Sweet Afton

Flow gently, sweet Afton! amang thy green braes, Flow gently, I’ll sing thee a song in thy praise; My Mary’s asleep by thy murmuring stream, Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream. Thou stockdove whose echo resounds thro’ the glen, Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den, Thou green-crested lapwing thy screaming forbear, I charge you, disturb not my slumbering Fair. How…

Growth in two directions

Dramatis personae: The Rev. A. S. Damick, Evangelia Damick (aged 2 yrs., 9 mos.) Rev. Damick: Look! Snow! Evangelia: Yes! We can play in it! It’s on the ground! Rev. Damick: Probably not tonight, youngun. Evangelia: Oh, well. Maybe later. Rev. Damick: Yes, maybe later. Evangelia: When you get small! Rev. Damick: What? Evangelia: When you get small! Rev. Damick: I don’t think I’m…

The Defamiliarization of the Christ

There are many times when I am speaking to someone about Christ, even within a church context, that I feel like I am speaking about an alien visitor from outer space. It is quite similar to the feeling I sometimes have when referencing some piece of history that interests me for which my interlocutor has no context or experience to make it meaningful. I…

My Emmaus

I remarked to my wife the other day that I now really don’t want to live anywhere but in Emmaus (we live in Allentown for the moment but hope that that will change in the next few years). I have started referring to this place occasionally as “my Emmaus.” (The genitive case is, of course, not merely the possessive.) I’ve moved a good many…

“[He] didn’t see any God there.”

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. On October 4, 1957, the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union made the following transmission: “As a result of great, intense work of scientific institutes and design bureaus the first artificial Earth satellite has been built.” Indeed, it had not only been built, but Sputnik 1,…

The Voice

Today’s saintly commemoration is the conception of John the Forerunner, known to most English speakers as John the Baptist, which is narrated for us, along with his birth, in the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel. A major thematic element for today is the Voice. Zachariah, not believing the archangel, is made bereft of his voice until such time as he participates in the naming…