January 28, 2020

Monday with Michael Spencer: My Favorite Piece of Christmas Liturgy

My favorite piece of liturgy in the world is a sentence in the opening section of the Traditional Service of Nine Lessons and Carols broadcast round the world on the BBC. Why is it so moving? Because it is beautiful and true. Each year, as more and more of those I know join the saints […]

Sermon: Advent IV — How Silently, How Silently

Sermon: Advent 4A
 How Silently, How Silently (Matthew 1:18-25) The Lord be with you. Whereas the Gospel of Luke tells the story of Jesus’ birth from Mary’s perspective, Matthew tells it through the eyes of Joseph. Both of these accounts share common elements in describing what took place. Both testify that Jesus was to be […]

Enjoying Handel’s Sublime Gift

Pastor Dan and his wife graciously treated us by inviting us to join them last night for a performance of Handel’s Messiah at the Center for the Performing Arts here in Indianapolis. It was magnificent. The Palladium is a state of the art concert venue, and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Choir, directed by […]

Tuesday with Michael Spencer: We’re Still Waiting

Michael and the Boar’s Head Tavern folks once upon a time had an Advent site. Here is a sample from it — one of Michael’s observant reflections about evangelical churchianity in the Christmas season. • • • We’re still waiting Watched a children’s Christmas program in Northern Ky today. It was familiar to me because […]

Advent Music: An Advent Invitation from Peter Mayer

The promise that comes to us in the darkness… Maybe peace hides in a storm Maybe winter’s heart is warm Maybe Light itself is born In the longest night… • Light a candle, sing a song Say that the shadows shall not cross Make an oblation out of all you’ve lost In the longest night […]

Sermon: Advent III — Jesus Commends the Doubter

Sermon: Advent III Jesus Commends the Doubter (Matt 11:2-11) Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist… • Matthew 11:11 • • • Jesus gives great praise to John the Baptist in today’s Gospel. He commends him as a strong man of truth, a prophet […]

Another Look: My Ambiguous Apologetic

I confess. I have no apologetic. There is no defending God. There is no proving his way is right. To do so would require that I understand God, that I can substantiate the claims of truth my faith calls me to hold. I can explain what I believe well enough. I can demonstrate to a […]

Another Look: Go forth to meet him?

Another Look: Go forth to meet him? Here we are again, in the early days of December. We are not far away from welcoming the Christ-child at his birth. As we face this season and event, here are some words from Brother Thomas Merton that make me think. For Christmas will come this year, just as […]

“We sanitize what isn’t safe and therefore lose what is nutritious”

From The Weight of Advent by Ian at Mockingbird [T]he prophetic word of Advent authorizes us to tell the truth about the world. As Edgar pronounces in the final scene of King Lear, “The weight of this sad time we must obey/ Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.” John the Baptizer […]

Sermon: Advent II — The Repentant Life

Sermon: Advent II The Repentant Life (Matthew 3:1-12) The Lord be with you. John the Baptist proclaimed, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” One of our most beloved stories at Christmas time is a tale about repentance — Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. It’s about the repentance of a man named Ebenezer […]