Yearly Archives: 2017

45 posts

Christmas Mourn

It is oddly gratifying and encouraging that we live in perhaps a “golden” time for those who grieve and mourn. It is commonplace this time of year, in addition to the joyous posts of children on Santa’s lap and endless photos of cookies, to read posts by and about those who struggle to make it through this season, especially those of us who mourn the loss of a loved one. This is, I think, a […]

José y Maria | Everett Patterson Comics | Modern Mary and Joseph

UPDATE 2017: I originally posted this two years again, when it was first produced. It has been making the rounds again unattributed so I wanted to be sure folks could find Everett’s site. But on looking at it again this Advent, I was struck again by how right he got this. His interpretation accurately depicts the sense of the original context, the pregnant mother and anxious father just looking for a place to rest. Not […]

The Grace of Together

After tragedy has occurred to us, fallen upon us, how do we walk on, lacing up those painful shoes I talked about in my poor analogy? How do we carry on, day after day? We must begin by being open to and accepting the grace that is offered to us. I consider what happed to the Man and the Woman after they had chosen to forge their own path, a path that led away from God […]

To every thing there is a season.

“It is what it is”

“It is what it is.” A phrase people utter when they are enduring a hardship or, just as often, when there is a problem they would rather not deal with. It is what it is. A horrible, trite phrase. Used all the time, devoid of any real meaning, and all too often intended as a justification for inaction, only slightly more articulate than the monosyllabic “meh,” accompanied by the shrug of the shoulders. It is […]

Cognitive Offloading in Biblical Scholarship

It has been years since I have posted anything within the Biblioblogosphere echo chamber. (Hello? Is anyone still reading?) But this weekend I noticed a new “service” for biblical scholars. The Expurgated Review of Biblical Literature is “a community project of the Society of the Blessed St. José Buenaventura Durruti (SBSJB).” Durruti was a Spanish anarchist and I assume the Society is a sarcastic fiction. I like that touch! The purpose of the site is […]

The Souls of the Righteous

In mid-February 2017 we had a funeral for a beloved member of the parish. He had lived a long, full life and his family surrounded him at his departing and gathered for the service. The first reading was this beautiful passage from The Book of Wisdom (in the Apocrypha).  Wis. 3:1 But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them. 2 In the eyes of the foolish they seemed […]

Pollyanna Paul? Asking the impossible…again.

Yesterday’s epistle (in the RCL) was Philippians 4:1-9. The preacher at Good Shepherd, Lexington was the Rev. Canon Elise Johnstone. Good Shepherd is beginning a time of transition as their rector, Brian Cole, was called to be the Bishop of Eastern Tennessee. The Canon preached on this passage from Philippians and began her sermon in a curious way, talking about watching movies on the Disney Channel in the 1980s. She said she particularly liked Pollyanna, […]

The Cornerstone – Psalm 118 reconsidered

Yesterday I was reading the morning office and Ps. 118:22, one of the most familiar passages in the psalms to Christians, struck me differently. 17I shall not die, but live, * and declare the works of the LORD. 18The LORD has punished me sorely, * but he did not hand me over to death. 19Open for me the gates of righteousness; * I will enter them; I will offer thanks to the LORD. 20“This is […]

Toppled Cross

Lamentations of Healing

One year ago I started what would be a 9 month call to be the interim rector at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Nashville, TN. This was my first service with them, one year ago, and oddly enough it was the only time in the three-year cycle of the Revised Common Lectionary that a significant portion of Lamentations was assigned for a Sunday service. The text here is somewhat abbreviated. You can listen to my […]