October 24, 2020

Archives for 2015

Dickens and Christmas: My Take

Dickens and Christmas: My Take In which Chaplain Mike responds to two recent posts about Christmas and the way we celebrate the season. • • • Readers: Feel free to click the links and read the complete posts by Scot and Trevin. I have excerpted what I think are the most pertinent passages. Scot McKnight: “Dickens […]

Mondays with Michael Spencer: November 30, 2015

The story of the prodigal son is often judged as the most effective of Jesus’ parables. Certainly it is the most emotionally powerful, as it touches close to circumstances that are timeless. One of my personal treasures in a copy of Rembrandt’s “The Return of the Prodigal Son,” which was the subject of Henri Nouwen’s excellent book on […]

Advent I: A Holy Year of Mercy

Advent I A Holy Year of Mercy We will be moving “Sundays with Michael Spencer” to Mondays this year so that we may follow the liturgical calendar with our Sunday posts. On Sundays we will also emphasize “mercy,” following the lead of Pope Francis, who on December 8 will open the Holy Door at St. […]

Saturday Ramblings: November 28, 2015

In honor of my brother-in-law with whom we just spent Thanksgiving, who once drove a bright orange version of this ’73 beauty, we feature today’s two-door Matador, which he lovingly remembers as “a piece of junk.” Of course, he only paid 300 bucks for it, but it is true that AMC/Rambler made some dreadful cars in […]

Another Look: Preparing for a New Church Year

Note from CM: In 2010, we did a series on “Church Year Spirituality.” November is the month when we complete the annual liturgical cycle and prepare for a new Church Year, which begins the first Sunday in Advent (Nov. 29 this year). Here is the first post from that series. We present it in order […]

A Thanksgiving Sonnet

A Thanksgiving Sonnet 2015 When in these dark’ning days the world goes bare And gray the sky above and brown beneath When I awake to frosty silver morns Break out my woolen coat and cross the heath All life seems to have fled and left behind A scene bereft of color’s warm embrace Through breath’s […]

Randy Thompson: Thanksgiving – You can’t sell gratitude

Note from CM: We’re thankful for our friend, Randy Thompson, who, along with his wife Jill has a wonderful ministry of hospitality and grace in the beautiful mountains and woods of New Hampshire called Forest Haven. Forest Haven is a Christian organization whose purpose is to provide a rural, quiet place of healing hospitality and spiritual […]

The two sides of wonder

Yesterday, we highlighted William P. Brown’s point that “the experience of wonder comes unbidden, as a disruption and, ultimately, as a gift.” But this must be balanced by what he goes on to say. For wonder is more than a gift to be received. When we meet it, wonder enlivens us, awakens us, inspires us, and […]

Let’s go marveling

You are the God who works wonders. • Psalm 77:14 • • • Let’s go marveling. “This felicitous phrase is taken from the great Methodist preacher Fred Craddock, who tells of the ancestral practice of taking walks every Sunday afternoon and finding things to marvel at and to share with others” (Wm. P. Brown). I’ve […]

Sundays with Michael Spencer: November 22, 2015

From Thanksgiving, 2006 Around hundreds of thousands of Thanksgiving dinner tables, millions of Americans will take a moment and share with one another what they are thankful for in the past year. Because Thanksgiving doesn’t require any particular confession of faith, it’s close to a universal experience for Americans, and one that most of us […]