I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few years talking about the hope I see in America, even in the midst of a devastating pandemic and a much-needed and overdue reckoning with racism and white supremacy, particularly in the church.
Thanksgiving Day, for all its entanglement with white violence against Native Americans, is a reminder to us that even in such a difficult time as this, gratitude is the hallmark of the Christian life. It is an acknowledgement that we are on the receiving end of life, and it is the generous creator God who is on the giving end of our life.
In our blog post every Monday we select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday, and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic. Next Sunday, we will celebrate the First Sunday of Advent. Here is this week's reading from Mark 13:24-37...
Dr. Terence E. Fretheim died late in the morning on November 16, 2020. With his passing, the world lost one of the most productive, creative, and insightful interpreters of biblical literature. As someone honored to call Professor Fretheim a teacher, colleague, and friend, I would like to offer a few reflections on his life and work as a biblical interpreter.
This will not be Thanksgiving as we have known it: a day to gather and feast with friends and family; to watch football and play games; to tell stories of years gone by and to toast loved ones no longer with us; to laugh (or roll our eyes) as relatives enact the same family script allotted to them decades ago; and, to gratefully experience the beautiful messiness of life together.
I’ve always admired those Christians who remain positive through the toughest of times. You know the ones. Their faith seems never to waver, their demeanor beams positivity, and they express gratitude as naturally as a New Yorker says “How ya doin’?” It may not be fair to say I admire them. I envy them.
At the center of Thanksgiving—both the holiday and the practice—is generosity. When we’re thankful for what we have, we become content, and we tend to open our eyes and our hands. We give to others. Scripture and science are both clear about this.
David Crumm: ‘For All Who Hunger’—Emily Scott tells how she began uniting a diverse community, one dinner at a time
As wise prophets have done for thousands of years, Emily Scott could foresee where American forces of isolation and exclusion were headed. She saw this as far back as 2008. Facing these crises, her pastoral inspiration drew from the ancient Christian church that understood the best way to bridge the chasms of race, ethnicity and culture was to start by breaking bread together.
In our blog post every Monday we select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday, and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic. Next Sunday, we will celebrate the Reign of Christ. Here is this week's reading from Matthew 25:31-46...
The poetic probe in Judges 9:8-15 is situated amid a sustained contestation about public leadership. The book of Judges consists in a series of disconnected “hero stories” that have been secondarily connected by a strong, highly-visible editorial hand.
Since March, when the global pandemic bound us in our homes, I have been over-functioning. I was working while parenting and parenting while working, feeling inadequate at both. I was exhausted. All around me, people were sick and dying. People lost their jobs, faced eviction, and struggled in isolation....
The healthcare professionals who have stood out as the ‘courageous midwives,’ as in the book of Exodus (1:15-22), in todays’ tough times save humanity from a possible ‘health collapse.’ During this time of unprecedented and unparalleled upheaval, they hold the life of humanity in their hands just as a mother holds a newborn baby.
Last Friday, I interviewed Dr. John Lennox, Oxford University mathematician and Christian apologist. He’s authored several books, such as Can Science Explain Everything? and most recently, 2084: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity. The upcoming film Against the Tide features Doctor Lennox’s thought. What follows is an excerpt of our delightful conversation.
Given the nature of our past week, I thought the following message was appropriate. It is an excerpt from my sermon entitled, “Every Day is Election Day” delivered Sunday, November 8, 2020, at the historic Madison Avenue Baptist Church.
In our blog post every Monday we select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday, and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic. Next Sunday, we will celebrate the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost. Here is this week's reading from Judges 4:1-7...
Because I write this prior to the election, I do not know the outcome. No doubt some of us will be soaringly elated and some of us will be deeply chagrined. The pastoral task on this Sunday is to call the faithful away from either elation or chagrin back to the more elemental realities of our faith.
This Thanksgiving, as so many will choose not to travel or gather in person with loved ones, can we be grateful for anything about the covid-19 outbreak? Over 47 million people have suffered from the disease and over a million have died from it. Isn’t it heartless to be grateful for anything about this?
Scientists tell us we are a highly social species. Our minds and bodies are built for interpersonal connections. Isolation is not good for any of us, even the most introverted. Facial expression, physical touch, and body language are all crucial ways we engage and thrive as social beings.
What follows here is an act of self-indulgence. It is not likely to be informative, instructive, or edifying for you, dear reader. Thus, you may desist from reading further. I have written this simply because I wanted to, to see what I could make of a line I have read recently.
Despite our flaws and failings, we have some shared values. One of them is the preservation and perfection of representative democracy itself, "that government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth."