Sunday, April 30, 2017

Εἶπεν ὁ κύριος τῷ κυρίῳ μου

My intent for adult Sunday School this morning is to read and discuss Peter’s speech that begins at Acts 2:14 and which Luke concludes at verse 41 saying “those who welcomed Peter’s words were baptized, about three-thousand souls that day.” 

The matter doesn’t especially torment me, but in my bumbling uncertainty I am always wondering and trying to figure out the evangelist’s christology, and I’m never sure about Luke. John’s gospel is easy and clear, but the synoptics are not, especially Mark, and I resist being led by what I always thought or want to conclude. So I’m unsure what Luke is thinking when he says God made Jesus both Lord and Christ (Messiah) (both?, and?, so that's two different things obviously), and at Acts 2:34 when he has Peter quoting from Psalm 110, “the Lord said to my Lord …” a verse that some see as christological and some see as confusing. Originally it’s not confusing at all, coming from the Hebrew bible that reads
 נְאֻם יְהוָה, לַאדֹנִי--שֵׁב לִימִינִי; עַד-אָשִׁית אֹיְבֶיךָ, הֲדֹם לְרַגְלֶיך 
which is “Yahweh said to my Lord,” where Yahweh is God, Adonai, and my Lord is David because it’s a song to David. So, God says to David, the Hebrew is clear. 

But in Luke’s time and place, they were using LXX, the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew bible, where it reads Εἶπεν ὁ κύριος τῷ κυρίῳ μου and I’m not sure how Luke, likely a gentile Christian, is seeing it, or how he means Peter to be conveying it, or how he means Peter’s audience to understand it. It can but doesn't necessarily have christological sense. So, if someone in the Sunday School class wants it clarified, I’ll have to say I’m not clear on it. I’m clear what the psalmist meant, but not what Luke means. What’s Luke’s christology? If what the angel says in the annunciation narrative at Luke 1:35 (The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come over you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the one who is to be born will be holy. He will be the Son of God") is an indication, and if 1:35 is Luke’s and not part of a later addition as some scholars seem to think, then Luke’s christology seems arguably clear.

IDK. Maybe it won't come up. Maybe if it does I'll try to distract by contemplating where three thousand people would have been baptized? In the Pool of Siloam? Probably they were sprinkled.

DThos+ looking out into the darkness

Saturday, April 29, 2017


Looking online for movies this week, I found and watched some Russian films free on Youtube, Road to Berlin with English subtitles, The Cuckoo with Vietnamese subtitles and a bright light in the middle of the screen to deter me from watching it free, The Last Train that listed English subtitles but had only Russian subtitles for interpreting German, where I recognized a sound доктор. Recent films, all were situated in World War Two, which is what I was looking for. Set in dark, bitter Russian winter before the Germans were pushed out of Russia, Train was so depressively drab I don’t remember noticing whether it was color or black and white, I may go back to see. 

Before watching Cuckoo, I read reviews and saw it didn’t matter about the subtitles, because the three characters speak respectively Finnish, Russian, and Lappish and don’t understand each other at all, which causes all manner of mixup including comic, frustrate, and near-tragic. English subtitled is available, but which lets the viewer understand what the characters never do, which rather spoils the point. So Vietnamese, which I don't do at all, is good as any.

More than a bit sentimentalist, Road to Berlin was fun to watch but odd. Beginning in the East as Germans get pushed back, I saw not the slightest relevance of having Berlin in the title. There was a puzzling time gap jump indicated by a fade of black that made me wonder if the film was by amateurs, but it wasn't. And almost soviet-like, the story ended with the main character absolved as hero not coward, as opposed to western style heading back to the beautiful widow who lusted after him. Well, he was twenty, maybe too young to see what was going on, though I remember twenty and it wasn’t like that at all.

There are two blogposts for this morning, the other about capital punishment, the death penalty, reverted to draft and may delete.

DThos+ wondering what the hell - -

Friday, April 28, 2017


Not that I have a football team, don’t follow professional sports, although Cleveland everything moved into my heart after my 2011 visit to Cleveland Clinic. While there I adopted the Cleveland Indians and still get all their news and offers, and checking Bleacher Report this morning I’m glad to see the Cleveland Browns drafted Myles Garrett after the Johnny Manziel debacle, which at least got him out of the SEC. Wishing the Browns a hundred twenty years.

College only, my favorite football teams are the Gators and the Wolverines and whoever is playing Ohio State and FSU but as a Jim Harbaugh enthusiast I’m keeping my mouth shut.

Looking at weather instead, decent morning for a walk and if presidential elections can beat long odds, check out worst case scenario for cataclysmic ice sheet melt in Time . I moved TWC’s cataclysmic scenario map mile by mile down the east coast from Boston to Jacksonville and across to Panama City, and it looks like now’s a good time to be here, as in 2117 I may not be able to park my cars in the garage here at Harbour Village. 

1978 through 1984 I was in Cleveland on business, often driving there from home in Pennsylvania several times a month, during my interim life in the international defense industry. Interim that is between Navy and Church, including throughout my seminary years. How was it? Interesting, exciting, fun, lots of travel, made me feel useful, helpful. Would I go back? Irrelevant, eh?


Thursday, April 27, 2017

day's end

Low overcast and noisy surf action below. Still dark, at 7H porch rail windy Thursday morning. Weather radar shows rain in the Gulf of Mexico, coming this way. 

Tentatively, one commitment today so far.

An issue of aging: to be taken seriously regarding personal concerns. Correction, not concerns, which sounds like worries yet isn’t, but ordinary things about advancing life. Not to hear such as “oh, we don’t want to talk about that” if what’s on mind is dying and death, or “oh, we all die, that’s true for all of us.” In the past couple weeks, as priest, pastor, neighbor and friend, I officiated three funerals. This week a friend and onetime parishioner whom Linda looks after was checked out at hospital for strange symptoms and found to have in a lung, a “large mass” that spreads to the adrenal gland. Even pastoring can be quite personal and though my health is decent, I’m self-aware and at this age it’s somewhat like the tide coming in. Absolutely not to say worry or concern, but facts of life that Time catches up with. So, if a relative, loved one or friend wants (needs) to talk about end of life, death and dying, don’t toss it off with σκύβαλον trash such as, “Oh well, we all die, that happens to everyone.” Play it like a man and have the guts to engage.

Thursday is dawning, but so hazily that I can’t see Shell Island from here.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I'm good

Changing by the instant, pink-tinged gray clouds, 65% humidity, 69 degrees, and the most wonderful soft, cool, salty breeze coming off the Gulf of Mexico, an exquisite Florida morning at 7H. Barely a ripple on the Bay surface as it washes up below, slapping the shore. Glad am I that I was born and grew up here, otherwise I might never have known where to come for the rest of my life. As close to heaven as I’ll ever need, don’t look for me. This is why, in The Great Divorce, there was no place for the photographer in heaven: ongoingly too magnificent to capture on film.  

Gulls flying by, no pelicans or ospreys yet. Black coffee and four small bite-size chunks of the last of Easter ham. The grain of saltiness has an oblique sweetness that’s a welcome surprise in this morning’s square of Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt. Today: maybe Tyndall, haircut, Wednesday, two commitments to keep. 

Last evening I sat on the edge of the bed and watched Linda’s program, a travel visit to Croatia, coast and inland, medieval towns. Where might I go before it’s too late? Well, eighteen. 


C S Lewis, The Great Divorce 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

now you don't, now you see it

Lord of the gathering feast,
you walk with us
on the shadowed road:
burn our hearts 
with scripture’s open flame;
unveil our darkened eyes
as bread is torn and shared
and from the broken fragments
bless a people for yourself;
through Jesus Christ, the host of the world.

Our bible story for Sunday is “The Road to Emmaus” adventure that is told to have taken place the afternoon of Easter Day. The story is below (scroll down). One of several so-called “post-resurrection narratives,” it has no parallels and so is Luke’s own story. Scholars of the Jesus Seminar see that in casting Jesus’ disciples as too slow witted to see what’s right before their eyes, Luke somewhat echoes a primary agenda of Mark. There’s also Luke’s theme that Jesus’ entire life was destiny fulfilling biblical prophecy about this ultimate prophet of God. On a personal note, I somewhat resent that scholars who translated the NRSV consistently insist on rendering Χριστὸν as Messiah, a title of Jewish expectation rather than our Christian title Christ, but I do understand. I understand but I disagree. I don’t even like that the Jesus Seminar scholars have it Anointed One, it’s distracting, fussily, preciously so.

Anyway, the story. The risen Christ "appears here and there, to this one and that one as he will,"* first unrecognized until some sign is spotted - - here the breaking of the bread, which may reasonably indicate that Cleopas and the other disciple were present at the Last Supper, or perhaps at the Feeding of the Five Thousand (or maybe Luke wasn't bothered about slipping up with a "literary discrepancy"). Why is Jesus unrecognized? Maybe he no longer wears spectacles. Maybe he’s had his hair cut or is combing it on the other side, mirror-image-like. Maybe it’s like if I see you in Publix today and you say “Hi, Father Tom!” and I look nonplussed because I’ve never seen you except at church on Easter and Christmas, but I cover anyway, “Hi!! How are you?!! Great to see you!! How’s the family?” Or maybe he’s wearing what St. Paul calls “the spiritual body.” IDK.


Luke 24:13-35
Now on that same day two of Jesus' disciples were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?”
 They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

  • - - - - 
The opening collect above from Prayers for an Inclusive Church is a bit more elegant than the Lectionary collect for Easter 3:

O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

* a line describing the Pooka from the movie Harvey starring Jimmy Stewart

Monday, April 24, 2017


4:49 Monday morning, in two hours I should be parked at Holy Pavilion waiting for Robert to arrive for this morning’s walk. Overcast, low dense clouds by the look of still predawn light, we have a cool morning with pleasant if stiff breeze that will be a memory to die for come August.

Reading, occasional good stories such as A Gentleman in Moscow and fiction my children who know me know I will love. More often essays I come across at online news sites, this morning. 

In other reading, mounting concern with megalomaniacal narcissists whose pond for self adoration is evidently murky and choppy, unlike the reflection seen by the legendary god. We cannot see the hideous in ourselves. Let the reader understand. My worry is banty rooster strutting with DPRK.

God willing, a peaceful week ahead and let all the people say Amen.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Grant? It's up to you

Sermon/homily on Sunday, April 23, 2017, in Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, Panama City, Florida. The Rev. Tom Weller

Collect for the Second Sunday of Easter
Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ's Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

John 20:19-31: that’s a fine gospel, but I’m not going to talk about the gospel, I’m going to talk about our collect for today. So, with every head bowed and every eye closed let us pray, as we listen closely to what we pray:

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Easter mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: May we who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ's Body show forth in our lives what we profess by our faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

So this is our Prayer of the Day then, from the 10th century Gregorian Sacramentary, our Collect for the Second Sunday of Easter. It’s printed in your worship booklet: for God’s sake, don’t throw it in the trash basket as you leave church today, take it home and look again, that’s your assignment for this week.

Praying, I changed the collect from third person to first person (that is, from “they” to “we”), and I changed the “literary mood” from imperative to subjunctive (from “grant” to “may”) in order to move the action onto us instead of unlikely, impossibly onto Almighty and Everlasting God. First because why on earth would we try to pass our responsibilities off onto our God? And second, because what’s the use anyway: when it comes to managing unruly, disobedient, self-directed, selfish humans, history evidences that God has laid self-imposed limits on God’s almightiness; and that from the time of Adam in the Garden, we submit less to the will of God and fall more under the enchanting spell of NawCawsh the serpent, at whose enticing lead we have ever since Eden insisted on being our own masters, Free Will, mindless, unsensible of the will of God.

Over against a theology of God’s own self-restraint, one alternative which I will in no wise entertain this morning, is that God, like Pontius Pilate at Gabbatha, has washed his hands of this failed human experiment, stepping back to let us fall and fail on our own. But the absence of God is not our Christian faith.

So, listen again:

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ's Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

But no! The gospel is not about them, whoever they are, the gospel is about us, about me, about you. The lectionary collect is weasel words. Never happen.  Cannot work. God is not going to “grant that.” “God has no hands but our hands,” says an old prayer —

God has no hands but our hands to do his work today;
God has no feet but our feet to lead others in his way;
God has no voice but our voice to tell others how he died;
God has no help but our help to lead them to his side.

Collect notwithstanding though, the Second Sunday of Easter is not a day to scold you, the faithful remnant, and I’m not scolding, although I am struggling with this collect. We are in a new Season: Easter, weeks and weeks of joyful celebration, “Alleluia, Christ is risen, the Lord is risen indeed, Allelua!” and what “Christ is risen” means to us who seek to live by faith, is that God will raise us also, from death; and not only from death into a life to come, but into the joy of life in God’s kingdom, a “kingdom” into which you step the instant you accept Jesus into your heart, into your mind, into your life, into your way of living, as part of your Being. Thy kingdom come here and now.

I’m sorry but I don’t, I do not have a joke or other funny story to tell you this morning, instead I have an exhortation, a godly admonition (you can take it or leave it, and most will leave it): and my godly admonition is that you take God as seriously and lovingly as God takes you. “We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you; because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.” Easter is about what God has done and does for us because of chesed, a Hebrew word about God’s gracious lovingkindness.

There is no charge, salvation is free. I am not certain what “salvation” is, but I am certain that “salvation” is free. God loves us, God loves me, God loves you, do you believe that? Yes, you believe that, or you would not be here this morning. And believing that God loves you, do you love in return? Because, remember, love is not a feeling, love is action, something you do, how you live. Love goes both ways, meaning that you earnestly try, in your daily living, to live the Easter faith that you profess. “Grant that we who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ's Body may show forth in our lives what we profess by our faith.” But wait: “Grant”? God will not magically stand outside you and grant this, you must do it yourself, for yourself, in faithful response to Jesus’ resurrection. If you do not, God will not.

Listen again: from St. Teresa of Avila:

Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
No hands but yours,
No feet but yours,
Yours are the eyes through which is to look out Christ’s compassion to the world;
Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good;
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless people now.

Do not wait for God to “grant.” 
Christian, God has baptized you to “do.” 


In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth …

Late yesterday afternoon, at a small gathering of family and friends dear to Father David and Olive Damon - - our first rector at Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, Father Damon officiated our wedding nearly sixty years ago, and I last talked with him a few days before he died fairly recently - -  I found a Publix brand ham as delicious as the costly Easter ham I ordered from out west.

Before that gathering, I’d officiated a funeral, burial service for friends of standing longer than my own life, going back all my growing up years, lo into the life of my grandfather and the 1936 hurricane that obliterated Pop’s fish house that was out on the pier where now stands Landmark Condominiums at WBeachDrive and Frankford Avenue. At this age, even the earthly residuals of my own personal memories slowly evaporate, dissipate into the ether of eternity. Not sad, it’s simply the nature and way of Creation and seasons of life on earth:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:

  • a time to be born, and a time to die;

  • a time to kill, and a time to heal;

  • a time to break down, and a time to build up;

  • a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

  • a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

  • a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

  • a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

  • a time to get, and a time to lose;

  • a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

  • a time to rend, and a time to sew;

  • a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

  • a time to love, and a time to hate;

  • a time of war, and a time of peace.

What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 KJV)

Again, neither sad nor maudlin, it’s simply deeply personal to watch reality disappear into history as the sun continues daily.

Saturday, April 22, 2017


There are two of us. I like our dishes, the plates we eat from at a meal, to match. We have a few sets of dishes. When we packed up and moved from the house, the children were given any sets they wanted, most were sold at auction, and we kept a few sets. The “good china” people gave us when we were married, I don’t like it, never did, never have, never will, but it's ours for life with all that signifies, and I'm not letting it go. Linda and her mother selected it, from England, it’s called Wedgwood “Blue Florentine” and the design around the rim has serpent tongues weaving in and out of the eyes of skulls, bon appetit. Our last semester at Florida, I showed it to my friend Jerry, who said, “Weller, I wouldn’t hit a hog in the rump with that.” 

For our marriage good silver, I wanted a pattern with a shell called something like “fiddle, shell, thread,” but Linda and Paint chose flatware that blended with Mrs. Peter’s "Francis I"  and now we have plenty of silver for any occasion. Of our brood, only Joe has wanted any of that, and has a complete set of, I think, six place settings, three Francis I and three Burgundy. Of course, Lucile wasn’t called “Paint” until Malinda arrived a few years later and started calling Linda’s mother “Paint,” but there it is anyway. 

We kept some elegant oriental china that was Linda’s mother’s, sent to auction something hideously garish she had that was reddish-orange and gold with grotesque orange peacocks or something, jiminy christmas. Kept an exquisite set of “half-blue” is the translation, that we long admired then finally saved up and bought at a china shop on Motomachi when we lived in Yokohama in the mid-1960s, the prettiest pattern I've ever known. I think I saved a set of twelve or sixteen elegant French or German dishes that I bought on eBay ten or a dozen years ago for use at like Thanksgiving when lots of family were over, white porcelain with a something-karat gold rim, I think they’re in a china cabinet in the pantry; or maybe I let those go to auction, or maybe gave them to Tass, I’m no longer sure of that or anything else. 

A couple of plain white melmac plates. A couple of Japanese white with blue designs that we used for breakfast this morning, we bought them years ago at Stone Lantern, Ralph DeVille's shop in Highlands, NC. A set of eleven (one missing obviously) Limoge dessert plates. Finally of course, my set of a dozen old fashioned ten-inch plates from Bayern, white porcelain with a delicate gold design in the gold rim, I bought them years ago, listed as dating 1937, that I call my “nazi dishes” that are now our everyday dishes. 

As I was saying, I like all the dishes on the table to match. Not a fetish by any means, but why not, it somehow lends a fabrication of order to life, of ordinariness, calm and control. Matching table mats. I don’t mind if the flatware is a mix of patterns, stainless, sterling, plated, but I want the plates to match. I’m not disturbed when that’s not the case, when Linda has one plate and gives me a different one ragtag, she doesn’t usually do that, but when it happens there’s an uneasy feeling that life is starting to unravel in its last surviving remnant of order and that the next stop will be the nursing home, slouched in a wheelchair in the front lobby, dozing and with my mouth open.

DThos+ in +Time+ and moving on

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday the 21st

God stuff

“Life is Good” says the sign on my orange hat, “Do what you love, love what you do.” That’s the way it is. Loving life, loving living at 7H, loving hearing what I hear, seeing what I see, doing what I do.

Even arising at one-thirty-odd in the wee hours to sacrifice to Father Nature, life is good. Even going back to bed, not being able to return to sleep, and quickly up again to write a funeral homily and arrange two psalms for responsive reading, life is good. But it’s now four-forty-four and sleepiness is returning, though if I go back to bed now, I’ll sleep halfway through the morning, past the walk, past breakfast, and not feel right about myself. 

So I’m eighty-one and’ve known since I was ten that I would be doing this throughout life, Gott Zeug, though I did manage to avoid it the middle twenty-five. But homilies, liturgy, sermons, pastoral calls, hospital, vest, smile beatifically, what. Religious, theological, political and social views. 

In America, someone was executed last night, put to death: what heinous act brought about capital judgment? It matters to me. Victim-oriented, I am not deontological about capital punishment. What might one do to someone else, by which offense one forfeits one’s right to live, to life? And does the system both preclude irreversible error while also extracting justice, as our old Prayer for the Whole State of Christ's Church had it, "punishment of wickedness and vice" ? 

War? war with DPRK, madman against madman, madness against madness? Does anyone besides me remember the Chinese hordes crossing the border by thousands upon thousands, what, November 1950? Saber-rattling is guaranteed to raise every national leader’s status, approval ratings, popularity. Whose tough-guy ratings are worth the life of a child? And to whom? 

Blowhard idiots, fools posturing, playing cowboy, daring, screaming “Draw!” we are about to find out. I have lived into the age of insanity; it’s fine for me to be down at the far end of +Time+ but what about my loved ones? What about your loved ones? What about their loved ones?

Thursday, April 20, 2017


70.3°F 84% on 7H porch, gentlest breeze stirring the various lilies, orchids, rosemary; the tomato plant that has given us one red tomato now has two more near ready and several still green but growing. Black coffee and a square of Ghirardelli dark with cabernet grape. On a scale of one to ten, I’ll give this Florida morning a thirteen. No, there’s a haze over StAndrewsBay and reducing visibility across Shell Island into the Gulf, so I’m cutting that to an eleven. 

Holy Nativity Episcopal School, a ribbon cutting at Holy Pavilion, and a surprise more like a striking stun: one of the three large bronze plaques includes our name 

on this, a place of my heart since I started first grade there the day after Labor Day, September 1941. That this would be done for us steals my heart away.

My mother took me into the classroom, Ms Violet Heyward held out a yardstick and told me to kick at it, apparently I kicked with my right foot, whereupon she proclaimed me right-handed, led me to my desk and I looked around for mama but she was gone. On that first day of the rest of my life I found out that we are on our own.

DThos+ well along in +Time+  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

red and blue

Blue yesterday, not always blue, red Saturday morning as Lauritzen’s Indian Bulker 587x97 quietly slipped past Courtney Point with wood pellets for Immingham UK, 

but Tuesday was blue: a tug servicing the dredge along WBeachDrive, and Linea Line’s Guadalupe 326x55 making her regular loop between here and Progreso. 

The Lauritzen ships are among the largest that call at West Terminal, but the Star-named vessels of Griegstar into and out of East Terminal range to about 670x100 or more.

A tragedy? IDK, if there was tragedy it was his life, Aaron Hernandez of talent taking his life in prison to end a violent life and a murderous psychiatric set to his personality. He played life hostile, rough and irrational, I wonder whether brain damage was a factor. Life is not ours to waste. He might have been a star, a hero inspiring young athletes.

Wednesday, a treat. A ribbon cutting and supper out.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Old South

Honestly, I never thought of barbecue as political food. It’s sure enough regional, the proud sauces put on the same pork shoulder or pork butt vary greatly from place to place, one region to another throughout the South. A favorite, which I still have one or two unopened bottles, has been a vinegar and pepper sauce I bought while with son Joe in North Carolina, or Joe brought me later. It also makes good salad dressing, I did that for years of weight control instead of creamy blue cheese dressing I sometimes make. And I’ve liked the yellow mustard based sauce from South Carolina, including at times've had a bottle with Confederate flag on the label, though I never realized, it didn’t occur to me, that it deliberately signified. 

From yesterday's online The New Yorker, below’s a link to an article that I read and I value. Raised in fried mullet country not barbecue country, I don’t, probably can’t, appreciate the barbecue tastes, secrets and rivalries, some bitter, apparently especially intrafamily tensions, which until yesterday I never knew about. But if we were still driving back and forth between Harrisburg and Panama City, or especially between Washington DC and Panama City as was the case for long years, after reading this article I’d not resist stopping at various barbecue shacks or cafes to feast. 

Looking at the menu in a barbecue restaurant, I could never choose. So an extra large sampler barbecue plate and unsweetened ice tea or a beer. The article is intriguing on several levels that stirred my memories of growing up in the South, and brought to mind beloved family members long gone, and stirred my salivary glands. I’m glad I read the article, I learned something.

What about the political issue(s) though, racism, the racists? They come from a region of absolute certitude, knowing not and knowing not that they know not. Believing truth that is false and evil, they've made it back to the top of the federal executive. Concerned, I’m worried, especially in national law enforcement, certitudinous white supremacy crawling out from under its rock. Having also grown up there, I see and recognize. Yet one from my background must be vigilant about self as well: what am I covering up that I don’t realize, or repress, suppress, that I am not ever willing to uncover and face again as part of who I am, where I’ve come from, whom I grew up with as role models, respected and loved. Is this persona me, or is the Other still under there. As the author of the article quoted from one of her sources, “.. being Southern always involves that complicated dance.” I know that, danced it so long, danced it so far, and danced so far away out of my past into the distance that I hardly remember the boy, mind, attitudes, worldview, who grew up behind these blue eyes, not realizing that what he was being raised to know was irredeemably wrong on every level of fact, righteousness and morality. Hardly remember. Hardly, but enough to be leery of self. Guarded lest who-knows-what break out. I don’t trust me. "We are what we eat" means not only barbecue.

Earlier everything looked white. Fog? World to the south of me was bathed in the light of a half moon above a white navigation light and the flashing, summoning light of my green channel marker on a calm, still Bay.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Monday Mumble Grumble

Thinking about a sweep of spring cleaning, what do I have cluttering the desktop of this MacBook? 

  • True Religion by Karl Barth 
  • The Idiot by Dostoyevsky, read it, why is it still here
  • NYT article “To Change the World, Change Man” by Michael Laitman, who wrote “Who Are You, People of Israel?”, read it, been on my desktop since July 2015 
  • books from C S Lewis The Chronicles of Narnia, “The Magician's Nephew,” “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “The Horse and His Boy” 
  • Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, full lot of it, read some of them
  • text of Our Town by Thornton Wilder
  • picture, 1949 Plymouth station wagon 
  • English translation of the letter scrap Morton Smith found with text of Secret Mark 
  • file with links to eight Leonard Cohen songs 
  • text of “Romans 3,” 
  • Stations of the Cross 
  • file containing fifteen old preached sermons 
  • book "Prince Caspian” from Narnia 
  • link to MarineTraffic/Global 
  • interliner Greek-English Septuagint 
  • Liturgical Calendar for Year A 
  • play script of Lazarus Laughed 
  • book Greek Tenses and Moods 
  • online blogpost titled “How can the genitive mean “in”?” 
  • advice column about the importance of distributing Small Assets so family survivors don’t get feelings hurt or fight about little things they hold dear from childhood 
  • link to GoComics 
  • file “Weller Pics” that stores dozens of pictures an old man holds dear 
  • long article about CHF 
  • “Week in Review” blogpost entitled “Peeking Inside the Mind of the Boy Dating Your Daughter,” where I recognized myself from sixty-five years ago 
  • 1930 Marquette by Buick brochure 
  • 1930 Viking by Oldsmobile brochure
  • picture of Kristen holding Lillie 
  • complete chart of the Russian alphabet 
  • file folder with links to various car catalogs 
  • text of Enriching Your Worship 
  • links to my +Time blog, Google, and my Facebook page. 

Time to clean up. Naanh, too much bother, just click "View" and make them all smaller.

No walk this morning, pastoral reasons, early officiating a service in the rector’s absence. 

What kind of ἀγάπη summons a hundred+mile drive clergy conference for Sunday afternoon and evening of Easter Day, Monday, and Tuesday morning of Easter Week, protected, much needed and deserved rest time and family time for exhausted clergy, not even going there, retired, otherwise as a grouchy old man I’d boycott!!

We had the best Easter, all my girls here plus Ray and Jeremy. We sliced and consumed part of a whole bone-in ham from Snake River Farms and sent the rest home with various households. What's left here besides a still exhausted old man: bit of scrumptious ham, potato skins saved for me, some interestingly delicious lemon cake from Cahall's, rest of the egg casserole from Sunday breakfast, few bananas from Lillie's birthday party, one of which I just consumed with early cup of black coffee - - -  


Sunday, April 16, 2017

ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη

ληθῶς ἀνέστη

Matthew's resurrection account:

28 After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” 8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” 

Matthew 28:1-10 (NRSV) above will be our gospel this morning, Easter Day Year A. Alternate is John 20:1-18. In Year B our synoptic gospel is Mark 16:1-8. Year C, Luke 24:1-12. The John 20 resurrection story is the option each year. 

No less varied than the nativity narratives, certainly at least in some measure for reasons of audience and agenda, each of the four canonical gospels tells a different story, different details, of the resurrection of Jesus, which theologically and doctrinally is the core of Christian faith. Paul says either it's true or we are fools. The oldest, Mark’s story ends with terrified women fleeing the empty tomb and saying nothing to anyone, and Mark tells no post-resurrection appearances. Matthew, above, orders everyone to Galilee. Luke tells everyone to remain in Jerusalem. John has the poignant and perhaps borderline romantic but nevertheless moving story with Mary Magdalene. Matthew, Luke and John tell post-resurrection appearances. Everyone’s story is different. Does it matter? It matters to me. It may not matter to most people, many of whom may confuse the stories or even blend them as the Christmas stories have been blended; and it may not matter to most ordained clergy, but it matters to me. Why? Because. 

Paul, whose writings are some years earlier than the canonical gospels, knows nothing of an empty tomb, just as Paul knows nothing of the nativity and virgin birth stories, though Paul does know of the Last Supper. What difference does it make, why does it matter to me? Maybe because finally having given in to the -- what, call? -- to ordained ministry that nudged me from age ten, I’ve given the second half of my life to reading, study, discussion, teaching, preaching these stories and feel I know them fairly well. Maybe because incompatible testimony strains credence in any courtroom. Maybe because for some years of life I was a studied and read amateur astronomer and with a telescope. Maybe because I perceive agenda reasons for differences and am uneasy, as I look just beneath the surface, with agenda seeming to drive truth, just as with differences between exegesis and eisegesis. Maybe because I can explain the differences without either trashing or validating them. Maybe because the resurrection stories came so much later, forty years and more after the fact of it. I don’t know. I can preach Christ crucified and I can preach Christos anesti. I get the kind, gentle, loving, mostly patient and earthy Jesus of the synoptics, the Logos of John, and the Christ of Paul. I say the creeds and enter the baptismal covenant with straight mind and clear conscience. Why then does it matter to me when Bible stories of the same core event are so different in detail from writer to writer? Maybe most of all because I take seriously to heart the exhorting proverb I read those years in the lintel over the library door of one of my seminaries, “Seek the Truth, Come Whence It May, Cost What It Will” and I am no more afraid of the obviously potential cost of truth than I am of death. It is what it is. Certain of nothing, comfortable in doubt, accepting in spite of and notwithstanding, faith is chosen not knowledge and I live by faith as strong as ever. So, I believe ... Happy Easter, Christ is risen, ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη.

DThos+ somewhere in +Time+ and moving on

Pic pinched online: Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem