Pastor’s Desk 03-29-2020

As Vice President, George Bush represented the U.S. at the funeral of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Bush was deeply moved by a silent protest carried out by Brezhnev’s widow. She stood motionless by the coffin until seconds before it was closed. Then, just as...

Pastor’s Desk 03-22-2020

Sherlock Holmes and his smart assistant Dr. Watson go on a camping trip, enjoy a heavy barbecue dinner with a bottle of whisky, set up their tent, and fall asleep. Some hours later, Holmes wakes his faithful friend. "Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you...

Pastor’s Desk 03-15-2020

Mohandas Gandhi, India's great Champion, proved to the whole world that a person can go without food for a long, long time - for weeks - but water is something else. I don't know how long someone can live without water, but it isn't very long. A baby who can't keep...

Pastor’s Desk 03-08-2020

There is a mysterious story in 2 Kings that can help us understand what is happening in the Transfiguration. Israel is at war with Aram, and Elisha, the man of God, is using his prophetic powers to reveal the strategic plans of the Aramean army to the Israelites. At...

Pastor’s Desk 03-01-2020

In Greek mythology, the Sirens are creatures with the heads of beautiful women and the bodies of attractive birds. They lived on an island (Sirenum scopuli; three small rocky islands) and, with the irresistible charm of their song, they lured mariners to their...

Pastor’s Desk 02-23-2020

Cardinal Francis Xavier Van Thuan spent 14 years in prison in Communist Viet Nam. They arrested and even tortured him, trying to get him to give up his Catholic Faith. But instead, he chose to live his Faith passionately, even in prison, work camps, and solitary...

Pastor’s Desk 02-16-2020

Christopher Burns wrote an article, "Wars' Lethal Leftovers Threaten Europeans,” in 1994 on the casualties of war, not the most current one with its Improvised Explosive Devices but of wars that officially ended seventy years ago in the case of World War II and...

Pastor’s Desk 02-09-2020

President Woodrow Wilson once told the story of his encounter with true Christian light. He said: "I was in a very common place. I was sitting in a barber chair, when I became aware that a powerful personality had entered the room. A man had come quietly in upon the...

Pastor’s Desk 02-02-2020

C. L. James in his delightful book, To See a World in a Grain of Sand, tells the fable of a wise old cat who notices a kitten chasing its tail. "Why are you chasing your tail?" said the wise old cat. The kitten replied, "I have learned that the best thing for a cat is...

Pastor’s Desk 01-26-2020

Those of you who saw the remarkable film Amazing Grace remember the story of William Wilberforce. Wilberforce was a British politician who, after his conversion to Christianity, became England’s greatest anti-slavery advocate. It was through his tireless efforts that...

Pastor’s Desk 01-19-2020

John the Baptist, the Essene preacher who introduced Jesus as the “Lamb of God.” When John’s parents died, he may well have been still too young to be on his own. Zechariah and Elizabeth had been very old when John was born, so that would not have been a surprise, but...

Pastor’s Desk 01-11-2020

Origin of baptism: Neither John nor Jesus invented baptism. It had been practiced for centuries among the Jews as a ritual equivalent to our Confession. Until the fall of the Temple in 70 A.D., it was common for Jewish people to use a special pool called a Mikveh --...

Pastor’s Desk 01-05-2020

A survey was made among school children asking the question why they enjoyed reading Harry Potter novels and watching Harry Potter movies. The most common answer was, “Because you never know what’s going to happen next.” This sense of suspense and surprise prompted us...

Pastor’s Desk 12-29-2019

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80s arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before...

Pastor’s Desk 12-22-2019

Jewish marriage started with an engagement arranged by parents, often between children. Just prior to marriage, couples began a year-long betrothal very much like marriage except for sexual rights. Betrothal was binding and could be terminated only by death or...

Pastor’s Desk 12-15-2019

Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American writer. When he died in 1864 he had on his desk the outline of a play he never got a chance to finish. The play centered around a person who never appeared on stage. Everyone talked about him. Everyone dreamed about him. Everyone...

Pastor’s Desk 10-11-2019

Perhaps the most grateful person I've ever heard of was an old woman in an extended care hospital. She had some kind of wasting disease, her different powers fading away over the march of months. A student of mine happened to meet her on a coincidental visit. The...