Sermon by Jonathan L. Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church of Harvard University, for the Memorial Church's Sunday Worship Service.
“Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” Exodus 1:8
The book of Exodus is one of the most famous literary works of human history. It’s the second book of the Pentateuch, the term for the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. It picks up where the legend of Genesis ends. The book’s primary protagonist has become the archetype of moral courage, and a political paragon of anti-oppression. His name is Moses.... Read more about Rewriting History, Part I of III
“How carefully most men creep into nameless graves, while now and again one or two forget themselves into immortality.” —The Rev. Phillips Brooks
On Feb. 3, 1943, tragedy struck the SS Dorchester, an American troop transport ship traveling in a naval convoy in the North Atlantic. With the ship less than two hundred miles from its intended destination in Greenland, a German U-boat fired a torpedo into its side. Conditions could not have been worse for evacuation and rescue. The ship was originally built as a luxury liner with a maximum capacity of 400, then converted to military use early in 1942. Even though it had been equipped by the military with additional lifeboats and life jackets, the lifeboats proved too crowded and the life jackets too few for the approximately 900 officers, servicemen, and civilians aboard. For those who were able to evacuate the sinking ship, hypothermia awaited in the frigid ocean. Ultimately, only about a quarter of those aboard the vessel survived.... Read more about From the Professor's Desk: Fall Term 2017
“The past is not dead. It’s not even the past.” –William Faulkner
Last week the President of the United States employed tough talk in response to the escalating tension with North Korea. “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Trump declared from his New Jersey golf resort. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Diplomats from many sides found his threat troubling. Yet rather than toning down his rhetoric, the President took to twitter to declare that the United States is “locked and loaded.” One might call this his John Wayne approach to international relations.... Read more about Tough Talk from Weak Men
Vermont Artist Janet McKenzie is challenging the traditional iconography of sacred art in her paintings depicting images of Jesus, Mary and other Christian figures. By using the forms of women and people of color she is expanding the diversity of culture, race and gender into the iconography of religious art historically dominated by images of males and light skin.
In 2016, McKenzie was commissioned by Harvard Memorial Church to create a painting for the renovated student and common space on the ground level of the historic church. The painting, “The Divine Journey – The Companions of Love and Hope” is the result of more than six months of work in her small studio in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.... Read more about The Divine Journey: A Painter's Mission
“I am writing you little children, because your sins are forgiven on account of God’s name. I am writing to you fathers, because you have known God since the beginning. I write to you, young people, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you.” (I John 2:12-14)
The New Testament book of I John is a profound pastoral letter. The author, known simply as the elder, reminds an early community of Jesus followers of their beliefs—God is light and love. He reminds them of their objectives—to have fellowship with God is to walk in God’s light and love.... Read more about A family in fellowship