November 3, 2019

Last Sunday, we paid tribute to what I termed “All Sinners’ Day.” The focus was on the need to identify with the repentant tax collector rather than the self-righteous pharisee in Jesus’ parable recorded in Luke 18:9-14. This Sunday, which is generally referred to as “All Saints’ Sunday,” we will focus on the need to identify with saints like the Apostle Paul, imitate their godly lives, and set a good example for others to follow. With this point in mind,… Read more

October 27, 2019

This coming week, on November 1st, many Christians will celebrate All Saints’ Day. Today, I will mark the thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time by honoring repentant sinners. I’m calling it “All Sinners’ Day.” As a son of the Reformation (which will also be celebrated this week on October 31st), I share Martin Luther’s view that the believer is simultaneously righteous and sinful. We are always completely dependent on Jesus, who is our righteousness. Apart from him, we stand before God… Read more

October 25, 2019

How would you respond if you lost your spouse and your job, or something similar? Would you lose hope and call it quits? Or would something in you keep you moving forward? Would you harness hope for the race for life? This blog post takes as its springboard for reflection the new movie The Great Alaskan Race (View the trailer here). The movie retells the true story of Alaskan Leonhard Seppala, who fights long odds to keep going after his… Read more

October 20, 2019

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Disability Awareness Sunday also falls in October in some church traditions (Refer here, here, here, and here for different church traditions and their recognition of Disability Sunday at various times of the year). We need to grow in awareness and appreciation for the many ways those with disabilities can enrich society and the church, and celebrate them. But does the Bible show such awareness and appreciation? Rather than shut people with disabilities down,… Read more

October 18, 2019

Pastors and ministry leaders are often well-trained to care for people’s eternal well-being. However, they often feel ill-equipped to shepherd people as they make important decisions at the end of their physical lives. New Wine, New Wineskins and Multnomah Biblical Seminary will host a forum on this subject titled “Supporting Parishioners in Critical Health Care Decisions” on Wednesday, October 23rd at Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon. In this seminar, a palliative care physician who is an ordained minister will provide… Read more

October 13, 2019

Today marks the beginning of the Jewish pilgrimage festival known as Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. This feast lasts one week. It is one of three pilgrimage festivals in the Jewish tradition. The other two are Passover, which Christians honor at the time of Jesus’ death, and Shavuot, which is also known as the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost, which Christians associate with the Spirit’s descent. As Christians make their way through the church calendar, may we realize that the… Read more

October 6, 2019

The inquiry into whether President Trump should be subject to impeachment raises questions for many of us about the nature of truth and whether truth, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, albeit of a partisan kind. The question about the nature of truth reminds me of the trial of Jesus and his conversation with the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, who was stationed in Jerusalem. In no way am I equating or comparing the person of Jesus and… Read more

October 5, 2019

The Season of Creation ends every year with the Feast Day of Saint Francis of Assisi on October 4th. However, that does not mean our remembrance, celebration and care for the creation should come to an end until the month of September next year. May we honor and cherish the creation every day of the year in worship and service to Jesus our Lord. In the preceding entry for the Season of Creation, discussion centered on whether humanity functions well… Read more

September 30, 2019

Biblical scholar Nancy Erickson reflects on her colleague John Walton’s discussion of functions and functionaries in Genesis 1. Days 1-3 of the creation story deal with functions in Walton’s account (Days 1-3 are about time, weather and food respectively). Days 4-6 deal with functionaries. Humanity’s function is to operate in a “ godlike capacity in relationship to the rest of creation.” Here’s Erickson: Following the normal literary structure of Genesis 1, Walton now explains days four through six as describing… Read more

September 22, 2019

This past week, Union Theological Seminary students made public confession to plants during a chapel service. A Union Seminary tweet reads: Today in chapel, we confessed to plants. Together, we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too often fail to honor. What do you confess to the plants in your life? The tweet about confession drew strong reactions on Twitter, including the charge… Read more

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