The Christmas Verdict

Co-missioners, Our editor, a working pastor and preacher, is also our contributor this week. We pass along a recent sermon of his on a Christmas text that few preachers are drawn to. God grant relief for dark December days, crackling with judgment. Peace and Joy, The Crossings Community The Christmas Verdict (A Sermon)  by Jerome Burce Author’s …

What Heaven Is

Co-missioners, Matt Metevelis, remember? The hospice chaplain in Las Vegas with a side job at a little Lutheran congregation in the downtown area. We last heard from him directly at the beginning of September when he reviewed N.T. Wright’s book on the pandemic. A month later we sent you to Mockingbird for a piece he published there. …

How I Finally Got Advent

Co-missioners, Our editor, intent on grinding an axe about the season of Advent and what to make of it, rummaged in our library and found an essay he wrote on the topic some sixteen years ago.  By Ed Schroeder’s sufferance it became his first-ever contribution to Thursday Theology. Much of the essay is dated by now, especially …

Mission is Essential!

Co-missioners, Happy Thanksgiving! To those of you receiving and reading these words in other parts of the world, this is the ubiquitous American greeting for today, the fourth Thursday in November, commonly called Thanksgiving Day. Wikipedia ranks it as the second most widely observed of American holidays, the first being Christmas, though it exceeds Christmas in the …

A Timely Sermon on Religion and Politics

Co-missioners, Election Day 2020 is behind us—and the American electorate is as divided as ever. Joe Biden may have won the popular count by almost six million votes, but Donald Trump got four million more than Barack Obama in his best year, the one that marked him momentarily as the highest vote-getter ever. One implication of this: …

The Real Surprise of Matthew 25

Co-missioners, We assume that even in these days of Covid 19 many of you are managing to check in at church on Sunday, if not in person then via the internet. And some of you are among the pastors tasked with making church-of-sorts happen on Sundays. In either case you’re noticing that Christ is dosing us once …

The Folk Religion of God Bless America, FROGBA Revisited

Co-missioners, This will reach you two days after the election of 2020. It’s being prepared for publication three days before the election, and the one preparing it has no idea what the outcome will be, reported trends notwithstanding. The shock of Election Night 2016 continues to reverberate. Perhaps we’ll have some comments ready to share on November …

More from “The Lion and the Lamb”

Co-missioners, Today’s episode is the second of two extended clippings from a keynote address we heard at our Crossings conference in 2018. Aside from welcoming newcomers and introducing the conference theme, the address focused on the distinction between Law and Gospel and on the challenge of putting the Gospel to effective use in the life of the …

Reformation-tide Spin on Law and Gospel (1)

Co-missioners, Lutheran congregations will celebrate the Reformation this Sunday. Or at least we hope they will. Here we think chiefly of ELCA churches and the pastors who lead them. One of the concomitants of ecumenical rapprochement is a tendency to downplay the distinctiveness of one’s own tradition and witness. To the extent that Lutherans succumb to this …

Plain(s) Theology for a Pandemic Problem

Co-missioners, Steve Kuhl has been writing a lot of reflections over the past several months for his Episcopal church in South Milwaukee. Last week he shared another one with us. It speaks to a dilemma that all too many congregations are wrestling with at the moment. We think you’ll appreciate the care Steve takes in addressing it. …