Jesus, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and still wet from his baptism, comes back to his home synagogue, publicly claims that he is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy, and is praised by everyone. Then, within five verses, everyone in the synagogue is filled with rage. They drive him out of town so that they might hurl him off a cliff.
Our firstborn son came into the world seven years ago with red hair, blue eyes and keen perception. We discovered this early on.
We’d be out for a walk and Jonah would start pointing and saying, “Woof, woof, woof!” (i.e., “Mama, Dada, over there, a doggie!”). We wouldn’t see a dog anywhere, but he never lost his resolve. “Woof, woof, woof!” And sure enough, six, maybe seven blocks up, off in the distance we would see it: a big black poodle, or a cream-colored golden retriever. He was right every time. We were the ones without eyes to see.
Indiana’s fiery love affair with basketball began just a few years after James Naismith taught his Massachusetts gym class to toss a soccer ball into an elevated peach basket. After he got a taste of Hoosier Hysteria in 1925, Naismith wrote that basketball seemed to have its “origin in Indiana.”
Breast-feeding is quiet and holy work—rocking, comforting, studying each other’s face and skin-to-skin bonding. When it goes well (and God knows, it doesn’t always go well!) nursing is a sweet and beautiful thing. It’s sweeter than honey, the psalmist might say, sweeter than the drippings of the honeycomb.
It's a truism that Christianity lives and breathes as much
(or more) through music as through preaching or teaching, to say nothing of
dense theological texts--so Christian preachers and teachers should be on the
lookout for ways to incorporate the great hymns of the tradition into our
sermons, lessons and other theological work.
Three centuries ago in the village of Olney, England, a new parish priest came to town. The townsfolk flocked to hear him, fascinated with his vibrant, personal style of preaching and his checkered past as a slave trader.
The first ever Academy Award for Best Picture was given in 1929 to Wings, a World War I aviation drama full of groundbreaking aerial sequences. People flocked to see the film largely because they longed to feel what it might be like to fly.
As Luke tells it, the Last Supper ends in an argument. For all the table talk of gifts and remembrance and the kingdom of God, the dinner descends into a dispute among the disciples over “which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest” (22:24). The meal of covenant and community turns into a banquet of boasting and contempt.
The Buddha once remarked that understanding his instruction is like “trying to catch a poisonous snake in the wild”: it’s all too easy to get bitten. Among Christian teachings, none are more treacherous than those about Jesus’ Passion (from the Latin passio, “suffering”). Theological ideas have teeth.
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