August 18, 2019

The Church calendar reorders us in time. How so? For example, the ecclesial calendar helps us see ourselves in communal relation to the saints who have gone before us over the span of the centuries and in communal relation to the saints dispersed across the expanse of the earth today. As it relates to the church of the ages and global church, the span of the centuries concerns “through time” (diachronic) and the time frame of all people alive today… Read more

August 15, 2019

The last entry engaged the subject of Mary’s Assumption or exaltation to heaven at the end of her life.  August 15th marks this event in the church calendar. Mary’s dormition, derived from the Latin word dormire, which means “to sleep”), focuses on her death. The Orthodox honor the end of Mary’s life on August 15th. The date also marks for the Eastern Church Mary’s subsequent resurrection and assumption. One source provides a good summary of Mary’s dormition and how the… Read more

August 14, 2019

August 15th marks the assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary according to official Roman Catholic teaching. What is the “assumption of Mary”? It is the Roman Catholic teaching that at the end of her life Mary was taken up in soul and in body to be present along with her Son Jesus in God’s glory. While the Eastern Church and certain Anglican communities also reserve a special and elevated place for Mary, Protestantism in general takes issue with the teaching of… Read more

August 10, 2019

Jemar Tisby’s excellent article in The Washington Post impresses upon those of us who are white Evangelicals the constant need for soul-searching, repentance, and bridge-building across the growing ethnic divide in American society. Five years ago, on August 9th, Michael Brown was fatally shot. Tisby writes about “How Ferguson widened an enormous rift between black Christians and white evangelicals.” Tisby is certainly not the first person to address this subject, nor will he be the last. Still, he develops his… Read more

August 9, 2019

The recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio and knife attacks in Southern California symbolize in extremely violent terms an underlying pattern of hostility in American life. There is some comfort in knowing that such hostility is not the only pattern. Heroism and compassionate care for others were also on display, as several news outlets pointed out (Refer here, here, here and here, for example). Such acts of heroism inspire many of us not to give in… Read more

August 4, 2019

Today marks the eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. How might Ordinary Time’s emphasis on ordering our lives according to Jesus’ life and teaching bear upon inordinate desire today and every day of the year? It is worth noting that the Gospel reading for Ordinary Time this Sunday is taken from Luke chapter 12:13-21. The text addresses the subject of greed, avarice, inordinate desire for material gain. Let’s read: Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to… Read more

August 3, 2019

“Ordinary Time” in the Christian calendar does not signify ordinary, but ordering according to Jesus’ life, teaching, and call on our lives. It pertains to those times of the year beyond Christmastide and Eastertide. However, the distinction between Ordinary Time and Christmastide and Eastertide is porous. God’s miraculous workings through Jesus and the Spirit during Christmastide and Eastertide permeate Ordinary Time in the Christian calendar. In fact, these events permeate and transform every day of the year. Of course, the… Read more

July 25, 2019

There have always been two Americas when it comes to race relations, one that reflects the better angels of our shared human nature, and one that reflects the lesser angels of that same nature. President Trump’s recent Twitter attack on four US congresswomen of diverse ethnic backgrounds reflects those lesser angels. The recent Robert Mueller testimony may have seized the spotlight for now, and the intense reactions to the Twitter attack on the Congresswomen may fade, but the Twitter attack… Read more

July 14, 2019

Ordinary Time in the Christian calendar is not about ordinary and ho-hum events, but about the ordering of Christian existence according to Jesus’ life and teaching above and beyond the Advent and Christmas, Lenten and Easter seasons. This blog post will reflect on what such ordering involves and how important it is for Jesus to order our lives throughout the year, including Ordinary Time. Before we go further, let’s consider more carefully the meaning of Ordinary Time. Here is what… Read more

July 13, 2019

Proverbs 4:23 reads, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (ESV). Just as it is important to guard against polluting groundwater and wellsprings, so it is important to guard against polluting the heart. After all, the heart is the wellspring of life. Polluted groundwater is no joke. The Groundwater Foundation lists several dangers from drinking polluted groundwater: Drinking contaminated groundwater can have serious health effects. Diseases such as hepatitis and dysentery may be… Read more

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