Showing posts from February, 2010

From Death to Life - Meditation 1 for Wartburg Parish Lenten Services

They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid.  St. Mark 10:32 They were on a Journey!  The disciples may not have realized it when they agreed to follow Jesus, but they were in for quite a trip.  Many of the disciples thought they were signing up for something that would bring them all kinds of immediate personal benefits.  Jesus is the Messiah, so it stood to reason that those closest to him would receive some important rewards when Jesus made himself known and expelled the Romans. So finally, here they are, on the road towards Jerusalem, but it wasn’t going well.  Jesus keeps talking about being crucified and dying and being raised.  And when Peter tried to “correct” Jesus’ understanding of what it means to be Messiah, Peter got into a lot of trouble.  And at every turn it just seems that these poor disciples can’t do anything right.  Jesus is getting more and more frustrated and

Musical Hope in Haiti - Holy Trinity School

My good friend and former colleague Dr. John Jost who is the director of choral activities at Bradley University has been working in Haiti for many years building a music educational program.  The school that John helped found was completely destroyed.  Even so, I want to share with you a letter I received from John and also below are several news clips about the school.  Of course basic needs - like food and water and shelter come first - but we are all human beings and we need the arts to channel our creativity to give us a voice of expression and to provide hope.  I will mention that I had the honor and opportunity to teach oboe to a young man from Haiti during the last couple years.  I am very happy to report that Gerald Jean survived and will be going to Brazil to study oboe in the near future. Here is the letter from John: Dear Friends, Thank you for your concern about Haiti - many folks have contacted me. The earthquake was devastating. The Holy Trinity School complex, wh

Sunday - Feb. 14 - Happy Transfiguration Day!!!

Last week our Gospel story told us how Jesus had called Peter, James and John to be followers and disciples. At the end of that text we learn that they left their nets laying on the shore and followed Jesus. And if they thought they were now in for an easy time they were sadly mistaken. It had been a whirlwind. Following Jesus, doing crowd control, having long sessions into the night with Jesus, miracles, feeding the 5000 and then Jesus sends them off on a “trial run.” And so we now arrive at chapter 9 and Jesus selects these three to accompany him t the mountain to pray. Finally – a vacation – a break from the intensity!?! Nope. If that is what they were thinking they would be disappointed. First they have to climb to the top of the mountain and when they get there they are so exhausted they can’t keep their eyes open. (The exact same thing will happen in the Garden of Gethsemane.) And when they do awake what they see is beyond description. They catch a glimpse of God’s gl

Pastoral Reflections - February 3 - Lutheran

This is the last article on the name of our Congregation. To recap – the full name of the congregation is: The United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Peace. I have taken each of those words and written a brief meditation on them. They have appeared in Peace newsletters and can be found posted on my blog (see below for the URL). The last word is Lutheran. This word defines our denominational affiliation, but it means more than that. It is, of course, derived from Martin Luther, who was the 16th century reformer who challenged the Medieval church and laid out the theological foundation for all of Protestantism. Luther himself didn’t think much of having his followers use his name. He understood himself as a Christian and, at least at first, was not looking to replace the established church of the time. It was only when the Medieval church proved to be completely unwilling to even debate issues and went as far as to condemn him as a heretic that he accepted the inevitable. I migh