Transforming Film into Contemplative Prayer: A Review of Thom Stark’s ‘Who Art in Heaven’

Director Thom Stark summarizes his award-winning film Who Art in Heaven simply: “A Man Prays.” But don’t let Stark deceive you, because if you do, he will devastate you in the best possible way. There is so much more going on in this eloquent and compact film than its tagline would have you believe, and the [Read More...]

Unholy Laws: Establishing Religion in N.C., Starving Children in Tennessee

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  UPDATE: Sen. Stacey Campfield, who proposed the original welfare bill in Tennessee and responded to this post in the comments, has withdrawn the bill, asking it be studied over the summer. Clergy and activists in Tennessee and around the country put the pressure on and quashed the bill. I was profoundly saddened to hear [Read More...]

Don’t Believe Easter, Live It

Death Penalty Protest, Birmingham, Ala. My friend, the Rev. R.G. Wilson-Lyons pictured with sign

Easter Day is over. But Easter has only just begun. For 50 days, Easter continues, according to the Christian calendar, and those 50 days represent a singular great feast celebrating God’s triumph of love over the violence and hate that throttles our world. Even though the season lasts for almost two months, we often forget [Read More...]

Easter for Doubters: The Unexpected Faith of Thomas (Lectionary Reflection for the Second Sunday in Easter)

  It’s Easter. Do not be afraid to doubt. Doubt boldly. Doubt joyfully. In fact, these are important, faithful and beautiful responses to the Paschal mystery, as author Rachel Held Evans demonstrated last week. Indeed, in the gospels, doubt and disbelief are important to the Easter experience, and Jesus does not condemn his disciples for [Read More...]

The Crucifixion: A Tale of Two Kingdoms (Good Friday Homily, John 18:1-19-42)

During Holy Week, we are tossed to and fro with stories of triumph and hosannas, last suppers, grieving prayers, betrayals, denials and crucifixion, all which lead to Easter and alleluias. Holy Week reminds me a little of the opening lines of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. “It was the best of times. It [Read More...]

The Lost Shepherd and the Amoral Love of God (Proper 19C Lectionary Reflection)

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Lectionary Reflection – Proper 19 C – Luke 15:1-32 The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. So begins the most well-known and treasured Psalm of all time. At hospital beds, it is recited by patients and chaplains alike. In times of distress and discomfort, its soothing words are meant to bring succor and [Read More...]

God is the Prodigal Son: Reinventing Christianity’s Most Beloved Parable (Lectionary Reflection)

Lent 4C — Sunday, March 10 — Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32   God is irresponsible. Hopelessly so. In the well-worn parable of the prodigal son, it seems Jesus is telling us God can’t be bothered to consider the consequences of actions — God’s or those of sinners. God is feckless. Ridiculously so. This is the Gospel [Read More...]

The U.S. Supreme (Race) court: Roberts, Scalia and the Voting Rights Act

There is a wicked irony that as the United States marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement, the country’s highest court is edging closer to gutting one of the movement’s greatest victories. As Americans everywhere celebrate the marches, martyrs, and nonviolent courage of Civil Rights activists in Selma, Birmingham, Atlanta and elsewhere, the [Read More...]

God is a Gardener: A Homily for Lent 3C (Luke 13:1-9)

Lent 3C — Luke 13:1-9, 1 Cor. 10:1-13, Exodus 3:1-15 It doesn’t take much effort these days to bump into tragedy. You don’t have to look very far to see bad news. As a former journalist, I can attest that the old adage is true: if it bleeds, it leads. In our information age, we [Read More...]

DJesus Uncrossed: Tarantino, Driscoll and the Violent Remaking of Jesus in America

  No doubt, a lot of people are upset, or are going to be upset, about Saturday Night Live’s recent skit “DJesus Uncrossed.” The two-minute sketch lampooned director Quentin Tarantino’s penchant for turning tragic history into gory revenge and imagined what Tarantino might do with the crucifixion and resurrection. (Have they been reading my blog?). [Read More...]


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