I woke up on Monday morning wondering what it means for us to live out the resurrection in this post-Easter world. Because if we really believe that world changed that morning when Jesus rose from the dead 2,000 years ago, surely that must mean something important and tangible in the way we live our post-Easter lives. Right? One scene from the Easter story that stood out to me this year was Mary coming to Jesus’ tomb on Sunday morning to… Read more

His name was Arnaud Beltrame.  He was 44 years old.  He was the first officer on the scene of a supermarket in southern France, where a gunman had taken hostages. Beltrame asked the gunman to let them go.  And the gunman did — except for the woman he was using as a human shield. Beltrame negotiated with the gunman to let the woman go, and offered himself in exchange.  He willingly entered the supermarket, willingly gave himself for a stranger, willingly… Read more

On Ash Wednesday this year, I had the opportunity to offer Ashes to Go at the subway stop at 24th and Mission Street in downtown San Francisco. Three clergy and I donned cassocks and, holding incense and ashes, stood in the large square where riders emerge from the underground tunnels. Our church, St. Gregory’s of Nyssa, has offered Ashes to Go at this subway stop for several years now, so people have come to anticipate it.  Trains arrived at the… Read more

Today, we celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, the day on which a bishop who served Ireland for decades in the 5th century A.D., supposedly died. It’s interesting to think about his life, and his legacy, in light of what our world (and our country) are facing now. Every day, there are new headlines about how afraid we should be of immigrants and refugees.  How much we should resist foreigners and strangers.  How we should spend billions of dollars erecting a wall… Read more

The Founding Fathers operated on the idea of Manifest Destiny — that God predestined white Europeans to own and colonize North America, no matter who they had to kill, displace or steal from. Manifest Destiny morphed into a theologized concept that many conservative Christians still hold: that the U.S. is uniquely blessed by God. “In God We Trust” is emblazoned on our currency, and posted in many government buildings.  So are the Ten Commandments. But there’s a glaring discrepancy between… Read more

A few days ago I asked the question, “Why do Christians tell crappy stories?” I think part of the answer is that we’re afraid of living in the middle.  So we avoid talking about the tension, the unresolved narratives, the days or months or years of it takes for faith to become sight. I think another part of the answer is that we’re afraid of living in the mess.  We’ve developed an aversion to gritty stories and messy situations and… Read more

It’s International Women’s Day, a day to honor women and remind ourselves why girls are so amazing.   In the course of human history, the female population has been horrifically oppressed, abused and mistreated.   Girls have been burned at the stake as witches.  They have been buried alive, drowned and left to starve to death on trash heaps in China.  They have been shot in the face for trying to go to school. Their feet have been crushed and… Read more

Every story has a beginning. Every story has an ending. And every story has a middle. Yesterday I asked the question, “Why do Christians tell crappy stories?” I think part of the answer is that we don’t often live in the middle. We’re good at the beginning — the lostness, the helplessness, the disaster, the crisis. And then we jump straight to the end, where everything gets wrapped up, finished and redeemed. But what about the middle — the place… Read more

This morning I followed my usual writing routine.  I woke up, made coffee, turned on the Spotify station I listen to when I write, and started typing. And then, somehow, a Christian song got into the mix and it was so bad, it startled me out of my writing trance. The music wasn’t great, but the lyrics were even worse. In the first verse, a woman is despondent and on the verge of suicide. In the second verse, a man… Read more

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