Month: April 2009

Lowest Common Denomination

With the exception of a couple brief positive blips, membership and worship attendance have been in steady decline in The United Methodist Church since the Methodist/Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) merger in 1968.  This isn’t news.  It has been virtually impossible to read anything written about our denomination over the past 40 […]

Worship Snobs

I admit it.  I am a worship snob.  They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but a lot of knowledge is worse.  And the same goes for experience as well.  Knowing what one wants in worship, and having experienced excellent worship in the past, makes it difficult […]

Easter for LEADERS

As Christian leaders, we NEED Easter.  We need it because it reminds us of who we absolutely must be as clergy and laity guides in the Christian faith.  It reminds us that we are entrusted with three (at least…) impossible tasks, made possible by the Lord and Savior we follow.  […]

Blind Faith In An Age of Darkness

Many are the critics of blind, irrational, unquestioning faith — until the world comes crashing in.  Then, in the midst of the hurt and fear and despair, there is often left but one option: believe.  Such is the lesson of Good Friday.  When all else fails — when the answers offered […]

Maundy Thursday and the Everlasting Supper

There is a wealth of irony within the gospel stories, but nowhere is the irony greater than in the synoptic stories we call “the Last Supper.”  Jesus, facing imminent destruction, sitting with the ragtag bunch of bozos that still don’t quite get what is coming, loving them as dear friends […]

Jesus, Dyed For Our Sins

While driving through Illinois, a roadside sign made me get off the highway and circle around again just to be sure I saw what I thought I saw: “Yummy Jesus Goodness!” printed in huge red letters.  A very sweet, jolly clone of Mrs. Santa Claus sat behind a trestle table selling homemade […]

Resurrectitude

“It’s a damn impossibility.  If Jesus came back, then Jesus never died in the first place!” “You are an idiot!  Just because you have never seen it happen, it can’t be true!” “People don’t come back from the dead.  Near-death experiences are just that, NEAR death.” “Jesus wasn’t “people.”  Jesus […]