Ken Sehested, author of In the Land of the Living: Prayers Personal and Public, is co-pastor of Circle of Mercy Congregation in Asheville, N.C., and a founding director of the Baptist Peace Fellowship.
Admiring Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream is not the same as being captured by it.
Portending peace for the earth
On the first Sunday in Lent in 2007, when tensions between the United States and Iran were escalating, Circle of Mercy Congregation unanimously adopted a statement opposing an attack on Iran. With the recent assassination of another Iranian scientist -- the fourth to be targeted in the past two years -- tensions between our two countries are again at a boiling point.
I don’t know what it was that penetrated my groggy reading of the Sunday morning paper, sitting at the kitchen table, the coffee maker’s final perks hacking like a smoker’s cough. Something, subliminally, coming from the radio news caught my attention. So I walked over to turn up the volume.
Reformation Sunday generally has a hard time competing with Halloween -- except, maybe, for our Lutheran friends. Six years before Luther commenced his Ninety-Five Theses’ complaint with the Roman church, an earlier but lesser-known reform movement took place in the Americas.
When we hear the word "fasting" -- a historic Lenten emphasis -- the initial image is associated with dieting. Fasting is a foreign and somewhat threatening notion, conjuring images of self-depreciation and ascetic mortification.
As with many modern cultural traditions, Valentine's Day draws from a jumble of historical memories. However, the observance's namesake comes directly from Christian history. The Roman Catholic Church's official list of saints actually has three entries for "Saint Valentine."