Proper 18 (23) (September 9, 2018) First reading and Psalm Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23 Psalm 125 Second reading James 2:1-10, (11-13), 14-17 Gospel Mark 7:24-37 7:27 He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” 28 But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” It is good to be back with […]
Proper 7 (12) (June 24, 2018) Alternate First reading and Psalm Job 38:1-11 Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32 Second reading 2 Corinthians 6:1-13 Gospel Mark 4:35-41 4:39 He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. … 41 And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the […]
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 kinds of prayer are adoration, praise, thanksgiving, penitence, oblation, intercession, and petition. Notice something missing? Where is lament? If you […]
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 ignored in Presbyterian communities. As I studied church history I began to get some sense of the season and its […]
This past Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent. I had meant to add to the sermon the lyrics of a song that just happened to come on while I was finishing writing the sermon. I was listening to Johnny Cash’s At Fulsom Prison and he closed out the concert with “The Greystone Chapel” written by an inmate, Glen Sherley. Sherley himself had a tumultuous life that ended tragically. It was such an odd circumstance that the […]
October 20, 2018 – I should thank the “ex-Christian” who recently linked to this post in her example of Bishop Nathan Baxter’s “hurting heart” as an example of “a virtue-signaling phrase.” If you are new, welcome! This is my personal blog. I am a scholar of ancient Hebrew and Jewish literature and a Christian. Most recently I am working on issues relating to suffering (and grace). Feel free to look around and comment!