Not long ago, my parish was offering the Prayers of the People as part of our Sunday liturgy. Worshippers were free to raise their own voices and add their personal petitions to those of the Book of Common Prayer. As we did so, two seemingly different prayers arose from our midst. One prayer was for the protection of police officers and first responders. Another was for the protection of protesters and all those seeking justice
In 1996, the independent Scottish band Belle & Sebastian released their second full-length album, If You’re Feeling Sinister. More than twenty years later, Sinister is still revered as one of the greatest albums of the 90’s—ranking alongside notable alternative rock acts such as Beck, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, and Nirvana. While the aforementioned bands were known for their use of heavily distorted electric guitars, Belle and Sebastian crafted a gentler tone, reminiscent of 60’s era folk-rock
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness–on them light has shined.” Isa 9:2 NRSV The prophet Isaiah lived at an unusual point in the history of the Israelite people. His prophetic ministry overlapped the Assyrian conquest of Israel in 722 BCE and their subsequent siege of Jerusalem in the days of King Hezekiah (2 Kings 19). The beginning chapters of the book
On October 31, 2017, Protestants around the world celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The occasion created an opportunity to reflect on the many notable contributions of the Protestant Reformation to world history. The many benefits of the Reformation are undeniable–literacy, religious freedom, individual rights, the value of the human conscience, vernacular worship, the five solas, and many others.1 This year, as Protestants celebrate their heritage, I propose that we also stop for
Can we get something straight? It is okay to judge. I know it is the unpardonable sin of our society, but it is not unpardonable before God. In fact, he calls Christians to judge.1 Before someone runs off decrying me as a heretic, let’s talk about what judging is. To judge means to esteem, to select or choose, to determine or resolve, to sift or weigh evidence, or to pronounce an opinion between right and
It seems we can all breathe a sigh of relief. The collapse of democracy in America, and a pillar of modern civilization, has been staved off—at least for another election cycle. Since the national party conventions brought an end to the primary race and began the presidential contest in earnest, reality show host Donald Drumpf’s forecasted chances of reaching the White House have tanked. No doubt his numbers will soon sink to the bottom of
Reminiscere Do you recall Our wedding day? Face to face, Clasping hands tightly, Your veil removed— You were mine, I AM yours Why are you At this corner, Selling your worth, Eyes looking down? Why are you Naked and bloody, Abandoned and forlorn? You are mine Don’t you remember That I AM Your Maker-Husband Who loves you? O! Let me Take your face In both hands Eyes meeting mine Call to
These are hard times. All we have to do is look around us and we see that our world is in serious trouble. Where can we turn, where can we go? People try to blame guns, abortion laws, or terrorism. But until we see ourselves in Christ as the solution to these problems we will never make any progress. We are not helpless. When it comes to sin, nothing is really new under the sun.
Happy Thanksgiving, dear American readers! Today marks the day when we pause to take time away from our busy schedules to spend time with family, stuff ourselves with choice foods and rich drinks, watch copious amounts of football, and offer thanks to our Creator for His bountiful gifts. Meister Eckhart once said that “if the only prayer you ever say is thank you, it will be enough,” and today we stop to offer thanksgiving for
O my crucified but never wholly mortified sinfulness! O my life-long damage and daily shame! O my indwelling and besetting sins! O the tormenting slavery of a sinful heart! Destroy, O God, the dark guest within who hidden presence makes my life a hell.1 This the final post in a series focused on God’s forgiveness. Not that three articles are enough to cover the topic—far from it. However, they should help lay the groundwork for
Glorious and Holy God, Provocations against thy divine majesty have filled my whole life. My offenses have been countless and aggravated. Conscience has rebuked me, friends have admonished me, the examples of others have reproached me, thy rod has chastised me, thy kindnesses allure me.1 The Resurrection was celebrated on Sunday, but now, it’s Wednesday. The festivities are over and a fresh week begun. And while this week provides new opportunities for faithful service, it
Dear Bakers, You have been getting a lot of attention recently, especially since the new law passed that would likely allow you to refuse to make cakes for gay weddings. It’s certainly worth asking how to interpret the First Amendment on this issue, but perhaps first we should ask what the gospels say. As you may remember, Jesus’s first miracle was at a wedding party. He provided wine for a bunch of people who were
According to Webster, nativity means “the process or circumstances of being born.” For the Orthodox Church the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ does not focus on Jesus as a cute little baby in a manger. The Nativity of Christ is mostly about the incarnation of God. This season is about the union of God and man. “Sharing wholly in our poverty, You have made our clay godlike through Your union and participation
The coming of Christ, the Reformed understand, is one part in the eternal plan of God to reconcile his chosen people to himself. The Incarnation, rather than being a stand-alone celebration, proceeds from an eternal will that precedes it, and results in a death that reconciles.
Learning and mastering any new language is an extremely difficult task. Since high school, I have studied a handful of languages including Spanish, Czech, Russian, Turkish, Arabic, and German, though I have mastered none of those. This is, of course, my fault for having a short attention span and not sticking with one long enough to become proficient, yet I have greatly enjoyed the time spent learning each of them. The study of foreign languages