March 23, 2017

The Wesleys’ renewal movement within the Anglican Church was an audacious, if imperfect effort to proclaim, to embody, and to advance what is truly good. Starting with Jesus Christ, himself, and his righteousness, those Methodists went on to change individual lives by...

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January 17, 2020

       The Rev. Martin Niemoeller, a respected German Lutheran pastor during World War II, offered this poignant confession:

      “In Germany, the Nazis first came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.  Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.  Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade union...

January 16, 2020

       Bishop Gerald Kennedy used to tell about a census worker who stopped one day at a small, unpretentious house and was met at the door by a weary mother.  “Lady,” he said, “I want to know how many there are in this family.  First, how many children do you have?”  “Well,” she said in a leisurely fashion, “There’s Johnny, Matilda, Reginald, Charles…”  “No, no, no,” interrupted the canvasser, “I don’t want their names, just...

January 15, 2020

     Occasionally one sees a bumper sticker that declares, “If it feels good, do it.”  A friend of mine told me that when he sees such a sticker, he is sorely tempted to ram that automobile.  I asked why.  He said, “Because I would like to have that driver ask me, ‘why did you ram my car?’  Then I could reply, ‘Because it felt good to me, so I did it.’”

     When deciding whether or not to do...

January 14, 2020

      The late President Harry S. Truman often talked about a political campaign he lost in 1924.  The Ku Klux Klan was involved.  Truman said, “That Klan bunch came to my office and said they had a problem with me.  They said they understood that my grandfather was a Jew, but they would give me a special dispensation and their support if I would join them.  Well, I looked at those miserable creatures and I said that my grandf...

January 13, 2020

     A rabbi wrote about his experience in a Nazi concentration camp.  One evening in the winter of 1944, his father, who was also a prisoner there, took him and some of their friends to a corner of the barracks.  He told them it was Hanukkah, and began to light a wick placed in his melted margarine ration.  The son protested this waste of precious food.  His father responded, “We have seen that it is possible to live up to th...

January 10, 2020

     Sometime ago the Associated Press reported an amazing dog story.  Sam, a scruffy mix of Yorkshire terrier and poodle, is back home, dog tired after an 840-mile trek from Colorado to California.  Sam’s owners were moving to a California apartment that did not allow animals.  So, before leaving Colorado, they had given Sam to another family.  Ten weeks after they moved, they heard a scratch at their door.  There was Sam—wea...

January 9, 2020

     A little boy named Danny lived with his family in a house trailer.  One day someone asked him, “Don’t you wish you had a real home?”   Danny’s reply was wise beyond his years.  He said, “We have a real home.  We just don’t have a house to put it in.”

    A house and a home are very different.  A house is just a physical structure, made perhaps of brick or wood or stone.  It can be la...

January 8, 2020

      Occasionally I hear a so-called liberated parent say, “I don’t want to tilt my children toward religion.  I want to leave them free to examine the evidence and make up their own minds.”  Such comments remind me of an old story about Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the great English poet.  One day he was talking with a man who did not believe in giving children any religious instruction.  After a while Coleridge asked his visito...

January 7, 2020

     There is a mystery about kite-flying that has always intrigued me.  When the kite string breaks for some reason, one would think that the kite, freed from all restraints, would soar higher into the skies.  But it doesn’t.  It starts zigzagging, flipping and diving.  Finally it crashes into a tree or power line.

     People react in a similar fashion.  The person who claims to be utterly f...

January 6, 2020

      A television commercial showed a Mercedes Benz automobile slamming into a cement wall during a safety test.  Someone then asks the company spokesman why they do not enforce their patent on the Mercedes Benz’s energy-absorbing body, a design copied by other companies.  The spokesman replies matter-of-factly, “Because some things in life are too important not to share.”

       What are those th...

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Group of bishops calling for ‘deeper conversations’

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