Chalking Our Home at Epiphany?

I confess that until recently I had never heard of the ancient Christian custom of chalking the door. (Some say it began in Bavaria.) This custom is an Epiphanytide tradition that is either celebrated on the eve of Epiphany, or on the Sunday of Epiphany (today). The purpose is to bless one’s home. The tradition is still practiced by many Anglicans, … Read More

The Document of the Origins of Jesus of Nazareth

Matthew’s Gospel has always caused modern readers some consternation when they read the first chapter. Why is this long “genealogy” put here at the beginning of the first Gospel? I prefer to first think of this list of names here in terms of what is clearly said in the first verse, Jesus is “the son of David, son of Abraham.” … Read More

Joseph’s Utterly Unique Vocation

The late philosopher and atheist Jean Paul Sartre one wrote a Christmas play called Bariona. In this play he tries to imagine Joseph in Bethlehem, and writes: “He [Joseph] feels himself slightly out of it. He suffers because he sees how much this woman whom he loves resembles God; how she is already at the side of God. For God … Read More

The Death of the Holy Innocents

The Gospel text for Sunday, January 1, 2017, was Matthew 2:13-23. It is a text I have rarely, if ever, heard preached. I have never personally preached from it in forty-five years. Our congregation is faced with a unique trial and a season of life I hope you never go through as a Christian. On Christmas Eve our beloved pastor, … Read More

“I tweet, therefore I am!”

It seems difficult to imagine, but there was once a time when human beings did not feel the need to share every waking moment with hundreds of millions, even billions, of complete and utter strangers. If one went to a shopping mall to purchase an article of clothing, one did not post minute-by-minute details on a social networking site; and if one … Read More

Adventus Christi: A Christmas Poem

  Adventus Christi (The Coming of Christ) In the desert of my heart, I hear the voice, “Prepare the way;” in the chaos and the clutter, the confusion of my making, now I turn, to see Him standing at the door. And where do I begin, Lord? I have placed so many obstacles before the gate.  Is it too late to move … Read More