SELF-DISCIPLINE: How Much Land Does a Man Need? by Leo Tolstoy

July 6, 2017

I An elder sister came to visit her younger sister in the country. The elder was married to a tradesman in town, the younger to a peasant in the village. As the sisters sat over their tea talking, the elder began to boast of the advantages of town life: saying how comfortably they lived there, how well they dressed, what fine clothes her children wore, what good things they ate and drank, and how she went to the theatre, promenades, and entertainments. The younger sister was piqued, and in turn disparaged the life of a tradesman, and stood up for that of a peasant. “I would not change my way of life for yours,” said she. “We may live roughly, but at least we are free from anxiety. You live in better style than we do, but [...]

SERMON: Greed, Grace, And Gratitude — An Approach to Preaching the Psalms by J. Clinton McCann, Jr.

June 1, 2014

From Performing the Psalms My approach in this essay is explicitly theological.  In its most basic sense, theology means thinking about God.  So, as I interpret the Psalms for preaching, I am constantly looking for a word from and about God and God’s will for the world.  More specifically, my working definition of theology is borrowed from David Tracy, who suggests that doing theology means thinking about religion culturally and thinking about culture religiously.  Or, as I like to paraphrase, Tracy, theology is thinking about God and God’s claim on the world in the context of where we find ourselves every day. As contemporary North Americans, where we find ourselves every day is in the midst of an extremely affluent culture in [...]

ADVENT FIRE: December 24

December 24, 2012

From Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers  If Abba Pambo said, “If you have a heart, you can be saved.” The Desire for Possessions Abba Isidore of Pelusia said, “The desire for possessions is dangerous and terrible, knowing no satiety; it drives the soul which it controls to the heights of evil.  Therefore let us vigorously drive it away from the beginning.  Once it has become master it cannot be [...]