peter krey's web site

scholarship, sermons, songs, poems, weblog writing on

Marc Maynon’s New Music: Sweet Famine

leave a comment »

Marc Maynon’s New Music – June and July, 2018

Mark has been upstairs for many months composing, recording, mixing, and mastering the ten songs of his new album, Sweet Famine. He actually had the songs professionally mastered and he had to sell his classic guitar and wait several months until he had saved up the money to do so. The following are two complete songs on the album, the samplers of the ten songs, and the URL to his latest song, “Five Faces from the Tomb,” also in my website.

The last song: “The Only One who Stays”

Another complete song: “What are we really saying?”

Album Sampler

The sampler Youtube is followed by a number of his other song-videos as well, some with Josh playing the drums.

Five Faces from the Tomb: about Greek archeology: also see my website:

with more explanation and the signet ring

He describes his songs as vintage organic. Wow! Check him out!


Written by peterkrey

July 13, 2018 at 5:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The Gospel for Women’s Issues: July 1, 2018

leave a comment »

Sundays in Pentecost at St. Paulus in San Francisco on July 1, 2018

2 Samuel 1:1-17-27 Psalm 30 2 Corinthians 8:7-15 Mark 5:2-43

The Gospel for Women’s Issues

Whatever your troubles, as private and embarrassing as they may be, you can pray to Jesus about it, because Jesus cares and that’s the Gospel for the most intimate women’s issues too.

Jesus crosses to the other side, a side we often do not dare to go. We could just say that by boat Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, but some ancient manuscripts of the bible leave out “boat.” So we can say, Jesus was going to places on the side that people did not dare to go; places the people of Jesus day considered unclean, and forbad each other from going there. But the Love of God made Jesus break new ground to help us even there.

In our Gospel lesson we have a story in a story. Numbers are often code words for something not being said. Here it is the number 12. The hemorrhaging woman had her disease for 12 years and Jairus’ daughter is 12 years old. Hmmm, what could that mean? Jairus was the president of a synagogue, like Jordan is the president of St. Paulus. That brings honor, respect, and much love. So Jesus drops everything and follows Jairus, when he dropped down on his knees, begging Jesus to make a home-visit to save the life of his little daughter.

Now Jesus was called the Son of David and we have to see him opposite Herod, an Edomite, a fraud appointed by Rome over Israel. When Herod was about to die, he was so concerned that no one would grieve his death, that he ordered a large number of elders from around the country rounded up in an arena in Jericho and ordered to have them killed when he died, so that the people would mourn. His son Archelaus and his sister Salome, did not carry out his wish. But that tells us what Herod was like.

So Jesus was the real genuine King of Israel and that is why all the people gathered around him, just like they might for a candidate in a campaign for our presidency. So Jairus comes and begs him to save his little daughter: “Come lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” He wanted a miracle.

Miracles are just a big difference in knowledge. For example, if the people of Jesus day would see airplanes flying through the sky, they would see it as a miracle, just the way primitives in the Melanesian Islands do. In their Cargo Cults, they think that in airplanes their ancestral spirits will bring them cargos of food and other goods from heaven. They don’t know how strange vessels can fly up there.

We know aerodynamics. The upper curved surface of a wing above the straight surface of the wing below brings about a difference in air pressure. So air pressure from below lifts a plane up and the high speed makes it be able to lift the weight of a huge plane. Primitives don’t understand that and they see a miracle.

Now God’s science far surpasses our science of today and we haven’t even gotten to first base discovering what God not only has known all along but has been able to put together in the principles that God baked into creation. Just think of the mathematical constants.

That is why we pray to God. Not only God’s knowledge, but also God’s love, far surpasses ours. Be assured! God answers our prayers. So Jesus did not only care about our faith, but also about our health in spirit, body, and mind. Jesus did not stigmatize people with mental health issues. He even cared about diseases concerning our genitals, even intimate issues that even now are hard to talk about, let alone in a sermon. And Jesus helps us there without judgement, but with consummate forgiveness.

So everyone is crowding around the Son of God and Jairus falls down on his knees before him to get help for his little daughter. In the crowd, a woman who had a blood-flow for 12 years says to herself, “If I but touch the hem of his garment, I will be healed.” It says, “She had endured much from many doctors, spent all her money, and her condition did not get better, but only became worse.”

Jesus noticed that a power had gone out of him. I wonder if you have ever experienced that? I’ve noticed that in conversations, some people drain all the energy out of you and with others fill you with all kinds of energy, which can stay with you a week or even more. Somehow Jesus’ love must have intensified that interchange. He did not even have to lay hands on her.

Notice how the disciples are out to lunch. “Everyone is pressing against you and you say, ‘Who touched me?’” Jesus ignores them. And the woman, who was considered unclean, because of her blood-flow, comes out of the secret of her shame into the loving public light of Jesus. Does Jesus reject her? No way. “Daughter,” he says, “your faith has made you well; go in peace, be healed from your disease.”

Even in Nepal today, teens are banished into sheds- sheds, where they keep their animals, beside the house, when they are menstruating. Recently, one was bitten out there by a poisonous snake and died. They believe that if left in the house a tiger will come and eat the father. I kid you not. In bible study we thought because tigers can smell blood. Could be. But Jesus cares even about gynecological issues and calls us to care as well.

In African countries many women are broken in child-birth and become incontinent. They are marginalized and shunned. Our doctors perform an operation, which heals them and they are reintegrated back into their families and communities! From our lessons today, you can see that that is precisely what our doctor Jesus ordered.

Now the first woman had her blood flow for 12 years and Jairus’ daughter is 12 years old. The older woman had her dis-ease for the whole life-time of the 12 year old. I won’t make an assumption about what was causing the little girl to die, but Jesus cared about her.

In the knowledge of God, which is very much superior to ours, he tells the wailing crowd that she is not dead, but sleeping. He takes the parents, Peter, James, and John, the brother of James, into the little girls bedroom and says, “Talitha cumi!” “Little girl, get up!” and she does and starts walking around. “Give her something to eat.” Jesus says. That might be a good slogan for the Me-Too movement as well: “Women of the world, get up!” And they are.

So you see, the Gospel is about women’s issues as well, and we should not declare unclean, what Jesus has declared holy. Even with intimate issues that we still can’t talk about, Jesus is there, responding with love, new life, and healing.

I believe Jesus would have stood up for sex education, especially by parents, and when that fails, even in schools. We have to have the love and good faith and the vocabulary to speak to those troubled by not understanding their own bodies. Many of us know only the street slang for words and real terms we should know.

Recently some women reporters cared enough to explain to teenagers, who were getting their sex-education from pornography, that they were getting very wrong-headed instructions in what they had to do together that really hurt their relationships, rather than helping them. Jesus loves us with his whole heart, soul, and mind, even for our bodies and all the trouble we have with sex.

Notice, however, that Jesus did not want to get any mileage out of his miracle: “Tell no one about it.” Many modern faith healers ignore this word of Jesus. I visited one store-front church with crutches hanging on their walls, to show how many healings of the lame the pastor performed there. But I heard how one person came back, asking the pastor to return his crutches, because he had not been healed.

I sat in a tent of a Holy Ghost revival in Coney Island and the preachers asked all the people with cancer to come up on the stage. He then claimed he had healed them and asked people to show their gratitude for God’s healing by coming up with $100 bills. I kid you not.

Jesus was not trying to get mileage out of his miracle. He did them secretly, because he wanted to increase our good faith, and our trust in the healing and life-giving power of God and the transformation of our lives because of it. It is through our good faith and trust that we become healed and not because we see a miracle.

I used to always suffer with a speech defect, a lisp. All my S’s came out of the side of my mouth. Switching from German to English where the S’s are so different when I was 3 and ½  years old, must have thrown me for a loop. I also always walked stooped over, so my father thought I’d become a hunch-back. My heart was often not in the right place, because I was rebelling. When I was born, my father determined that I would become a pastor and as a pastor’s kid, I had trouble being a good boy. People would say, “what a good boy.” My father would say, “Yes, when he sleeps.” But he did not see my dreams. But slowly, telling people to have faith and keeping faith myself, in spite of it all, Christ straightened me out and one speech therapy session helped me overcome my speech defect, unless I get really tired.

Jesus is also your healing, the renewal of your health and life too. And no matter how shameful you may take your problem to be – hey! Remember that we have all sinned – we are all sinners and saints in the hands of a forgiving and loving God and the Gospel is that Jesus cares and trusting in him: your faith will also make you whole. Amen.


Written by peterkrey

July 2, 2018 at 12:04 am

Posted in Uncategorized

The Week after Easter: Christ is Risen!

leave a comment »

Second Sunday of Easter at St. Paulus in San Francisco, April 8, 2018

Acts 4:32-35 Psalm 133 1 John 1:1-2:2 John 20:19-31

Pastor Peter Krey

Christ is risen!

He is risen, indeed! Hallelujah!

Just like in our gospel lesson, there’s something marvelous about this Sunday. We are gathering together eight days after the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord, and eight days after the Resurrection, Jesus, the Risen Lord appeared to his disciples on Sunday as well. So Christ is really present.

For the Jews Sunday began at 6:00pm on Saturday. The Sabbath ran from Friday at 6pm to Saturday 6:00pm. So on the evening of the first day of the week, that is Saturday night, the disciples gathered together. Now Jesus arose on the first day of the week, here he appeared on Sunday and then he appears again for Thomas the next Sunday and that is why we worship on Sundays rather than on the Sabbath.

We worship on “Sonday,” that is, S-o-n-day, God’s Son’s-day, because Jesus, the Christ of God, lit up the sun in our sky, when he arose and also back then when he was the Word spoken by the Father creating the whole world. “Let there be light and there was light!” because the risen Christ is the light of the world, and as we heard, in him there is no darkness at all. When Christ rises up in our hearts, we are called out of darkness to live in God’s marvelous light, a royal priesthood, a holy people, called to proclaim the mighty acts of God!

Christ is risen!

He is risen, indeed! Hallelujah!

The doors of the room, where the disciples gathered, were locked, because of their fear of persecution. Had Peter not denied Jesus three times, he may well have been nailed up there on a cross beside Jesus. Christians were hunted down. Think of Saul before he became Paul. (Remember: He was named after Saul the first King of Israel, who was six inches taller than anyone else in the land. But “paulus-a-um” in Latin means the little one.) Saul, before his Road to Damascus experience, hunted down Christians to have them tortured and killed – until Jesus appeared to him there on that road saying: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Then Saul converted and become Paul, sent by the risen Lord to be a missionary to the Gentiles, the Romans, Greeks, Ephesians, and the others.

God fashioned Adam from the dust of the earth by breathing a living soul into him, for him to come alive. In the same way the risen Christ breathed the Holy Spirit into his frightened disciples, who were all huddled in that room with their doors locked. For them Jesus’ resurrection made all the difference. Because of it their fear evaporated and they became bold proclaimers of Jesus Christ and him crucified!

The Resurrection spells the beginning of the new creation. The way Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit into his disciples, we too need to have the breath of God inhaling and exhaling in us. We too need to become filled by the Holy Spirit, have our spirits be made fresh and new, so that also our lives become brand new. We can walk around feeling pretty dead, especially in the morning before a cup of coffee, or really dead when we experience all the troubles, all the rough things that happen to someone in the streets, homeless without shelter and even blamed for it. Comfortable people love to blame the victim. But let the risen Christ breathe the Holy Spirit into you, so that you stand up to live your life out of the strength of God, out of the power that comes down from on high. We have more coping power, angel power I call it, nothing but a prayer away. But it’s not easy, when you’re homeless and have no shelter.

We call him “Doubting Thomas,” but I believe that he really did not want a second-hand faith. He wanted to own his own faith and come to it himself. So he did not want to take the other disciples word for it. But while the doors had been locked before, he probably noticed that they were only shut this Sunday. After the third time Jesus appeared, I bet they even left their doors open!

Jesus has mercy on Thomas: “See my hands! Put your finger into the nail holes. See my side. Place your hand into my wound!”

Thomas exclaims, ”My Lord and my God!”

But Jesus continues: “Blessed are those who don’t see, but believe” – and even in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, because “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) “Faith comes by hearing.” (Romans 10:17) Before God, seeing is not believing. Faith that trusts in the Word of God brings about the wonders that God brings into this world. The whole creation is via the Word.

We have to realize that we have nothing to stand on, except God’s Word. God’s Word is Jesus Christ and that is “the solid rock upon which we stand; all other ground is sinking sand.”

Christ is risen!

He is risen, indeed! Hallelujah!

So even when we stand at a grave or in the dark chambers of a crematorium, we can reject all the evidence we are seeing and believe the Word of God:

O death where is your sting?

O grave, where is your victory?

And shout:

Christ is risen!

He is risen, indeed! Hallelujah!

When Christ is really present among us, we experience the peace that passes understanding. So the way Christ had to calm the troubled hearts of the disciples, he said, “Peace be with you!” Thus in the light of the resurrection, we share the peace of Christ with one another – in the real presence of Christ!

Look at the change that came over the fearful and cowering disciples. They deserted, denied, and betrayed Christ. About face! They became the bold apostles, who witnessed and proclaimed the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. Like Luke says in Acts, with great power and great grace!

Now  means sending. “Apostle” in Greek means “one who is sent,” a messenger. You can see the word “post” in it, like “epistle,” a letter sent by the post office. In Latin “missio” means send, so Paul is the missionary sent to the Gentiles.

Whenever the risen Lord appeared to his disciples, it was in order to send them. He changes them into apostles, those sent to proclaim God’s Word! Jesus is God’s Word given to us. God gave us his word in Jesus Christ so that we can have faith in and trust in the promises of God, because God is faithful and will keep his promises to us. God keeps his word!

I had a professor Gollwitzer, (we called him Golly), who said Jesus always appeared only to send his disciples and us on a mission. And he also said, to believe in the resurrection is to reject private property. The communism that Luke describes back there is of a primitive kind. It comes way before industrialization and our old communism / capitalism issue. But they were one heart and soul together, like this fellowship, this congregation, St. Paulus. We need to be in the power of the resurrection, so that the Holy Spirit can overcome our inborn selfishness and help us share our possessions in common. The saints in Jerusalem became very poor because they did that. That’s why Paul had to take up a collection for them in his missionary journeys. The world is very much with us and a community that shares everything in common gets snuffed out very quickly. Not only by all the social and economic forces that surround and smother us, but also by the selfishness in our own hearts. In the words of Jeremiah, “Our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately corrupt. Who can understand them?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

The answer: Jesus can and does. Golly would shout: if socialism doesn’t work, you people are smart. Design one that does! The people in West Berlin, the show-case of capitalism, would get all upset. When he preached the church would get bomb threats.

So what is the Word for us? Jesus arose from the dead. He is the Word of God, who will not only renew us and our society, but the whole creation. The sun up in our sky is merely a flickering match, to the Holy fire of the Son of God. faith in God’s Word is what God uses to create and recreate us. God works through the word, through our language, which is the only way God can act so that what is happening in heaven can start happening here on earth. It is only by the Word of God. We don’t believe in the resurrection because of the empty tomb or even because the cowering disciples changed into the bold and courageous death-defying apostles. We have to trust and believe God’s Word.

Our sermon hymn should have been: “You send me, honest you do!” “As the Father sent me, I send you!” Go and proclaim the forgiveness of sins!

And it is too light a thing that we should become one heart and soul together (Isaiah 49:6) here in this little congregation called St. Paulus. Our blue and red divided country has to come together and our unequal distribution of wealth has to be overcome by greater approximations of equality and justice. If a little congregation like ours shared all our possessions in common, we would be crucified ASAP. Our whole society has to be changed by the word of God for it to work. But look at how generous St. Paulus already was in its 150 anniversary! What a sign of the resurrection!  The resurrection overcomes our being for ourselves and makes us be for others. That is not easily done. But just think, when we are dead, everything we have will go to others, even our body organs, if we are donors. So why do we wait? We are sent to proclaim the good news. Life and love and wonder and sharing and joy and peace, have all come to our world because:

Christ is risen!

He is risen, indeed! Hallelujah! Amen!





Written by peterkrey

July 1, 2018 at 11:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Mark’s New song: Five Faces from the Tomb

leave a comment »

Mark Maynon, my son, who is a singer song-writer, became intrigued by archeological digs; one in Mycenae, which uncovered skeletons, as well as another, in which a signet ring  was found. That was in Greece near King Nestor’s Palace and dated about 1400 BCE. On the tiny ring warriors are fighting, one plunging a sword into another. In the skeletons found, one has his skull bashed in. They seem to be a family buried there. Mark’s imagination takes over and he accompanies himself with a guitar and base pedals in Farley’s Coffee Shop in San Francisco. Check it out! Five Faces from the Tomb

This is a picture of the signet ring, only as big as a thumb print:


Written by peterkrey

June 20, 2018 at 9:37 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Legality versus Legitimacy: ICE Conduct may be legal, but it is not Lawful in the Full Sense of the Law

leave a comment »

Pastor Peter Krey, June 17, 2018

Listening to the head of ICE speaking with Judy Woodruff on a recent PBS NewsHour, he made a very problematic statement: laws were being broken and he had to enforce the law. I was hoping that Judy Woodruff would challenge his reductionism concerning what is truly lawful. Let me explain.

A legal historian, Constantin Fassolt writes about legality and legitimacy:

Law consists of rules that tell you how to behave. These rules are not necessarily good and they can be broken. Hence people using laws have two entirely different ways of doing wrong (or right): they can do wrong (or right)  by breaking a rule that is good (bad), but they can also do wrong (right) by following a rule that is bad (good).

     This is the source of endless confusion. In order to keep matters straight, theorists of law distinguish between legality and legitimacy. Legality has to do with conduct. Conduct is legal if it agrees with the rules and illegal if it does not. Legitimacy has to do with the rules. The rules are legitimate if they deserve to be followed, and illegitimate if they deserve to be changed or broken. Conduct is lawful in the full sense of the word only if it comprises both elements: it must follow the law and the law must be legitimate.[1]

Laws legislated in NAZI Germany against the Jews were illegitimate and to obey them was evil. In Nuremburg war criminals could not claim they were only obeying the law and thus that they were innocent. They were condemned in the trials.

By analogy, criminalizing immigrants is not legitimate and making what was a misdemeanor, crossing the border illegally, a felony is illegitimate, because it then constitutes cruel and unusual punishment for children and their parents. Congress has not even been able to pass legislation on immigration. All agree that the system is broken.  Thus the legitimacy of current immigration law also comes into question. As quoted, these laws are therefore not worthy to follow and far from enforcing them, the right thing to do is to change or break them. To enforce them is to do evil.

In terms of moral legitimacy, what immigration enforcement is doing right now is unlawful in the full sense of the term.

What shame this administration is bringing to our country!


[1] Constantin Fassolt, “Visions of Order in the Canonists and Civilians” in Handbook of European History, 1400-1600, edited by Thomas A. Brady Jr., Heiko Oberman and James D. Tracy, (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1995), page 42.

Written by peterkrey

June 19, 2018 at 12:08 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Eternal Weight of Glory beyond All Measure: A Study on II Corinthians 4:17

leave a comment »

Eternal Weight of Glory beyond All Measure: A Study on II Corinthians 4:17

Pr. Peter Krey, Ph.D.        –               June 17th 2018

The 2 Corinthians lesson from our pericope last  Sunday seemed to have so many themes in it I wanted to study it. Then I noticed verses had been left out. That made me just fixate on 2 Cor 4:17: “For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure.”

The English word “weight” translates the Greek word Baros, the other meanings of which could be heaviness: a burden, anything grievous and hard to be borne. My little dictionary has weight, burden, load; grief, sorrow; plenty; dignity. In Latin the word for “weight” is pondus. Some of the pertinent meanings along with weight are heaviness, balance, burden, load, mass, quantity, and sum.

St. Paul is going through a lot in Second Corinthians. He may have been thrown into prison in Ephesus and faced the death penalty from which he was rescued. (2 Cor 1:9 and see Phil 1:12-26, say my Oxford Study Bible notes.)

But “an eternal dignity/ load of glory beyond all measure” makes me go back to 2 Cor 3:18: “And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.”

Paul also uses the word “glory” / doxa to mean brightness or the magnitude of stars. See  1 Cor 15:41: “There is one glory of the sun, and another of the moon, and another glory of the stars; indeed, star differs from star in glory.”

So there are first magnitude stars, like in the Big Dipper and they go all the way down to the sixth magnitude, which can still be seen by the naked eye. But St. Paul is really speaking about persons shining ever more brightly by  “being transformed from one degree of glory to another” like the stars.

Thus to me it means growing and maturing into the full stature of Christ in the glory of the Holy Spirit that that entails.

Concomitant with personal maturing is the allusion to angels descending and ascending in the famous paragraph of Luther’s “Freedom of a Christian.” In a careful reading of his opposition of opposites I’ve distilled what I call the existential rapture that the “Freedom of a Christian” contains, where the ascent goes from one degree to another.

In faith we ascend from being first born before God, to nobility of the spirit, to priests, to being Christs, and then ascending up into God. We fall in love, descending through all these stages below the very least of these, the strengthening faith increasing the power of love. I usually called it angel-power, like horse power in engines.

But faith does not just make us “high.” This rapture is existential. Each stage is like a promotion from a student to a teacher, from an employee to a manager, from a staff person to a director. It takes real growth to stop being a student, leaving their ranks and becoming a teacher responsible for their learning. Often such growth, from a staff person to a director, for example,  can be painful and sometimes it feels like an atrocity committed on a person, because the learning curve can be very steep and personnel issues can be excruciating.  Just think of a pastor then elected to become a bishop.

“For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure.”

Thus from first born to nobility of the spirit to priesthood to Christ up into God are existential promotions, requiring ever more maturity, wisdom, and the strength of the Holy Spirit.

In Luther’s last paragraph of the “Freedom of a Christian,” (the simple German version), he encapsulates the existential rapture contained in this writing:

“Christians do not live in themselves, but in Christ and in their neighbor—in Christ through faith one ascends above oneself into God. From God one descends through love again below oneself and yet always remains in God and God’s love. As Christ says, in John 1:51: “You will see the heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”[1] Philip and Peter Krey, eds., Luther’s Spirituality, page 90.

So the “eternal degree of glory beyond all measure” refers to going through all these difficult stages, perhaps, and even beyond in the stature of the maturity of Christ for the power of love.

Written by peterkrey

June 18, 2018 at 11:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Jeff Sessions: listen to the Gospel Word!

leave a comment »

The devil can quote scriptures, too. To be in the Holy Spirit quote Exodus 23: 9 for sanctuary: “You must not oppress aliens. You know what it is like to be aliens, because you too were once aliens in the land…” It is wrong to criminalize desperate immigrants and separating children from their parents is cruel and unusual punishment. What shame is flooding our country! Are you going to take down the Statue of Liberty in our harbor? “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” … now you lock them up in prison and take away their children. Shame will now cover our country!

Written by peterkrey

June 16, 2018 at 2:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized