Psalm 131 “Prayer: Like a Weaned Child Sitting at Her Mother’s Breast”

  The story is told of three men debating the proper position and attitude one should display during prayer. One man said, “You should be on your knees with your head bowed in reverence and subjugation to the Almighty and Holy God.” The second man disagreed and said, “You’re forgetting… Continue reading

Colossians 3:1-11 “Hidden with Christ in God”

The New Testament states that when one becomes a Christian, a dramatic change occurs in the life of that person. Different metaphors are used to describe this metamorphosis: born again, born from above, dying to the old self, raised to a new life, living according to the spirit, a new… Continue reading

“Herod on Our Family Tree?” Matthew 2:1-23

In most churches, last Sunday was Epiphany Sunday.  Matthew 2:1-12, the story of the magi, is the Gospel reading in the Lectionary for that Sunday and is understood as Matthew’s version of the birth of Jesus. In our minds as well as in Christmas pageants and Living Creche productions, we… Continue reading

Luke 2:22 40 “The Sword of Discrimination”

I remember a professor in one of my psychology classes distributing baby and childhood photos of Adolph Hitler and Albert Schweitzer. The teacher asked whether we could see in the photos of Hitler anything sinister, cruel, paranoid, and psychotic. He then asked if we could see in the photos of… Continue reading

Deut. 8:1 10 “Starting Over One More Time”

New Years is traditionally seen as a time for resolutions, new beginnings, and reevaluation. In short, it can be a time for orientation, and Deuteronomy is a book well suited for honing our orientation in life.  To appreciate this important part of the Jewish tradition, we must recognize its proposed… Continue reading

Isa. 35:1-10 “The Joyous Gift of Wonder”

Let us pray: Merciful God, during this holy season prepare us in heart and mind, in soul and strength to love you with all we have and all we are. Come close to us in this hour. Speak to our deepest needs. Nurture those seeds of promise and goodness you… Continue reading

The Story of “O Holy Night”

(“O Holy Night” is my favorite Christmas carol. Both the music and the words are incredibly moving. The background to this familiar Christmas song is intriguing. Most of the following story is based on research done by scholars interested in religious musicology. There may be some debate and questions regarding… Continue reading