January 21, 2020

Decade’s End: 30 Favorite and Important Books I Read — 2010-2019

DECADE’S END 30 Favorite and Important Books I Read — 2010-2019 This list by no means represents all the books I read and enjoyed in the past ten years, but I have tried to boil it down to some of the most important and eye-opening ones I’ve had the privilege of digesting. • • • […]

“God’s people have begun to know the manger of their Lord.”

The great Raymond E. Brown has often been a guide to me when it comes to the Christmas narratives in the New Testament. Here is an example of his insight — applied to the Christmas Eve Gospel (Luke 2). May God grant us all a blessed Christmas Eve. • What is of importance is the […]

The “No” and the “Yes” of Jesus

One of the resources I use as a Lutheran to help people understand the tradition is a small book called Baptized, We Live: Lutheranism As a Way of Life, by Daniel Erlander. One of the book’s strengths is its consistent rejection of a “theology of glory” for a “theology of the cross,” and its insistence […]

“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 […]

“Nothing can make us more blind to the Holy Spirit than the ordinary”

Each week during the winter months and until Easter, I preach to a little country congregation. The congregation is over 180 years old, the building 150. Like many small, rural churches, our pews are populated by members in the second half of life. We have a few children, fewer teens, a couple of college students […]

Another Look: Let’s Go Marveling

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). A sense of wonder is essential to the attitude of thankfulness. It is when […]

IM Recommended Reading: Late Migrations

I am reading a remarkable, luminous book by Margaret Renkl, called Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss. This book of meditations and and short essays reminds me of Annie Dillard’s writing, with its intermingling of nature observations and reflections on life. Maureen Corrigan said the following in her review: “Late Migrations is […]

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann: On Changing the Subject

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann On Changing the Subject The test and norm is the reality of Jesus. Look at Jesus, because Jesus confronts all the throne talk of the world. You want to know about joy, and well-being, and truth, and goodness. Look at Jesus. Not being served, but serving. I have no doubt that […]

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann: An Artistic Rendering of Life

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann An Artistic Rendering of Life For the work of teachers, preachers, and interpreters, an artistic rendering of life is now an urgent responsibility, not only because of the character of the text but because of our social-cultural-moral circumstance. The community gathered around this text (in church, in synagogue, in religion department) […]

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann: To Relish the Generosity of God

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann To Relish the Generosity of God [To] deny self is taken too often to mean you should have some self-hate, feel bad about yourself, ponder your failure and your guilt, and reject your worth. But that is surely not what Jesus is talking about. Rather, he is talking about coming to […]