It’s Still Easter: One Thing To Learn, One To Taste

It's the Wednesday after Easter. All the decent candy (chocolate bunnies and Starburst jelly beans) marked 60% off is gone from the clearance section at Walgreens.The candy may be gone, but it's still Easter on the liturgical church calendar. The fifty-day Easter season mirrors the fifty days between Passover and Shavuot in the Jewish festal calendar. It is in this space that you can most clearly see the relationship between the two calendars.I’ve discovered many people are i … [Read more...]

Is It Possible To Think For Ourselves AND Pursue Spiritual Community?

At one end of the spectrum, we have the language of the Benedict Option, which includes a call to nurture a comprehensive Christian worldview in the greenhouse of a shared, committed faith community.At the other end of the spectrum, we have encouragement for believers to think for themselves a la the Bereans named in Acts 17:11. Musician Steve Taylor’s 1983 satire, I Want To Be A Clone, sends up the fear driving some forms of Christian indoctrination: “They told me that I’d fall away/unless I … [Read more...]

Yes, Seders Are For Christians*

Yes, Seders are for Christians. The asterisk in the title aboveLast week's guest opinion piece written by Rabbi Yehiel Poupko and Rabbi David Sandmel entitled "Jesus Didn't Eat A Seder Meal" was published on the Christianity Today website as a pushback against the appropriation of Passover Seders by a growing number in the Christian community. The two rabbis pointed out that Passover was given to the Jews, and all others should cease and desist.A year ago, I interviewed Reform rabbi Evan … [Read more...]

Passover: One Thing To Try, One Thing To Taste

Passover is largely about Egypt; Easter is largely about Passover. - Rabbi Ismar SchorschTo Try:Each year Jewish families retell and experience anew the Exodus through the Seder. From the Hebrew word meaning “order,” the Seder is a formal festival meal that has an entirely different focus and purpose than any other meal of the year. The Seder is to be held on the first night of the Passover observance - this year, on Monday evening, April 10th. (The Feast of Unleavened Bread c … [Read more...]

Review: Of Stillness And Storm

My husband and I once had a pastor whose wife had never signed on with her husband's calling. She married a businessman, not a downwardly-mobile spiritual entrepreneur who had meetings 4 nights a week and dealt with congregational crisis what seemed like 8 nights a week while she was left to function as a single parent to their three young kids. She stood by his side gamely, but his calling took a toll on her during the years we knew her. When I think of her face during those years, it is of a … [Read more...]

Reflection: The Sound of a Million Dreams

A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way? – Proverbs 20:24 I worked at a college for five years and developed friendships with a few students that extended beyond their graduation day. As a result, I was part of the lives of a couple of them when they had what has been dubbed the "quarter life crisis". The big dreams and plans of their college years crashed headlong into the painful realities of young adulthood - a young adulthood filled with big co … [Read more...]

Touch Not The Lord’s Anointed?

Those who’ve attended a spiritually-abusive church have more than likely heard some version of a warning drawn from the pages of Scripture about not challenging a leader’s authority: “Touch not God’s anointed.”There are a couple of big problems with this kind of talk. First, in an authoritarian church system, challenging a leader’s authority might mean anything from not showing up every time the church doors are open to daring to ask a question or express a doubt about something a leaders has … [Read more...]