth is," he told an audience of over 40,000 attending the commencement ceremony, "we live in a time when the freedom of religion is under assault."

Pence said that Liberty graduates should expect to be "ridiculed" for their biblical beliefs, much in the same way that his wife, Karen Pence, was criticized for taking a job teaching art at a Christian school that opposed same-sex marriage.

Pence needs some perspective.

Naming as Marginalization: The Case of Doubting Thomas and "Those People"

Every year on the Sunday after Easter, the Gospel reading in the Revised Common Lectionary contains the story of the man we call "Doubting Thomas," in John 20:19-31. In my thirty-five years of preaching I can say definitively that there are only so many angles one can find on this or any other story in the Bible for that matter. Of course, there are other portions of that particular lesson in John that one can find to preach on-- the Holy Spirit and the purpose of John's Gospel and how that relates to the church's mission today. Yet, for preachers who don't mind repeating themselves (which is a good teaching device) but who still want to find a new angle on a familiar story, discovering a new angle on the story of Thomas and the resurrected Jesus can be quite the challenge.