A Memorial Day Meditation: Pentecost and Memorial Day

   It is an odd conjunction of special days: Pentecost Sunday and Memorial Day (U.S.A.). Memorial Day looks back and commemorates the sacrifices of the past. Pentecost, an event which grew out of the greatest sacrifice and triumph, looks forward to a new day. The one recalls war. The other anticipates peace. One emphasizes whatContinue reading “A Memorial Day Meditation: Pentecost and Memorial Day”

Ash Wednesday: Psalm 51 in music

For Ash Wednesday Two renditions of Psalm 51 “Have mercy on me, O God,     according to your steadfast love . . .” • • • Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts Psalm 51:14-17 O God of mercy, hear my call, My loads of guilt remove; Break down this separating wall, That bars me from thyContinue reading “Ash Wednesday: Psalm 51 in music”

Let’s Discuss . . . Mardis Gras

I don’t normally put two posts up on one day anymore, but today is Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), the day before the Lenten season begins, and I would like us to talk about something. Let me put my thoughts in a brief paragraph for you to consider and respond to today: One measure of ourContinue reading “Let’s Discuss . . . Mardis Gras”

Why I won’t be going to church Sunday

Last week, our pastor announced that we would be having a patriotic service on the Sunday of July 4th weekend. I won’t be there. Let me make something perfectly clear. I love my country, the United States of America. I have no trouble displaying the flag on appropriate occasions (though my wife, with her MennoniteContinue reading “Why I won’t be going to church Sunday”

Jesus’ Ascension and Life as Gift

Many churches celebrate Jesus’ Ascension today, though the official observance was this past Thursday (May 29). We so often leave the Ascension out of our gospel. Christ’s “finished work,” however, includes Jesus’ incarnation, ministry, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and outpouring of the Holy Spirit — all of the above. These great events are the keyContinue reading “Jesus’ Ascension and Life as Gift”

Blessing the Animals

Note from CM: Last Sunday, I pulled into the parking lot at the church I was attending and noted that they were having an outdoor service. Getting out of my car, I saw folks walking their dogs and carrying other pets toward the chairs. “Ah,” I thought as I smiled, “they’re blessing the animals thisContinue reading “Blessing the Animals”

Let the Saints Teach Us to Be Children

Today is the day many Christian traditions celebrate All Saints’ Day (some celebrated earlier last week). On the first page of our church bulletin this morning were these words: “All Saints celebrates the baptized people of God, living and dead, who are the body of Christ. As November heralds the dying of the landscape inContinue reading “Let the Saints Teach Us to Be Children”