This week is Palm
and/or Passion Sunday, and choices will vary as to the form of worship and the
point at which the sermon falls. Palm Sunday, with its palms waving and
salutations sung to the Savior, is an event that children will enter into
readily even if adults are a bit shy. If the choice is for a Passion Sunday
emphasis, a dramatic reading is memorable for those who speak the parts and
those who listen--and the passion narrative lends itself particularly well to
Among the most
stimulating books I've read recently is Samuel Wells's Be Not Afraid, from which I picked up the phrase repeated several
times in my current lectionary columns for the Century: "What's God up to?" This is the question that counts.
On the night of the shootings in Dallas that killed five police officers, Michael Waters and Omar Suleiman had known each other barely a year. Waters is pastor of the Joy Tabernacle AME Church; Suleiman is a nationally known Muslim scholar and one of two imams at the Valley Ranch Islamic Center. Both were at the rally in Dallas protesting the police shootings of black men when a gunman started shooting. Together with some parishioners, the two found refuge at Waters’s church, where they spent the night praying and wondering what they could do to stop violence rather than just react to it. They agreed on one thing: though of different religions and ethnicities, they are brothers (Washington Post, July 10).