The Magi Myth

magi

I have no real problem with believing that actual Magi saw a funky astrological phenomenon and found a Jewish baby a few years later. I don’t deny that supernatural things like that can happen. I also don’t have a problem with the story in Matthew 2 being midrashic. I spent most of my life wanting the story to be historical. For some reason this year I want it to be mythic. We are hungry for myth. History is great for telling us who we were and why we are the way we are. Myth is better … [Read more...]

World Religions and Ecumenicism

Coexist - Nick Baumgartner via Wylio

For the past year, I've been teaching courses in Humanities at a local community college. In my professional role, I have to maintain a certain degree of detachment from the various topics from lecture to lecture. This includes the major world religious traditions. While maintaining my personal Christian faith, I have learned to appreciate the other traditions for their contributions to global faith and to personal enrichment. There is a measure of humanity that needs and longs for rites and … [Read more...]

An EPCOT Christmas

Gabo y Globo

­­Every Christmas Eve, my town hosts a night of carol singing in a church at the center of town.  The event takes place in a beautiful 19th century quaint country church.  In fact, the building is so quintessentially churchy, it was even featured as a location in the movie “In and Out”.  (Don’t feel bad if you didn’t see it.  No one did.)  I’m a little busy most Christmas Eves, but from what I hear, the event is as beautiful as any Currier and Ives print. Just one problem.  … [Read more...]

the 3 lost kings

3 kings

I really do think this is the original version found in the most primitive manuscripts. … [Read more...]

Everything I needed to know about church, I learned in Kindergarten.

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Okay, so I actually don't remember much about Kindergarten, apart from the location of the classroom at Vandercook Elementary in Rockford, IL (which is interestingly, now a Muslim community center).  I remember the strange allure of paste (I was a player, not an eater), the utter joy of the playground (remember defying certain death on the merry-go-round?), and tables with toys.  If I learned any important lessons there, I have forgotten them. No, the place where I've been … [Read more...]

Parenting the Divine: A Christmas Meditation

At the emerging community where I once served as pastor, current co-pastor Diane Brandt has created a banner that affirms the words of German mystic Meister Eckhardt, “We are all meant to be mothers of God, for God is always seeking to be born.” Listen once more: God is always seeking to be born! God is seeking to born in us right where we are. This could be the mantra of emerging and life-affirming Christianity as well as the Christmas season. God is not far off. God is near, and … [Read more...]

Christmas…a revolution birthed in pain

" Silent night, Holy night...all is calm, all is bright ", every christmas we sing this carol. Usually candles in hand, flickering flames dancing on the walls like some angelic visitation. And we reflect on the birth of the God-child. Having two daughters and being present for both of their entrances into this world, I recall vividly it was anything but silent. Despite the pre-natal and birthing classes when the moment came, calmness and a plan were abandoned...for what ever works. Me standing … [Read more...]

In which I am done fighting for a seat at the table

I'm done fighting for a seat at that table. The one filled with (usually) white men, all reading the same books, spouting the same talking points, quoting each other back and forth. It's the table where the men - a small, select, vocal group in no way representative of men in the Church overall - sit around and discuss who is in and who is out, who is right (usually them) and who is wrong (every one else) and, a favourite topic, whether women should be allowed to write or teach or preach or … [Read more...]

Mary’s Song

The community I am part of in Minneapolis, Solomon's Porch, is fortunate to have musicians who create the soundtrack of our community. I wanted to share one of our Christmas songs as an encouragement and an offering for any communities to use as they see fit. The people pictured in the video are the creators and performers. The text is from the first chapter of Luke when Mary receives the message from the angels about her pregnancy. … [Read more...]

Incarnational or Missional?

During this season of Advent, I've been reflecting a lot on the idea of incarnation — specifically, these words from author and activist Parker Palmer: "The Christmas story is ... about God taking the risk of showing up in the flesh, and all that comes with it. I think that's a risk that we're all called to — the risk of incarnation, the risk of embodying our values and beliefs, the risk of manifesting our identity and integrity in the world, the risk of being fully human. And it's … [Read more...]


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