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)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Jesus Is the Best at Everything

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Why Creeds Are Important

I love the Nicene Creed! I was not raised in a church tradition that emphasized creeds, In fact we avoided them. We were taught that we were about the authority of Scripture only and creeds undermined the Scriptures and added to them. Over the years, however, as I have read theology and reflected theologically, I have come to appreciate the Christian creedal tradition and see it's indispensable benefit to the church that seeks to be faithful to the Gospel.

So why are creeds important?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Peace for Our Time: A Lectionary Reflection on John 14:23-29

John 14:23-29

On September 30, 1938, Prime Minister of Great Britain, Neville Chamberlain gave a speech after negotiations with Adolf Hitler, chancellor of Nazi Germany. A portion of what he said I quote:
This morning I had another talk with the German Chancellor, Herr Hitler, and here is the paper which bears his name upon it as well as mine. Some of you, perhaps, have already heard what it contains but I would just like to read it to you: ' ... We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again.'
My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Go home and get a nice quiet sleep.
The great irony of his words was realized when less than a year later, the agreements with Germany were in tatters and Great Britain and Germany were at war.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

*A Tale of Two Cities: A Lectionary Reflection on Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5

Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5

Many years ago as a young pastor at a new church, I was trying to find a short-cut from a hospital visit to home. As I traveled down the road, I went straight instead turning left from whence I came. As I kept driving I did not travel far before I realized I had entered a very poor part of town. The houses were run down, stores were dark and boarded up, and so were more than a few houses. The lawns were brown and infested with weeds. It looked as if this neighborhood was at one time a nice place to live, but it's better days were definitely behind it. As I drove another half mile or so, I almost immediately entered a new section of town where the houses were not only nice and the neighborhood well kept with lush green lawns, but the houses were huge. In what seemed like an instant, I left the poverty of one place entering the wealth of another. It was quite the contrast.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Unexpected Leading of the Spirit: A Lectionary Reflection on Acts 16:9-15

Acts 16:9-15

It can be difficult for some Christians to know what to do with Acts 16:9-15. Too many of us like our faith nailed down and predictable. In our sanctuaries we bolt the pews to the floor, we have a printed order of worship on Sunday from which we never deviate, and we expect a new ministry to unfold in exactly the way it was planned; and when it doesn't people point fingers at the leadership saying something to the effect of, "but you said such and such was going to happen, not this!"

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Scriptures and Prayer for the Fifth Sunday of Easter

First Reading: Acts 11:1-18

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.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

How Can Love Be Commanded? A Lectionary Reflection on John 13:31-35

John 13:31-35

We obey commands all the time, many of them without even thinking about them. We see a stop sign and put on the brakes of our car accordingly. Speed limit signs are often ignored, but at least when we are driving too fast, the presence of the sign will not allow us to plead ignorance when stopped by the police. We also follow commands from our childhood without even realizing we are doing so. My mother taught me to hold the door open for others and to say thank you. I do both regularly. I guess it can be said that I am still obeying my mom, even though I am 51. Many things can be commanded, but other things seem to defy commanded. I can be commanded to eat liver, but I cannot be commanded to like it. The doctor may insist that I have a colonoscopy, but I cannot be told to enjoy it. Some things just cannot be commanded.