Talk with the Preacher

Monthly Archives: October 2011

Chasing Sainthood Matthew 5:1-12 Today is a special Sunday in the life of the church—we’re celebrating All Saints’ Day today.  We Baptists are not overly observant when it comes to excessive High Holy Day celebrations, but today we join Christians all over the world to think about what sainthood means. The concept of saints who have gone before is not new to the Christian community, and not, as some believe, the sole… Read More

Better Together: Follow Directions Matthew 22:34-40 We’ve been listening for the past few weeks to passages from the Gospel of Matthew about Jesus tangling with the leaders of the Jewish community in Jerusalem.  Remember, in Matthew’s account of the way things went down the last week of Jesus’ life, Jesus was making his presence known all over town.  Today’s passage, also from Matthew chapter 22, is the final public conflict Jesus had,… Read More

As we’re heading toward the end of the year, with job descriptions under review and evaluations beginning, I read this description of a good pastor: The qualities of a pastor are impossible to describe. We can only see them in action.  No noise of clamor, but a careful manner of moving through the daily parish activities; clear eyes steadily seeing to the heart; kindness and humility in the presence of others, needing… Read More

Better Together: Trick Questions Matthew 22:15-22  Just the other day my son Sam said to me, “Hey Mom, tell me a knock knock joke!”  I was game, of course, so I complied.  “Knock knock,” I said.  “Who’s there?”  He answered.  And then…nothing.  I wasn’t sure what to say. Since I asked the question, it was my job to follow up with the actual joke, which of course I did not have ready. … Read More

Permit me this shameless bragging over poetry written by my son Sam.  His assignment was to write a poem from the perspective of a minor character in a children’s story or song.  Sam, now 13, was always the cutest little tea pot when he was a baby.  Sigh.   The Big Tea Pot, at a Funeral, 2011 He was a little teapot. I always heard him singing. He was never picked for sports…. Read More

A few thoughts from a conversation at the end of a week together in El Salvador.  Calvary members comment: “At the slum…in the women’s community…they were so proud.” “Doctors and nurses…Morazone.  Ruth Orantes.   Shalom. They are doing so much.  They are aware of what they don’t have but they just move forward. The people were so gracious.” “Solidarity with the Latino community.  What it means to be an outsider.  Community investment—what does it… Read More

Esperanza…it’s the Spanish word for “hope.”  Strangely enough, it seemed to be the theme of the day. Today, our third day in El Salvador, our experiences ranged from confusion to grief to frustration to despair as we heard experts talk about social and economic realities in El Salvador; saw the graphic pictures and somber memorials recalling the murder of close friends of Pastor Edgar’s, Jesuit priests brutally murdered during the armed conflict… Read More

Today was our first full day in El Salvador on a week-long trip with Calvary friends.  Since it’s Sunday, we naturally went to church.  Eleven hours and two churches later, we’re home, exhausted and changed by the many new friends we met and the meaningful moments of worship we shared.  We talked a lot about our church family back at home, marveled at the ways in which we are so very different… Read More

I just read a fascinating article on Associated Baptist Press about Nathan Adair, who has recently finished a month long project to join most of the rest of the world in living on less than $1 a day.  You can read more about his adventures by visiting his blog.  So, I was sitting at my desk at work this Friday (my usual day off), frantically tending my never-ending to-do list, trying to… Read More

Life Together: Living Our Faith Exodus 18:13-24 Today is World Communion Sunday.  World Communion Sunday was celebrated for the first time in 1933 in a Presbyterian church inPittsburgh.  While the rose-tinged memory is that the tradition was started because some Christians wanted to celebrate communion on the same day with Christians all over the world, the truth is that the Presbyterians were worried that Christians were falling out of the habit of… Read More