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A Reconsideration of the Most Important Qualification for Being a Pastor
During the past seventy years of serious thought about the pastoral ministry (yes, at fifteen I pondered such things) I have topped the list of qualifications with good preaching. My retirement has affirmed this priority. I am not going to sit for twenty minutes or so every week and listen to someone tell me how to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ when it is clear they don't know what they're preaching about, or doing so in a boring formulaic way that encourages this insomniac to go somewhere else...
Festival of the Incarnation
The Festival of the Incarnation
When God came among us as one of us.
Beginning the way we all began, issuing from a woman's body, as a helpless babe, mewling and puking. Scandalous, right? A stumbling block to holy thinking, right? But that's what it was. That's what it was meant to be. Eternity cradled in time. The ruler of the universe a bare naked baby wrapped in the spare cloths his mother had at hand.
Pretty it up. And we have. Made a grand spectacle of it what with bright stars, camels and astrologers, angelic choruses. As if we, those from the beginning telling the events no less than you and me, felt an obligation to clean it up...
I stepped into the fifteen seat shuttle bus for the return to the parking lot from the ferry. I was the sixteenth passenger. Two young women rose to offer me their seats. I declined their kindness. It wasn't chivalry. I blurted out, "No thank you. Refusal is the last vestige of my attempts to deceive myself into thinking I am younger than I am." Another woman, standing large and smiling, suggested I grab the overhead railing to steady myself as the bus moved. She also suggested that I could fall into her if it came to that, and I would be well-cushioned.