Tag Archives: Common good

Lessons From the Yellow Fleet

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To listen to this reflection as a podcast, click here. The Suez Canal is one of the world’s most vital shipping links.  Its 120 miles connect the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, cutting a swath through the arid Egyptian wilderness on the west and the deserts of Saudi Arabia on the east.  This “shortcut” usually takes about 12-15 hours, allowing ocean-going vessels… Read more »

Be Polite

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Don’t be an idiot.  Be polite. If those two sentences don’t appear to be natural go-togethers, it’s because we’ve lost track of the origin of a pair of words that were once intimately related. Let’s start with the Greek word idiotes (id-ee-OH-tays).  In ancient times an idiotes was someone who chose not to participate in civic life.  Such a person often lived and… Read more »

Under God

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Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to deliver a sermon with the express intention of sending a message to the President of the United States. Then again, most preachers don’t have the chief executive sitting in their sanctuary on a Sunday morning. On February 7, 1954, Rev. George MacPherson Docherty – the Scottish-born pastor of New York Avenue Presbyterian… Read more »

Is the World Getting Better or Worse?

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“We have fallen upon evil times, and the world has waxed very old and wicked.  Politics are very corrupt.  Children are no longer respectful to their parents.” Those despairing words weren’t posted for the first time on Facebook last week.  Archeologists found them chiseled onto a stone from ancient Chaldea that dates to 3,800 B.C.  Virtually every generation has cherished… Read more »