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)

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The COMMUNION of Saints: OUR Faith

See the source imageSaints cannot exist without a community, as they require, like all of us, nurturance by a people who, while often unfaithful, preserve the habits necessary to learn the story of God.-- Stanley Hauerwas

All Saints Day (November 1st) is quickly approaching. On that day we are reminded that none of us lives as a solitary Christian. As the saying goes, "There are no Lone Rangers in Christianity." Without the saints-- the saints we know personally and the ones we only know by reputation-- we could not be Christians, we could not be the church.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Kingdom of God Is Not the Way the World Works

George MacDonald writes,
It is said of one of the famous composers that he had a rebellious son who used to come in late at night after his father and mother had gone to bed. And before going to his own room, he would go to his father's piano and slowly, as well as loudly, play a simple scale, all but the final note. Then leaving the scale uncompleted, he would retire to his room. Meanwhile the father, hearing the scale minus the final note, would writhe on his bed, his mind unable to relax because the scale was unresolved. Finally, in consternation, he would stumble down the stairs and hit the previously unstruck note. Only then would his mind surrender to sleep once again.
For many the Book of Revelation is frustrating with symbols and visions that leave one waiting for a note-- a word-- that completes vision so that one may understand. Filled with symbolism and wild imagery, interpreting this vision of John has proven to be a difficult exercise. The Protestant Reformer, John Calvin wrote a commentary on every book of the Bible except for 2 and 3 John and Revelation. It was reported that he did not write on the last book of the Bible because he simply could not understand it. Martin Luther in the Preface to his commentary on Revelation writes, "I can in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it." The founder of Methodism, John Wesley had a much higher view of the book than Luther and rightly notes its value:

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Seeking the Truth Requires a Willing Discomfort: A Lectionary Reflection on 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5

2 Timothy 3:14-4:5

Truth is not always easy to speak, nor is it often easy to hear. We embrace the truth that confirms us, that supports our views, but bristle when someone speaks the uncomfortable word, the word that challenges our deepest convictions. It is much easier for us to reject such truth as fake news than considering that perhaps what has been said hits its mark in a way we find painful.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Scriptures and Prayer for Canadian Thanksgiving Day

Old Testament: Deuteronomy 26:1-11

Psalter: Psalm 100

Epistle: Philippians 4:4-9

Gospel: John 6:25-35
Generous God, you brought us into the abundance of our inheritance. Grant us the faith to be people blossoming with honor and truth, so that we may produce bountifully the firstfruits of justice and compassion, which are pleasing in your sight. Amen.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Scriptures and Prayer for the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7 or 2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c

Psalter: Psalm 66:1-12 or Psalm 111

Epistle: 2 Timothy 2:8-15

Gospel: Luke 17:11-19
O God of compassion, through the witness of a captive maidservant you healed Naaman in the waters of the Jordan. Through Jesus you healed the lepers. Heal us so that we may follow Christ with joy, giving thanks with all our being. Amen.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Scriptures and Prayer for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: Lamentations 1:1-6 or Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4

Psalter: Lamentations 3:19-26 or Psalm 137 or Psalm 37:1-9

Epistle: 2 Timothy 1:1-14

Gospel: Luke 17:5-10
God of all the ages, you have revealed your grace in our Savior, Jesus Christ. As we wait patiently on your mercies, strengthen us to live in your justice, that with open hearts we may hear and accomplish your will, through Christ, who lights the way to life everlasting. Amen.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

The Problem of Evil and God's Sovereignty-- A Discussion

I was please to converse with Dr. Bruce Epperly. I do not consider myself a process theologian, but I find that Bruce and I are thinking along similar lines. What do you think?

Monday, September 30, 2019

Scriptures and Prayer for the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels

Old Testament: Genesis 28:10-17

Psalter: Psalm 103

Epistle: Revelation 12:7-12

Gospel: John 1:47-51
Everlasting God, you have ordained and constituted in a wonderful order the ministries of angels and mortals: Mercifully grant that, as your holy angels always serve and worship you in heaven, so by your appointment they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.