June 23, 2019

The Ravens' Payback

You shall drink from the wadi, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.
—1 Kings 17:4

The ravens owed God a favor. A few hundred years earlier, when Moses was laying down the Law to the Israelites, God had put it into his head to declare some animals clean, and some animals unclean. Clean animals were those whose meat the Israelites could eat. Unclean animals were those whose meat they were forbidden to eat. There were all kinds of categories and virtually every animal found in that part of the world was covered by these dietary rules—the fish of the sea, the animals on the land, and the birds of the air. Among the birds of the air which the Israelites were forbidden to eat were, you got it, the ravens. It actually should

June 19, 2019


The last enslaved African Americans to hear of the end of slavery were in Texas. They got the news on June 19, 1865—two months after the end of the Civil War, and 2½ years after the Emancipation Proclamation. This day came to be known as Juneteenth. Wouldn't it be great if we celebrated Indigenous American Day on October 12, and replaced the November 11 holiday with one in June to celebrate the end of slavery?

To remember this important holiday, here's Committed's rendition of Lift Every Voice, the song often referred to as the "Black National Anthem."

June 16, 2019

A Trinity Sunday Prayer

Lord God, Heavenly Father, we praise you, for you have created us,
and you know us better than we do ourselves.
Look kindly, we pray, upon what in us that is right,
and what of us that is good.
What is evil about us—what is destructive—

Our Magnetic North


I hope you’ve noticed the difference between Matthew, Mark, and Luke on the one hand, and the Gospel According to John on the other. The first three are written from a similar viewpoint, and so we use a fancy term that means “seen from a similar viewpoint,” and that’s synoptic (it comes from the Greek). But John has a very different feel to it. It doesn’t include as many of the same stories as the other three, and when it does, John seems to interpret those stories differently. In addition, John includes some things that aren’t mentioned in the synoptics. An excellent example would be a long section that

June 15, 2019

Church Math

Unity in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, 
where one makes three, and three make but one.
This is bad arithmetic—but good divinity!
—Thomas Watson (1620-1686)