Death, Be Not Proud: A Reading of John Donne’s Holy Sonnet X

Posted on March 30, 2024
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“Death, be not proud,” also known as Holy Sonnet X, is John Donne’s great poem in mockery of Death. Composed in 1609, the poem was published posthumously in 1633. It is fitting that Donne got the final word, laughing at Death from his grave. The power of the poem is its reversal of our experience….

Burial at Sea on the Galilee

Posted on March 6, 2024
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Ashes, Ashes Tears filled Jessie’s eyes when she took my hand one evening and said, “I brought Derrick’s ashes. Could we have a service tomorrow in one of these beautiful places around the Sea of Galilee?” I knew her well. She was with her son on our trip to the Holy Land, which her husband…

The Good Grief of Advent: Living in the Longing

Posted on December 15, 2023
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“I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel. I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I’m still not happy. I always end…

Beautiful and Terrible Things: Pain and Suffering in the Life of a Disciple

Posted on August 9, 2017
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Pain, suffering, and disappointment are not often explored even lightly in the American church. In a previous article I began to explore practical care and understanding, but, like a diamond, this topic is worth a second or third look. When others are suffering, we feel awkward and insufficient, so we uncomfortably acknowledge it when we…

Thank you Bishop, and Good-bye

Posted on May 24, 2016
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Ten years ago Fran and I flew to Orlando to say some words to my former bishop, Donis Patterson.  We had not been friends, but when I had heard that his health was failing I felt we had to go to see him. To thank him. In 1985 he appointed me as ‘Missioner’ of the diocese and sent me…

Receiving Love in Loss

Posted on June 9, 2015
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On Trinity Sunday this year, I did not have the strength to lead worship. I needed to be present with my wife and children to grieve and rest. This May brought unexpected heartbreak, a shock we were not prepared following the anticipation of new life we had entering the spring. This past March I came to Apostles on…