I was in talking to an atheist the other day. (Pastors meet more atheists than you might imagine.) This fellow had a question – “What should I expect, as an unbeliever, if I go to a church for the first time?” Without saying it directly, he was a little apprehensive. He was afraid, I think, […]
Wouldn’t it be great if, when you came to church, you could always sit in your favorite spot? I mean, most of us do have a favorite spot. The one we prefer, the one we sit in if nobody gets there first. Wouldn’t it be great if that seat were always reserved for you, ready […]
My life, I sometimes think, really began when I was twenty-three years old. I was working a desk job in the city, living a life of quiet desperation. One day I quit, stuffed some clothes into a backpack and flew to the Caribbean. Not one of the nice islands, either. I went to Haiti, the […]
There was a game that people used to play, back in the Middle Ages. On certain days, they would reverse their roles. Kings might dress up like peasants, and vice-versa. One version of this game was called “The Boy Bishop.” On the Feast of the Holy Innocents, in some places, a choirboy would be chosen […]
I saw a pizza truck at the grocery store. On the side, it said, “It’s not delivery – it’s DiGiorno.” But it was delivering the pizzas. So was it really DiGiorno? I met a man once who always told lies, who never told the truth. How did I know this? Why, he told me so […]
Some people say that the posting of the 95 Theses, which we remember today, was the birthday of the Lutheran Church. But that was just one scholar inviting other scholars to an academic debate.
Old European churches were built with something called a chancel screen — a sort of wall that separated the place where people sit from the area around the altar. This meant that during communion, you could not see what was happening.