Embracing our Mortality: a reflection for lent

…from dust you are, and to dust you shall return. I didn’t know whether to smile or hang my head in shame as the pastor spoke these words over me this morning. Should I thank her for the blessing of the ashen cross she scetched upon my forehead? I know better than to argue with…

‘Tis the Season to Remember: God is For Us

I remember being in college listening to a super-spiritual professor tell us all about the church calendar. I could not believe somebody could find it in themselves to become genuinely ecstatic about the rhythm of the church, but there he was, almost squealing with joy over the idea of words like Maundy, Pentecost, Holy Names,…

Dancing About Our Own Graves

44. Q. Why is there added: He descended into hell? A. In my greatest sorrows and temptations I may be assured and comforted that my Lord Jesus Christ, by His unspeakable anguish, pain, terror, and agony, which He endured throughout all His sufferings but especially on the cross, has delivered me from the anguish and…

Jesus Descended into Hell…what is hell?

Ok, so now that we have established that we have every bit as much (if not more) capacity to be wrong as our fathers before us, let us get into the questions surrounding the discussion. The first issue is the nature of hell. If Jesus descended into hell, what did he descend into? Was it…

Martin Luther, Repentance, Theses and Life

It was nearly 400 years ago now that a brash, brave young monk made a public declaration that the church needed to have a conversation. The pope was selling salvation. The priests were exploiting their flocks. The people were cowering in fear. Luther had finally come to a breaking point and he had one message:…

Album Review- Wilco: The Whole Love

So I’m sitting there in the park, enjoying the view over Elliot Bay in Seattle, minding my own business, when some 20-year-old dude breaks into the silence of a sun-soaked day. Hey have you heard their new album? What’s that? I asked him politely because I am a pastor-type and we pastor-types should respond with…

Jesus, the Happy Man

As many times as I have looked for it, melancholy, self-pity, moping and complaining just do not seem to be a part of Jesus’ game. Sure, he weeps with Mary and Martha when Lazarus died. And he sweat drops of blood in the garden at the Mount of Olives before his arrest, too.  Jesus was…

The Words We Hear Too Much & Not Enough

(Jesus) has been manifested in a human body for this reason only, out of the love and goodness of his Father, for the salvation of us men.         –St. Athanasius I wonder how many doses of the same medicine it takes to become totally immune to it. Those of us who deal…