February 24, 2012
The story takes us where we need to go. That is one of the wonders of the Christian year. From Advent’s preparations to Christmas joy, through Easter, Pentecost and beyond, the story unfolds, with God’s truths revealed and divine mysteries encountered. If we allow it, the story will embrace our days, invigorate our spirits and [...]
February 17, 2012
This Sunday, February 19, is a big day. Yes, it’s Transfiguration Sunday; yes, the confirmation class is on retreat; yes, it’s school break; but those aren’t the things that draw me to this keyboard. In case you’ve forgotten, this Sunday Braves pitchers and catchers officially report for Spring Training (and, yes, it should be capitalized). [...]
February 13, 2012
Back in January, the Rev. Creede Hinshaw, senior minister at Wesley Monumental UMC in Savannah, and a writer I have enjoyed for years, offered some suggestions for worship. I’d like to pass along 10 of Creede’s thoughts (in bold), along with my own commentary. I think Creede will forgive me for messing with his stuff, [...]
February 3, 2012
Once upon a time, a gift was given.
And all who received it were changed. The old found new excitement and enthusiasm; the young found purpose and meaning. But, more amazingly, frozen hearts were thawed and raging souls calmed. The love poured from this gift had the power to wash away hatred. Enemies became family. Hope-soaked [...]
January 27, 2012
A while back, I read of a group of astronomers who had discovered 10 hitherto unknown planets circling neighboring stars, the closest of which was 10.5 light-years from earth (in more general terms, that’s a long, long way). The astronomers weren’t ready to say whether any of the newly discovered planets might sustain life, because [...]
January 20, 2012
Back in my days at the Wesleyan Christian Advocate, I was visiting a church one night, hoping in vain to sell subscriptions, when a woman came to me and announced, “Wish me a happy birthday; I’m 23 today.” “Poor thing,” I thought, as I nodded, smiled and looked around to see if there was someone [...]
January 13, 2012
Last Sunday I quoted a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke. I wanted to share it with you here as well. At the heart of our being is a profound mystery. We are made in the image of God, and we bear the mark of Christ, through whom “all things came into being” (John 1:3). Rilke [...]
January 9, 2012
Have you had time yet to break any of your resolutions for 2012? If so, let me suggest some replacements—something biblical even (I am, you know, a preacher). You’ll find them all in the closing chapters of Paul’s Letter to the Romans.
Start at the beginning of chapter 12 (My translations here are all NRSV, unless [...]
December 29, 2011
With pen in hand, we approach each day, you and I, and we write.
Now, maybe you would disagree. “I have no desire to write, Mark,” you might say. Or maybe you prefer a word processor to a pen. But it doesn’t matter. One way or another, you’re writing. Every day, a chapter at a time, [...]
December 16, 2011
I don’t remember how old I was—10, 11?—but I remember as though it were yesterday sitting by our lighted Christmas tree, which stood beside the fireplace, in which glowed a fire freshly lit by my father. Alone with him in that flickering light I listened as he told of how his father built a fire [...]