Oct 30

The Reformation at 500: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God



“How very good and pleasant it is when kindred dwell together in unity.” Growing up, I heard these words often from my mother, who usually spoke them to me and my brother—I have a sister, too, but she almost never needed to hear these words—whenever we were fighting, or about to start fighting. “How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell in peace,” she would say, in the old King James version of Psalm 133. I never liked hearing those words, but I needed to hear them. I needed to be reminded that whatever state I was in with my brother—anger, frustration, disappointment, annoyance—there was something better for me, something good and pleasant for me to seek. Continue reading

Nov 25

Thanksgiving All the Way (A Sermon for Thanksgiving Eve)



Christ Jesus is our reason for thanksgiving. Christ rescues us from ourselves, opening us up to the new creation that he brings through his reign, opening us up to true life which is found in him and nowhere else. From the earliest days, the response of those who have been set free in Jesus Christ is to give thanks, gladly, joyfully, freely. Eucharisto: I give thanks. The Apostle Paul tells the Philippians to rejoice, chairete, and to make their requests known to God “with thanksgiving,” meta eucharistias. And the writer Justin Martyr, one of the first witnesses to Christian worship outside the Bible, tells us that prayer and thanksgiving were always a part of the regular Sunday worship services; in fact, Justin says that the Christian name for the bread and wine that were central to Christian worship was Eucharistia, the Eucharist, or what in some of our churches is called Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper. Long before there were Puritan pilgrims, or Abraham Lincoln, or turkey and gravy, followers of Jesus knew to call the most important food we share our thanksgiving meal. Continue reading