Embracing Life and Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris Movie

Midnight in Paris has been called Woody Allen's best film in a long time, and I agree.  This year, the romantic comedy won both the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay; and it was nominated for three other Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Direction, and Best Art Direction.  Woody is one of the great creative minds of the last 100 years, with all of the quirkiness and controversy we expect to accompany this kind of platitude. The main charac … [Read more...]

Passover and Communion

Gifts of G-d for the people of G-d

As I prepare to celebrate this meal tonight, remembering an upper room two thousand years ago, I am gifted by a much older tradition. As I recall Jesus gathering with friends around a table to celebrate the Passover, I am reminded that their ancestors had already been celebrating G-d’s liberation from slavery for more than a thousand years.The Holy One liberates us from all kinds of slavery – slavery in Egypt, slavery to sin, slavery of our bodies, minds and spirits to patterns and systems th … [Read more...]

I am topsoil + to topsoil I shall return*

There is something comforting to me in the idea that I am part of the earth and will always be part of the earth. Maybe it’s rooted in my rural upbringing, where I was familiar with the dirt, and played in it, and got my hands dirty often.There was a time in my adult life when I had a garden and lived in an old farmhouse that used to be a flower farm. I would come home from work some days and plunge my hands into the dirt—to soften it for planting, or to loosen it to pull up weeds.That wa … [Read more...]

The 11th Day of Christmas…A Prophetic Vision of Peace

The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. -- Isaiah 11:6Maybe I should have known, but it occurred to me a few years ago that the Christmas decoration Pete Peterson made with a lion and a lamb and the word PEACE might be obscure for some folks. Many people, Christians and otherwise, recognize the guy with the red suit. Folk know to expect greenery, garlands and bows. … [Read more...]

It Was A Night Around Christmas

Since the first Christmas was likely in April it won’t be too inappropriate for this to be a few days late. After all, it is called a night “around” Christmas. (Spoken to the cadence of "T'was The Night Before Christmas" duh!)It was a night around Christmas, in a crowded old caveWith camels and horses and cattle she laidKnocked up by the Spirit, baby daddy besidePsycho girl in some trouble, or maybe she lied No time for a cleaning, no time for midwifeThe stable wa … [Read more...]

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 for … [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...]

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...]

BELIEVE…

Last week I was in New York City, and on a rainy night I took a walk from the East Village up Broadway towards Time Square-- to see the famous Christmas window displays at Macy’s that I’ve heard about since childhood. Everyone talks about the magic of Christmas in New York. Although I imagined snowflakes gently falling, It was unseasonably warm and humid and I had to strip down to a t-shirt as I strolled past the Tuesday night garbage piled high along the boulevard. Glancing down I found a brand … [Read more...]


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