Here is Your Son, Here is Your Mother

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"Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home." --John 19:25-27Friday is usually full of good things. Cook-outs and road trips; family game night or movie night; the beginning of Sabbath; baseball, yard work, a … [Read more...]

Resurrection Matters: The Holy Unknowing

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The insistence on a literal, physical, bodily resurrection is killing the conservative Church.The denial of a literal, physical, bodily resurrection is killing the progressive Church.Yeah, it’s a pickle.The Bible says Jesus died, rose again, and ascended to heaven. All tensions within the Body of Christ can be reduced to this one question:  Did he or didn’t he?That may not be the only question that divides people of faith. But most bones of biblical and ideological contention s … [Read more...]

Holy Week Survival Guide: 10 Life Hacks for Clergy

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Deep breath. Inward Ommmmmmmmmmmm. It is Holy Week! Lace up your sprinting shoes, get ready to stress eat and drink way too much coffee, and tell your family that you will see them next Monday. No wait—Monday, you hibernate. Tuesday, for sure!  You will be down for breakfast on Tuesday. Or at least lunch… Something about that pattern seems not-so-holy, though. Sure, it’s going to be busy. You will need caffeine and adrenaline and the Holy Spirit to power through. And yet… we clergy types often w … [Read more...]

From the Crowd to the Cross: On Palm Sunday, Politics, and Religious Liberty

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Palm Sunday--the gateway to Holy Week. Which is not only deeply sacred and important and full of all the meaning and all the feelings… but also the busiest week of the year for church folks. Dust the corners, print extra bulletins, shine the brass, eat your Wheaties, and for sure print extra bulletins. Gather early in the narthex and line up all the kids, and start the madness with a parade. We’ve been here before.Which is to say, I’ve got stuff to do. And I am so tired of writing about WHAT … [Read more...]

Still Time

For Lent, I was going write about Lent. Well and often. And then, I found that I didn't have much time to write.Which is ironic/telling/poetic--because my Lent sermon series is ABOUT time. How much we have, how much we waste; the blessing and burden of it; the things that hijack our sense of it... Time is complicated and beautiful and holds within its grasp the expanse of human experience and all of creation. We can totally cover that in six weeks, right?Right?But anyway. Here we are … [Read more...]

Unlaced and Undone

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There was a “Kindness Assembly” at my daughter’s school today. One kid from each class was chosen to read an essay about something kind that they did, or a time when someone showed kindness to them. My 6-year-old was chosen from her class. She marched up to that mic like a pro and read her (4-sentence) story. While her friends waved like mad from the Kindergarten section.Don’t get me wrong—I was proud. It is no small thing to stand up in front of hundreds of people and say what’s true. There … [Read more...]

Winter’s Dramatic Conversion

“Really,” said Winter, “I’m not one for sunflowers and birdsong.It’s all just too precious for me. Too easy.Gray skies are poetry; frozen earth is pure scripture.A good blizzard is benediction--black crystal slicing through the air...That’s a living color portrait of the soul.It’s all ice and razors in there, you know.”Then Winter shuddered in his thin coat, and drifted offHis lonely way. The shadow of himself hovered above the ground,Hesitated,And then followe … [Read more...]

The Damp Murkiness of our Inner Underworld

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“There is a part of the soul that stirs at night, in the dark and soundless times of day, when our defenses are down and our daylight distractions no longer serve to protect us from ourselves. What we suppress in the light emerges clearly in the dusk. It’s then, in the still of life, when we least expect it, that questions emerge from the damp murkiness of our inner underworld.”  --Joan Chittister, Between the Dark and the Daylight. The damp murkiness of our inner underworld?? Sign me up! Not on … [Read more...]

The Cross We Bear: Capital Punishment and the “Worthiness” Narrative of Christianity

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Christians love a conversion story. American Christians especially.Kelli Gissendaner’s is a good one. Faith leaders and Christians from across the country have raised an outcry to stay her execution, because of the dramatic transformation she has experienced while behind bars. During her prison stay, she has studied theology; made friends with well-known theologian Jurgen Moltmann; and ministered to fellow inmates, sharing the gospel and her own faith story generously.The pleas go so … [Read more...]


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