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)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Holy Week: Wednesday

My savior, do you invite me to share in the glory of the resurrection? Please stay with me as I struggle to see how accepting the crosses of my life will free me from the power of the one who wants only to destroy my love and trust in you. Help me to be humble and accepting like your son, Jesus. I want to turn to you with the same trust he had in your love. Save me, Lord. Only you can save me. Amen.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Holy Week: Tuesday

God of such unwavering love, how do I "celebrate" the passion and death of Jesus? I often want to look the other way and not watch, not stay with Jesus in his suffering. Give me the strength to see his love with honesty and compassion and to feel deeply your own forgiveness and mercy for me. Help me to understand how to "celebrate" this week. I want be able to bring my weaknesses and imperfections with me as I journey with Jesus this week, so aware of his love. Amen.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Holy Week Journey

This week is my favorite week of the year. Holy Week has become hugely important in my life, in my faith walk, and in my worship of God. I cannot imagine a spending that week on the beach as some Christians do as they take vacation. I love the beach! I love Holy Week and all that it means even more!

I grew up in a church tradition where Holy Week was not observed. No church I ever attended in my childhood had Maundy Thursday or Good Friday services. I attended my first Holy Week worship in college. Of course, the churches I attended in my youth celebrated Easter Sunday. Easter was big for us as in most churches. That was obvious because the church musicians pulled out all the stops that day, we saw people in worship we hadn't seen since Christmas Eve, and more than a few were dressed in the newest and latest fashions. Yes, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus in worship, but we had not journeyed with him in worship to the empty tomb... from his entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, through celebrating his Last Supper, and finally walking with him to the cross.

Holy Week: Monday

God of love, My prayer is simple: Your son, Jesus, suffered and died for me. I know only that I cannot have real strength unless I rely on you. I cannot feel protected from my many weaknesses until I turn to you for forgiveness and your unalterable love. Help me to share this strength, protection and love with others. Amen.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Caption Contest... And the Winner Is...

Michael Kruse: "Texas potholes"

Groundbreaking Christian Scientists

Relevant Magazine lists nine. I would have liked for them to add two more: Copernicus and John Polkinghorne.
1. Francis Collins: One of the preeminent geneticists in the world, Francis Collins helped complete a groundbreaking research into human DNA and gene sequences as a leader of the Human Genome Project.

2. Johannes Kepler: For Johannes Kepler, belief in a brilliant creator—who ultimately wanted his creation to be further discovered—was a motivating factor in his work developing ideas about the laws of planetary motion.

3. Galileo: The life and work of Galileo Galilei were marked by an ironic conflict: Despite being a devout Christian believer, he was persecuted by the Church for his revolutionary work as a scientist.

Scriptures and Prayer for Palm Sunday

Old Testament: Isaiah 50:4-9a

Epistle: Philippians 2:5-11

Gospel: Matthew 21:1-11
God of our salvation, we give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord, who came in your name and turned the lonely way of rejection and death into triumph. Grant us the steadfast faith to enter the gates of righteousness, that we may receive grace to become worthy citizens of your holy realm. Amen.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Today Is Lazarus Saturday

from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America:
On the Saturday before Holy Week, the Orthodox Church commemorates a major feast of the year, the miracle of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ when he raised Lazarus from the dead after he had lain in the grave four days. Here, at the end of Great Lent and the forty days of fasting and penitence, the Church combines this celebration with that of Palm Sunday. In triumph and joy the Church bears witness to the power of Christ over death and exalts Him as King before entering the most solemn week of the year, one that leads the faithful in remembrance of His suffering and death and concludes with the great and glorious Feast of Pascha.
More on the Saturday of Lazarus can be read here.

Are Millennials Really Leaving the Church? Good News Overall, Bad News for Mainliners

Scot McKnight posts on the recent book by Christian Smith and Patricia Snell,  Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults. I won't comment on the book itself since I have not read it, but I list some of their significant points along with a conclusion: