Deaths We Cannot Accept

In my span of life there have been photojournalism pictures -- magazines… newspapers -- which have moved me to the very core. I can think of the photo of the Vietnamese girl running naked down the road after having been covered with napalm. That photo did as much as anything to influence American opinion about that war. I can think of the photo of the girl at Kent State kneeling beside a body with her arms stretched out as if to ask, “Why?” I can think of the photo of the second plane exploding into the World Trade Center. One such photo appeared on the front page of the Washington Post a week ago Thursday, a day after the school shootings in Parkland, Florida. The photo was of a moth

Going Beyond the Mind We Have

Let’s begin with a couple of liturgical trivia questions. Today is the first Sunday in Lent. How many days long is Lent? (40 days) This reflects the 40 days Jesus wondered in the wilderness When did Lent begin? (Ash Wednesday – Feb. 14). When does Lent end? (In our tradition … Easter – April 1. Technically Easter Vigil – March 31). Now … a mathematical question. If you add 40 days from Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14, what do you get? Anyone? Anyone? You get March 26. We’re short about six days from Easter. So, what’s the discrepancy? It is this: The Sundays within the season of Lent don’t count as Lent. If you add on the number of Sundays you get to Easter. On a practical level,

Jolly Roger

Do you know where Pirates like to dock their ships when they come up the Potomac? In Arrrrrlington! Sorry to start off the sermon with that! But I do have a Pirate thing which may lead into the theme of the sermon. It is something interesting I learned about Pirates last week. I’ve always assumed the eye-patch was the result of some mishap in a swordfight or something. Turns out it had to do with the eye’s adjustment to darkness. Pirates were always slipping below-decks to count their loot or something. It was pitch dark below decks. In order to keep from wasting time waiting for their eyes to adjust to the dark they kept a patch over one eye. When they went belowdecks they wou

Naming the Demons

Then there’s the one about the guy who says to the bartender, “My doctor told me I only have six months to live.” The bartender says, “That’s terrible! What are you going to do?” The guy says, “I’m going to move in with my mother in law.” The bartender says, “Why?” The guy says, “Living with her for six months will seem like forever!” Yes, I looked up mother in law jokes for this sermon starter. I found a whole raft of them! It seems as if many people don’t have good relationships with their mothers in law. That doesn’t seem to be the case, though, with Peter whose own mother-in-law was in bed with a fever. Peter, along with the other disciples, asked Jesus to come to her bed

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Christ the Servant Lutheran Church

The Rev. Dr. Phillip A. Carl

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