Volume XXIX, Number 2
In This Issue
Robert Frost, the celebrated American poet, penned these words a hundred years ago in his poem, “Mending Wall.”
In the long tradition of altar paintings, the various moments of Christ’s life have been treated in every way imaginable, ranging from the triumphal, to the terrifying, to the poignant. One of my favorites is the version of “Descent from the Cross” painted by Rembrandt in 1634, now at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.
Nothing splits the inky darkness of a Scandinavian December like a slew of candles shining over a platter of Christmas cookies.
Mosaic: a picture or pattern produced by arranging together small pieces of stone or tile. Also, a combination of diverse elements forming a more or less coherent whole.
The final statement in my previous column in Pietisten quoted a fine statement by Bob Smietana that inspires me to further discussion. “The words in a hymnal matter.” The context was a recent trend of music leaders sharing music across theological lines where copyright laws in some cases are frequently ignored and letters requesting permission for the use of such hymns are not written. There are those who say, “We’re so small who cares,” or “There are more important matters.” Really?
It’s summer, 1981. I’m floating on glass-smooth water. Ahead of me, on either side and behind me are mountains. Their granite and timber faces tower, some as high as 6,000 feet, only to plunge another 1,000 feet out of sight beneath the sea.
I suspect the reason the Romantic Poets (Shelly, Byron, Keats, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, Blake, Burns, etc.) are high on my list of literary favorites is their strong association with nature. I find there is healing when nature is present: – when I am walking on a mountain path or in the woods or by the water – there is healing and there is Joy, – that unmerited inward grace that falls over you when songbirds, or the nearby pond with its night noises – are the only sounds you hear.
This year at Easter, I ran across a statement that said after the resurrection, the community of Jesus began to unravel. I found that interesting, and I began to pursue it a bit. The disciples react to the death of Jesus as grieving people normally do.
In early August I was told I needed to find a new place to live. I took the news with poise, but I cannot lie – I was pretty sad. Life in the little urban cabin (stuga) has enveloped me and helped define me for the last three and a half years.
Eight years ago I walked into a faculty development workshop at Bethel University, looking for pointers on how to write my application for tenure. I walked out of the workshop unable to shake a question that had nothing to do with my training as a historian of international relations:
One hundred years ago this August, the First World War began. It is difficult to overestimate the impact that the conflict had on the modern world. One could argue, in fact, that the world is in the midst of another Hundred Years’ War.
In November 2013, I attended the Tenth Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Busan, South Korea. In keeping with longstanding themes, the gathering was marked by reflections on ecclesiology and mission.
There was a time when “rotisserie” only referred to roasting meat on a spit. As with so much of our society, sports dump-trucked the dictionary and took over the word, and from there only picked up speed.
We occasionally read in the histories of Pietism that our forebears scrutinized themselves constantly, and worried when they found hints of frivolity or jocularity. But by mid-twentieth century, there must have been a shift; the North Park College I knew in the ‘50s and ‘60s did not suffer for want of wags and wits.
Dr. Elder Lindahl, lover of wisdom, died at Covenant Village in Golden Valley, Minnesota, November 3. He enjoyed carpentry, fishing, the outdoors, and coached tennis. Elder also loved Pietisten; his contributions include more than fifty articles.
Carolyn (Quiwie) Blomgren Magnuson was born in Seattle and lived in the Madrona neighborhood with her parents and three siblings. After graduating from Garfield High School in Seattle and North Park Junior College in Chicago, she studied fashion design at Parsons School of Design in New York City.
Welcomed into the world on August 6, 2014 to the delight of parents, Heidi and Jeff, and big sister, Svea.