Stocks, Fall, and the Huskers

A friend called this morning. He can't believe I'm not writing about the stock market disaster and the circus inside the Beltway. "This is right up your alley, Jim, you should be writing about this in your blog." Ah, but I have been writing about it for the last couple of years. This is old …

Continue reading Stocks, Fall, and the Huskers

Remembering the Death of St. John the Theologian

Today is the Feast of the Falling Asleep of St. John the Apostle and Theologian. He was tortured in Ephesus and later in Rome and was finally banished to Patmos Island in Greece, a place that, at the time, was not nearly as developed and comfortable as it is today (wink). After the death of …

Continue reading Remembering the Death of St. John the Theologian

The Body of Christ

I'm not going to dump on the Orthodox Church in America, but it is the context of my thoughts, so a word is in order. The OCA has had a financial scandal brewing and occasionally bubbling over for the last few years. It seems that things may have finally come to a head. I suspect that for most OCA folks life goes on as usual but with a great deal of sadness now. But for others the emotions surrounding the scandal have trickled into the local parish where things have turned decidedly unpleasant. An acquaintance recently told me he didn't dare go to church last Sunday. Things are simply too unpleasant in his parish and when he goes he is driven away from God rather than drawn toward him. Instead he spends the ten o'clock hour before his icon corner, prays portions of the liturgy at home, and mourns his alienation from the church. Such a note from an acquaintance would not be noteworthy except for a similar comment I overheard by a Meals on Wheels driver this week. She is very spiritual and vaguely Christian and attends a conservative Evangelical church that suits those sensibilities. But she took her kids camping this weekend instead of attending church. "Oh, church is good, but if I want to be with God, it's a lot easier and more peaceful by the creek and beside the stream than it is at church. I think Jesus likes it out there." The actions of these two people are very similar, but their reasons are radically different. And those reasons reflect a radically different attitude toward the Body of Christ. The former did not go to church because it was simply too painful at this moment, although he mourned his separation from the Body. The latter did not go to church simply because it was a pain. Furthermore, her conception of the Body of Christ was utterly disembodied. She assumed that Jesus was glad to trot along beside her to the woods like a friendly puppy on a morning walk. The former attitude, while maybe not correct, is at least profoundly Christian. The latter, while not even vaguely Christian, is "correct," because the woman is her own measure and authority, and by that standard, she had a marvelously spiritual morning.

A Sign of Autumn

Sunday night I was burning the last of the brush pile from this summer's storm. As I sat watching the flames, the air filled with the sound of geese. Maybe a dozen flew over; a couple minutes later, another dozen, then twenty, then six. It went on for a half hour or forty five minutes: a migration in fits and starts. The geese were headed southwest. No doubt it's time to terrorize golfers and golf courses far to the south of Nebraska.

Road Kill

This summer we've seen a lot of buzzards sitting on the side of the road eating road kill. But the other day, I saw a dead buzzard, wings all splayed out, just a few feet beyond another bit of road kill. Seems the poor buzzard got hit by a vehicle. Alas, no buzzards had gathered to clean up the mess. It seems even they have epicurean standards.