Theology of the Mountain For the past five weeks I have been living in beautiful Seattle, accompanying my youngest son as he attends a summer ballet program at the Pacific Northwest Ballet. I’m thankful for a pastor and administrator who respected my family needs and allowed me a short sabbatical. I’m thankful for organists and…

From Darkness to Light Then they seized [Jesus]and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. Then a servant girl, seeing him as he…

One of the first concepts you learn in the study of the arts is “the willing suspension of disbelief.” This means that, when watching something like a movie or a stage play, you allow for liberties in the passage of time and other dramatic incongruities. For example, many days or even years can pass in mere minutes, and characters divided by…

Everyone knows this by now – your parish Music Director is positively OBSESSED with the Mass Propers, those seemingly insignificant little snippets of scripture and their associated chants which define the “processional” moments of the liturgy – the Entrance, Offertory, and Communion antiphons and their associated verses. The antiphons are given in our Lumen Christi…

Then the Lord said [to Elijah]: “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord; the Lord will pass by.” There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the Lord—but the Lord was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake—but the Lord was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake, fire—but…

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the company of scoffers. Rather, the law of the Lord is his joy, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted near streams of…

[Baptism of Christ, Pietro Perugino. c. 1482, Sistine Chapel, Vatican] The historical event of the Baptism of the Lord marks the liturgical end of the Christmas season. It represents the conclusion of Jesus’ “hidden years” as he begins his public ministry, and is another type of revelation as to his nature and purpose. Wiser people…

The year is 1636. War is raging across much of Europe. In Eilenburg, Germany there lives a Lutheran pastor by the name of Martin Rinkart, whose parish is ravaged by war, by a deadly epidemic, and by wide-spread economic misery. He has buried five thousand (5,000!) of his parishioners in the last year – an…

Those words, shouted by the religious leaders of Jerusalem on the morning of Jesus’ crucifixion, never fail to shock me when we read them aloud during the Good Friday liturgy. Sometimes, in my imagination, I can almost personalize those words – I HAVE NO KING BUT CAESAR! That shocks me even more and I have to…

“Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. For if we have grown into union…