Russell E. Saltzman is a former Lutheran pastor, transitioning to the Roman Catholic Church.

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Correcting St. John

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Don’t get me wrong. I love John’s Gospel, but it has a serious problem. Due to a misreported episode around the resurrection of Christ, which I am hopefully about to fix, the Apostle Thomas has gone around for centuries with a cloud dodging his reputation.In the accepted telling of John’s version, Thomas ends up being the only disciple who doubts that Christ was raised. Come this Second Sunday of the Resurrection, when this reading shows up like clockwork in the lectionary, Thomas is going to get roughed up all over again from church pulpits for his doubt. Don’t be like Thomas, we’ll be told. He did a bad thing. Continue Reading »

St. John's Seventh Sign

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The eleventh chapter of John opens with Jesus across the Jordan, away from Judea, laying low after having escaped being stoned to death at the Temple. It is there that he receives word from Bethany—from Mary and Martha, Lazarus’s sisters—to hurry and aid his friend who is sick. Continue Reading »

Taking Pride in Humility

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It all started when a guy told me in a Facebook post that if someone tells him he is humble, it is a certain sign he isn’t. Though I told him he should just be humble enough to take my word for it, nonetheless, I decided to consult the New Testament, if only to straighten out a few things. The short of it is, I’m pretty sure humility is overrated, at least as preachers tell it. Continue Reading »

An Ever Evolving Queen

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don’t go all gooey over royalty, especially British royalty, but that didn’t stop my daughter, when in middle school, from becoming an anglophile. She attended British-American high teas in Kansas City several times and, in company with a woman actually from London, sang God Save the Queen. Once, when we visited New York, she overhead English accents and made me go over and ask them to join our table. The couple did and we had a pleasant time, though they didn’t drink tea as she thought they should have. Now twenty-two, I think she’s mostly over it. Continue Reading »

The Nativity of Our Lord

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He was born into the silence of this world. Because there was no room for him in a proper house the night he was born, the Gospel of Luke reports, he was born of his mother with Joseph nearby out there in the stable with the animals. Probably there was no one interested. That was the silence of that night. Who would care, anyway? Just one more peasant child, and who celebrates or notices or marks the birth of yet another peasant arriving in this world? Have you ever heard a prayer of thanks for the children born in a United Nations refugee camp? The children of peasants are always born into silence. Continue Reading »