It was my first winter in rural South Dakota, and despite the worrisome weather, I was planning a road trip. On Sunday morning, one of my parish members came up to me and solemnly handed me a coffee can. It contained a roll of toilet paper, a candle, some matches, and a candy bar. “Put this in your trunk,” she said. I had no idea what this was. “Thank you,” I said.
We had not one but two baptisms the other day. What absorbed me most was the way the little kids edged toward the event like wasps to a picnic.
The dirty river in Jesus' neighborhood and the one in mine
In a crucial scene of Marilynne Robinson’s new novel, Lila spends the morning thinking, has lunch, then thinks some more. Why isn’t this boring?
So, Sarah Palin said this thing the other day about waterboarding and baptism. I wouldn’t bother bringing it up just to say that I, like so many others, find this disgusting. What’s more interesting to me is the diversity of people who are similarly appalled.
Today’s Gospel lesson, though not a traditional baptismal text, embodies the spirit of the sacrament: the ones bringing the children to Jesus are not necessarily parents; they are “people” moved to care for these little ones. This choice of language leads us to ask, if the adults bringing the children to Jesus are not their parents, then who are they? Why do these men and women stand up to the disciples for the sake of children that are not biologically theirs?
Garry Wills presents Ambrose as a forerunner of Desmond Tutu, who also opposed a government that intruded upon the church's claims.
Dhini didn’t ask to be adopted. That's the way grace works.
After 48 years as a minister of word and sacrament, I will retire at the end of January.
For many early Christians, only at the moment of Jesus' baptism was he suddenly overwhelmed by the power of divinity.