Grief


Authoring History   Recently updated!

The Great Vigil of Easter 2017 –  St. Bartholomew’s, Nashville. This is my homily from this year’s Great Easter Vigil.1 The service is gorgeous, but long (hence a homily and not a full sermon) and since it starts after sundown it does not end until quite late. Some parishes will have the service start about an hour before dawn […]


“A prayer of one afflicted, when faint and pleading before the Lord.”

The psalm assigned for today’s Morning Prayer is 102. Powerful, poignant, and a reminder both of the importance of lament in our prayer life and of faith within the midst of lament. Psa. 102:0   A prayer of one afflicted, when faint and pleading before the LORD. 1 Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry come […]


Q: What are the principal kinds of prayer?

We are preparing some of our youth at St. B’s for confirmation and in so doing are working our way through the Catechism: An Outline of the Faith. As I was preparing last week I noticed the question referenced in the title. The Catechism reads as follows, Q: What are the principal kinds of prayer? A: The principal […]


Toppled Cross

Entering into Lent

An essay for St. B’s quarterly bulletin, The Branch. Growing up in an evangelical Presbyterian church I had never understood Lent until I was in college. I do not mean to suggest that my parents or the pastors did not know about Lent, but it was not something observed in our church and is largely […]


2016 – Remembering, Grieving, Coping, and Loving 2

The last week of any year is always given over to “Best and Worst” lists of the past year. This year there is a much greater awareness than usual that part of reflection involves grief and sorrow. Many are distraught with the results of the US election or the Brexit vote. Others grieve the fact […]


Intent is important   Recently updated!

I am working my way through D. A. Carson’s How Long, O Lord? In his section on “The Suffering People of God” Carson deals carefully and gently with what I consider the heart of the problem for the suffering of the faithful. How do we know what is “discipline” from God and what is, in Carson’s wonderful phrase, “the […]


Remembering our Dead

Elizabeth’s essay Día De Muertos: Eat, Speak, And Remember posted this weekend. It is a wonderful reflection on the importance of remembering those who have died. As some Christians create these atrocious “hell houses” and most Americans get a bit silly with their costumes, this season can also be a gracious reminder that we are never […]


Celebrate Your Love 

The following is an essay I wrote for the local paper that appeared in last Sunday’s edition (September 8, 2016). Tuesday was the 4th Annual Mack Brady Memorial Match. Penn State beat Ohio State 4-2.  Learning to Live: Celebrate Your Love A few weeks ago I was in Pittsburgh speaking about suffering and grace. I […]


Fall into the arms of God

Proper 19 (24) (September 11, 2016), Trinity Church, Tyrone, PA Readings: Exodus 32:7-14 Psalm 51:1-10 1 Timothy 1:12-17 Luke 15:1-10 Today is the 15th anniversary of the attacks on New York City and Washington, DC. Thousands lost their lives that day and thousands more have died in the conflicts since. Students in college today have […]


The Ghost of Johnny Cash

I have mentioned elsewhere on the interwebs how much I enjoy Kerosene Halo, the latest project by Michael Roe of the 77s and Derri Daugherty of The Choir. I have been playing the latest albums quite a bit and have even created a playlist of Kerosene Halo, Michael’s and Derri’s independent work, and the Lost Dogs. […]