Even in the Bible, the “Bible days” of prophets miraculous speaking with God–the voice from a flaming bush to Moses, the whisper in the middle of the night to the boy Samuel–were already “long ago.” If we believe in an omnipotent God, that is an all-powerful God, there is nothing too miraculous, or to use a more modern word perhaps, too ridiculous for God to be able to do. If there is an omnipotent God, there is no reason why God cannot send angels or speak as a thundering voice from heaven; no reason why that cannot happen any more than it happened “long ago.” Continue reading
For decades, even before I was born, the Muppets have interjected their own comedy with two bitter old men, Statler and Waldorf. They sit on the balcony of the theatre and make snide remarks. They are not generally kind. They seem to care about their ideas of excellence, but they don’t ever actually help.
The rich and the poor have this in common:
the LORD is the maker of them all.
I remember when I was a little kid, and my mom told me something that made me turn red in embarrassment. A simple, universal truth that made me really uncomfortable: I was born naked. And so was, it turns out, everyone else. Now as a dad, an uncle, and having been a chaplain in a children’s hospital, I can attest with no doubt: we were all born naked. With nothing. And totally dependent on others. Continue reading
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
What does it mean to be “religious”? It is a word some people are proud of. It is a word some people are terrified of. And here, for those of us in the Christian tradition, the Bible offers a clear definition. A definition that does not mention going to church, participating in sacraments, studying the Bible, praying, or any number of (arguably very lovely and important) things that we would usually think of us as “religious.” Continue reading