Scripture Reflections

Photography © by Andy Coan

Called and Chosen

Flick on the television, turn to the news, and notice how hopeless it all looks.  Terrorists kill hundreds and intimidate millions.  Government debt in the US and Europe balloons out of control and whole countries need to be bailed out. Things did not appear much better in first century Galilee.  The king was an irreligious adulterer and a lackey of […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Behold the Lamb of God!

The Protestant Church is all about the Bible; the Catholic Church is all about the Sacraments.  Right? Not exactly.  When it comes to personal Bible reading, Protestants often put Catholics to shame.  But as far as Sunday worship goes, it is hard to find a more biblical service than the Mass. The readings are awesome enough, but even the prayers […]

"The Nativity" (Gerburt Christi detail) by Franz von Rohden

God’s Search for You

Our Search for God It is likely that each of us here actively seek the Lord. Jesus, Himself, instructs us to seek Him, saying, “Seek and you will find.” Man and woman’s search for God is a recurring story through the ages as we try to discover the meaning of our lives. While meditating on the Fifth Joyful Mystery of […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

A Fleeting Glimpse of the King

Up until now, all has been quite humble. A donkey-ride to a dusty town south of Jerusalem. Hotel rooms all booked up. Giving birth in a stable and laying the baby in an animal’s feed trough instead of a cozy cradle. Into this scene of obscure poverty suddenly bursts an exotic entourage from a far-off land. Dignitaries in dress uniform […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Mother of God

The mother of the messiah has been called many things in the last two thousands years—the Virgin Mary, Our Lady, the Blessed Mother.  But call her “the Mother of God,” and you’ll see some Christians squirm. This is nothing new.  One day in the early fifth century, a priest preached a stirring sermon in the presence of the patriarch of Constantinople.  […]

"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Gerard van Honthorst

The Greatest Love Offers the Greatest Gift

“I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) Merry Christmas! I love holidays. I love family. The two just seem to go together, don’t they?. Some holidays are joyful gatherings, some less so. We are all too human, as the saying goes. But I say, give me holidays and family any day; warts and all! […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Best Supporting Actor

In the drama of the incarnation, Jesus is, of course, the star.  That’s the way it is at every birth.  All eyes are on the baby.  The co-star, though, is definitely mom.  Without her love and labor, the event could not have happened.  In this case, without mom’s faith it couldn’t have happened either.  According to Luke’s Gospel, an angel […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Rejoice in Hope

Moses’ mission had taken him quite a distance . . . from the splendor of Pharaoh’s palace, to a stroll through the Red Sea, to wrestling with Israel’s stubbornness for forty years in the desert. How sad that he never made it across the Jordan!  But God did give him a moment of consolation.  He brought him up to the […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Fast Comes Before the Feast

Christmas cards speak about it.  Christmas carols sing about it.  Even the angels at Bethlehem proclaimed it.  “Peace on earth.”  “The lion shall lie down with the lamb.” (Is 11).  “Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever” (Ps 72). The coming of the Messiah obviously has something to do with the advent of peace. But […]

Therefore, stay awake!

“Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come” (Matthew 24:42). This verse is part of a larger passage (Matthew 24:1 — 25:30) where Jesus speaks about the time before his second coming—that is the time in which we all live. Of course this is immediately followed with the separation of the sheep and […]