Shared Sacrifice, Shared Reward

“Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.” (Jesus, Sermon on the Mount, Luke 12: 48) That’s how it is in the kingdom of heaven, that realm of living imagination that inspires us to create it on [Read More…]

Epiphany 4: Lectionary Reflections

By John C. Holbert Lectionary Reflections on Deuteronomy 18: 15-20 Epiphany 4: Sunday, January 29, 2012 Many Bible passages are quite fascinating in multiple ways, but today’s Hebrew Bible pericope is especially interesting for several reasons, reasons that I hope will become apparent in this article. And it is peculiar at first blush just what [Read More…]

The Secrets We Keep: Reflections on Mark 1:29-39

If we are living faithful lives, seeking to serve others and love them as Christ loved us, it’s no secret to anyone. [Read more…]

Making Meaning

(This “musing” appears in The Interfaith Observer online magazine this month.) My wife and I drive out of the city.  On the way, we share stories with each other. We laugh about how complicated and intertwined the tales of our lives have become with each other, and with and among the people we know. We [Read More…]

Should MLK’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” Be Added to the New Testament?

Bruce Metzger, in his seminal work The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance, writes that, Shortly after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968, a group of ministers seriously proposed that King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” be added to the New Testament. All will appreciate that this letter, written [Read More…]

Politicians and Prayer: On Blessing and Cursing

“Life is infinitely stranger than anything the mind can invent,” so says Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes.  These days, the words of politicians are infinitely stranger than anything the mind can invent.  Kansas Speaker of the House Mike O’Neal, noted for his recent description of Michelle Obama as “Mrs. YoMama,” is now [Read More…]

Mormon Reckoning

America is entering a Mormon moment as a former bishop of the Latter-Day Saints, Mitt Romney, takes front-runner place in the race for the Republican nomination for the presidency.  I welcome the religious reckoning that is bound to result.  Mormonism shines an ultraviolet light on Christianity in America, revealing features that are unseen under the [Read More…]

Rick Santorum – The Jesus Candidate

Just when you think the theological foolishness of the presidential election is on the wane, another public figure claims a unique relationship to God.  We already know that God called Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry to run for president, and has a special relationship to them, despite their poor electoral showings.  We also know that [Read More…]

God Speaks to Pat Robertson

It’s happening again! God has spoken directly to Pat Robertson, revealing the identity of the next president of the United States. (But, of course, he’s not telling us.) As for me, I believe that God speaks to me – but I understand God’s words in the way my grandson understands Plato or Whitehead, dimly and incompletely. [Read more…]


An awakening. An opening into higher consciousness.  A discovery.  A parting of the fog of confusion, revealing a new kind of clarity.  Webster’s says that an epiphany is a sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something. What an enticing definition!  It makes me eager to get an epiphany right now.  [Read More…]

Epiphany: Going Home By Another Road

A Reflection on Epiphany (January 6, 2012) In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East, came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews?  For we observed his star at his rising, and have come to pay [Read More…]

The Tragic Beauty of Christmas: The Massacre of the Innocents

Just a few days after the celebration of Christmas, the light of Bethlehem is eclipsed and the dark shadows of life return to the stories of young Jesus.  Tucked between Christmas Day and the Feast of Epiphany (January 6), the Massacre of Infants or Slaughter of Innocents is remembered.  In the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and [Read More…]