Pastoring from the Midst of Death

Media vita in morte sumus—Antiphon, ca. 750, probably from France. That antiphon translates “In the midst of life, we are in death.” It appears in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church as well as in Latin liturgies. It was part of the “Committal Service for One Who Has Lived Apart from the […]

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What Happened to Rising?

This may not seem like the season to talk about Resurrection—though, for Christians, isn’t it always the season to talk about Resurrection?—but I found myself in an unusual position last week. Well, unusual for me: I attended two funerals, and did not officiate at either of them. Dealing with second things first, there was the […]

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Jesus and the Walking Dead

Today’s lectionary Gospel reading is John 11: 1-44 – the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. For those of us who’ve spent any time in Christian circles, we’ve heard it all before; this is a familiar story, and sometimes when stories are familiar, we tend to tune them out. You may be thinking, […]

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Beliefs… Revised

Is it possible to correct someone’s beliefs? Is it even desirable or “right” to attempt to do so? It’s certainly not a popular concept. Early in my years as a hospice chaplain, I met a kind, welcoming woman who summed up her beliefs by saying, “God’s in his heaven, and all’s right with the world.” […]

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