In the midst of life, we are in death;
from whom can we seek help?
From you alone, O Lord,
who by our sins are justly angered.
Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and merciful Savior,
deliver us not into the bitterness of eternal death.
– Media Vita In Morte Sumus (14th century hymn)
Every time I read the story of Jesus coming to the Jordan to be baptized, I imagine Him standing in the crowd. You could not pick Him out. His pronoun would not be uppercase. He would look like everyone else really; bland, dirty clothing, smelling like a train car in France, a fly whizzing around in his hair.
I love you. Someone once said. No you don’t. I said.
I love you. Someone said again. Don’t say that unless you know what that means.
I love you? Someone asked. And I wondered about the law of love.
One of the greatest privileges I am given as a pastor is to be able to baptize a brother or sister in Christ. To be the one called to speak those simple words and pour the water over their head is a profound joy for me. These days everyone has their own ideas of what a wedding ought to look like and what sort of things you need to do to make it special, it is rare to even have a wedding in the church these days and normally some romantic setting designed for the perfect photo sessions.
Happy New Year! Recently, my brother Jay and I recorded our “Favorite Films of 2019” episode for Saints and Cinema. It is not really a best-of (though we thought the films were pretty good), because we have not seen everything put out last year. We are not the Golden Globes or the Academy Awards or paid film critics. We see a lot of movies, but we are limited (it should go without saying) to what we have time to see.
Who am I? It is the question of the age, in an age where we can so easily address or dress up the answer! We change our bodies like we used to change our wardrobe to fit our feelings. Do not laugh or mock, people are really confused. It is not sin, but the result of being sinners. What is the difference between sex changes and eunuchs, body builders taking steroids, or divorcing your family to marry the one you now love?
Numbers seem to define us. How old are you? How many years of schooling have you done? How tall are you? How fat? How much can you lift? How many calories did you eat? How far away is your house? How many lovers have you had? How many hours does it take to get to mom’s? And of course, how much money have you made, how many true friends do you have, how many years left do you have?