Court Preachers

A Peculiar Prophet

I recently wrote a reflection for preachers in our current time, and shared it with Ministry Matters. Here is that reflection on the preachers who pander to the political powers, and the call to be gospel preachers with integrity and courage. I hope it is an encouraging word for you in your work for today.

Will

There’s a history of preachers attempting to ingratiate themselves with the powerful; some clergy are always willing to sacrifice the gospel in exchange for proximity to the crown. Louis XIV had his pet court preachers like Bossuet and Massillon who came to Versailles and, in elegant sermons, told the Sun King what he wanted to hear. Encountering mild resistance from some German Protestant preachers, Hitler elevated a prominent pastor, Ludwig Müller, to the role of Reich bishop in his new German Church and the majority of the churches stepped into line behind the…

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Thomas Merton 50 years later

December 10th: Remembering Thomas Merton

December 10 looms large in the life story of Thomas Merton.

He entered the Abbey of Gethsemane in Kentucky on December 10, 1941, and died tragically in Thailand in an electrical accident on December 10, 1968—45 years ago today.

He was 53.Considering the Incarnation, he once wrote words that seem fitting for Advent:

Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ has come uninvited. But because he cannot be at home in it, because he is out of place in it, and yet he must be in it, his place is with those others for whom there is no room.

His place is with those who do not belong, who are rejected by power because they are regarded as weak, those who are discredited, who are denied the status of persons, tortured, exterminated. With those for whom there is no room, Christ is present in this world.

Thank you, Fr. Louis. Thank you.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him…

A view from the road

Does anyone ever look at your house as you walk past while walking the dog or as you drive by on the way to work? One night recently as I strolled by with my dogs, I thought to myself who lives there? The calm yellow-white glow framing the view of the front room all the way back to the fireplace. Who lives there? As I stood there for a moment my minds’ eye took me on a Charles Dickens like daydream. There inside I was there, there also my family. I watched as these people lived life in this place. I was suddenly overwhelmed with memories of the past. Dear old dogs and other pets long gone, birthdays, the many Christmas mornings around the tree that would have been right there in the window. The not so good times, the struggles of life if you will. I watched my child grow from bouncy blonde toddler playing with toads and lizards into a young woman with equestrian dreams and hopes of vet school. Wow what a snapshot. Too fast. Our lives move at blinding pace. If we don’t pause we miss much. We savior the good, overcome the bad, and praise God for each second. But in the end, we are but a flash, a starlight twinkle. So, what makes this life worth the living? Jesus tells us love is the greatest element of life. Love not of physical expression, but a love of sharing, of raising, teaching. A love that commands us to forgive, to overcome. A love of joy, a love of the owe of this universe, and all its mysteries. A love of home and the yellow-white glow framing the view in front of you. Take a look…

God’s Peace be with you.

Meaningful Planning

This Day With God

No greater purpose in life is as important as God’s plan for us all. His plan is magnificent in wisdom and it is His purpose that prevails. As recorded in Proverbs 16:3, commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. God has explained to us the reason for sending Christ, a plan for humanity put into motion long ago. The Bible teaches us to plan our work and then carry those plans out with action. Those that move by guesswork without a practical plan are like cars without steering wheels. .. Sooner or later there is going to be a crash.

In anything we do, there should be a purpose. In a grammar lesson in eighth grade Mrs. O’Neill said, “Paul, give me a sentence with a direct object.” Paul replied, “Everyone thinks you are the best teacher in the school.” “Thank you, Paul,” responded…

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