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
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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)

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Suffering Servant as Moral Example: A Lectionary Reflection on Philippians 2:1-13

Philippians 2:1-13

The problem with rights language as it is employed in the modern West is that it is primarily a selfish enterprise. We are quick to assert our rights while ignoring or opposing the rights of others. Of course, rights language is quite problematic from a Christian perspective, as I have argued on this blog over the years. The fact that Christians have so casually picked up the language of rights suggests that our beliefs and practices are much less theologically informed and more absorbed by modern Western individualism.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Scriptures and Prayer for the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: Exodus 16:2-15 or Jonah 3:10-4:11

Psalter: Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45 or Psalm 145:1-8

Epistle: Philippians 1:21-30

Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16
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O God, from your providing hand even the dissatisfied and grumbling receive what they need for their lives. Teach us your ways of justice and lead us to practice your generosity, so that we may live a life worthy of the gospel make known through your Son Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: Robber Forgets to Steal What's Most Important

Gas station robbery suspect's getaway car runs out of fuel

From Associated Press
September 16, 2017 12:33 PM EST

LAPORTE, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say an Indiana man who robbed a gas station made off with food, drinks and cigarettes. What he didn't steal was gas.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports that a state trooper arrested 33-year-old Sean Harris on Wednesday after finding him stranded by the side of a two-lane highway with his vehicle out of fuel. Police say the South Bend-area man's blood alcohol level was above the legal limit.

Authorities say Harris was arrested not long after he entered the Lacrosse gas station, implied he had a gun and took the items.

Records show Harris is being held in LaPorte County jail. He made a preliminary appearance Friday in LaPorte County Circuit Court on a felony robbery charge.

Attorney information for Harris was not available Saturday.
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Information from: The Times, http://www.nwitimes.com

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Scriptures and Prayer for the Feast of St. Matthew

Old Testament: Proverbs 3:1-6

Psalter: Psalm 119:33-40

Epistle: 2 Timothy 3:14-17

Gospel: Matthew 9:9-13
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We thank you, heavenly Father, for the witness of your apostle and evangelist Matthew to the Gospel of your Son our Savior; and we pray that, after his example, we may with ready wills and hearts obey the calling of our Lord to follow him; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Inclusion and Boundaries, Law and Grace: Where Hospitality Meets Identity

"Boundaries help define what a household, family, church, or community holds precious. However, the modern world is deeply ambivalent about boundaries and community. Although we yearn for home and a place to belong, often we find ourselves more comfortable with empty space where we can 'sing our own songs' and pursue our own plans. Hospitality is fundamentally connected to place to a space bounded by commitments, values, and meanings. Part of the difficulty in recovering hospitality is connected with our uncertainty about community and particular identity."-- Christine Pohl

Monday, September 18, 2017

Hey, God! No Fair!: A Lectionary Reflection on Matthew 20:1-16

Matthew 20:1-16

We want justice; we want fairness. When justice is not served and when fairness is not implemented, we feel that something is clearly amiss. The parable of the laborers in the vineyard is about justice and fairness, but on God's terms.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Earth, Wind, and Fire: Are Natural Disasters Signs of God's Judgment?

It's been a dramatic and difficult time for those of us in the Western and Nothern hemispheres. We had a total eclipse swath across the United States, there has been a massive earthquake just off the coast of Mexico, forest fires in Montana, and three huge hurricanes that have and are in the midst of wreaking havoc. It is not surprising that some are raising the issue of whether these events are God's judgment upon humanity for our sins (feel free to list the ones most important to you). I suppose such events, especially when they come simultaneously and one right after the other, can lead to wondering of the place of the divine in such events. My short and definitive answer to the question of whether such phenomena reflects God's judgment is an emphatic NO! But we must not stop there. I think the related and intertwined matters of God's justice and judgment deserve some careful attention, most directly because they are often explicated in a simplistic and sloppy manner accompanied by a questionable interpretation when it comes to reading the Bible.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Scriptures and Prayer for the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: Exodus 12:1-14 or Ezekiel 33:7-11

Psalter: Psalm 149 or Psalm 119:33-40

Epistle: Romans 13:8-14

Gospel: Matthew 18:15-20
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Holy God, you call us to righteousness and light. Teach us the undivided law of love, that we may love your children even as you do, love you with all our will and strength, and find our freedom in this blessed service, taught to us in word and deed by Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.