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There Are No Silly Love Songs

The greatest human problem is a want of love, and the simplest antidote is confessing our love—telling people, “I love you.” Why does anyone need to restate the obvious, since everyone already knows it? Paul McCartney sang, You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs I look around me and I…

Ash Wednesday and the Reluctant Blesser

I didn’t really want to put on my white robes, slash a purple stole across my body and stand with an ash pot on the train platform before dawn. I don’t enjoy standing in public looking odd—no one does—but it’s more than that. I’m worried that no one else wants to do something “religious” out…

How Tasting Wine Can Improve Your Prayer

What can a wine tasting tell you about prayer? Plenty, it turns out. I was sitting at a table with twenty other would-be oenophiles, four glasses placed in front of me. I was to number them. In glass number one the sommelier poured Sauvignon blanc. I picked up the glass like a clod and made…

Pray and Do Something Small

It is Advent and so much needs to change. So much needs to be done, so many people need to be protected, so many who have given up on life need to hope again. Those who care for the vulnerable and powerless in our world are asking what urgently needs to be done right now….

A Radical Thanksgiving

Everywhere I look there are suggestions for how to get through the Thanksgiving holiday, since–families being what they are–we are all going to have to share a table with someone who voted for the other candidate for President. Many of the tips simply riff on the oldest dictum of American etiquette (no religion or politics…

After the Election: We Stand with the Last, the Lost and the Least

After the Election: We Stand with the Last, the Lost and the Least A Sermon on Remembrance Sunday The Rev. David R. Anderson Saint Luke’s Parish, Darien, Connecticut November 13, 2016 This day—All Souls or Remembrance Sunday—brings to conclusion the fall celebration of All Saints with all its brightness and joy that leads to All…

This-Thing-Inside-Me

He lies on the living room sofa, propped on a bolster of pillows, covered with a blanket, head shaved clean and white. Cancer. I am here to talk about what this is like. Outside, orange leaves speckle the green lawn and pumpkins climb the three steps to the front door. My mind wanders. Why do…

“God Hates Religion”

The message of the Bible is that God hates religion. The great Reformed theologian Karl Barth wrote those words. They’re striking. “The message of the Bible is that God hates religion. [What] we must say [of religion] is that it is the one great concern of godless men” (Church Dogmatics, vol. 1). The young Karl…

Three Things

Yesterday I received a cry for help. After only ten months, a marriage had disintegrated. One party was filing. Could I help. Forty-five minutes later I sat down with a couple for a pre-marital session, on our way to a fall wedding. They were sunny and excited and I tried not to bring that phone…

God, Dogs, and Unconditional Love

On the Monday following the terrorist rampage in Orlando, a dozen Golden Retrievers showed up in the Disney city. They were part of the K-9 Comfort Dogs team, a ministry run by Lutheran Church Charities. The dogs had come to give the kind of love and comfort that come only from a furry friend. There…

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