Lament


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 […]


Toppled Cross

Seeking Comfort In Crisis – Creeping Calvinism 1

As we have walked our path of grief many have lovingly offered us their love and support and I always offer my thanks and deep gratitude. (I hope it is always, if you have ever sent me a note or given me a nod or spoken words you intended as comfort and I did not […]


“Endure everything with patience”

Sermon for Sunday, 10 July 2016. St. Paul’s in Philipsburg, PA.     Proper 10, Eighth Sunday after Pentecost Deuteronomy 30:9-14 and Psalm 25:1-10  •  Colossians 1:1-14  •  Luke 10:25-37 Endure everything with patience Colossians 1:11 May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure […]


Toppled Cross

Grief and Grace

God does not cause the tragedy, but he is with us in the midst and aftermath.     Isa. 43:1 Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; […]


Beautiful and Terrible Things — A Biblical Theology of Suffering and Grace 3

This is my most recent idea for the title of a work coming out of my recent writings and talks on suffering. (See the page A Biblical Theology of Suffering for those links.) The quote comes from Frederick Buechner and is oft cited. I have used it for years in graduation speeches. The fuller context […]


“I Believe In Grieving”

This past week aired my “This I believe” essay for WPSU. You can find the audio and the text here. It is a part of a yearlong project we are doing called  “Learning to Live: What’s Your Story?”  We recognize and understand that when someone we love dies, we will grieve. We mourn the fact […]


Who would believe in horsemanship but not horses?

No one. This is from “Existential Comics,” always a good read, and reminded me of Lamentations. I recall coming across those who argued that the biblical author(s) critiquing/challenging God about the justice of allowing Jerusalem to be destroyed was an example of the erosion of faith. It always occurred to me that it is quite […]


A Biblical Theology of Suffering – Some Conclusions 4

Concluding the text of the talk I presented at Cornell on 11 April 2015, “My God, my God, Why Have You Forsaken Me? A Biblical Response to Loss and Catastrophe.” I did not touch much upon NT texts for reasons stated (they related to a difference context than the one most of us find ourselves in. At a […]