Stop giving! We have more than enough!

offering hands

Ever heard a sermon titled, “Stop giving! We have more than enough!”No?Me neither.That’s why the story of the tabernacle in the book of Exodus is entrancing. (No, I’m not kidding. Entrancing.) The tabernacle was a portable tent the Israelites could put up and take down, like an old-fashioned circus tent, a Bedouin bed-and-breakfast, of sorts, for God.You may not see how entrancing this story is on a first read-through. The instructions on how the tabernacle should be prepared are … [Read more...]

Keep a Quarter in Your Pocket

CaineReidge

Deeply felt spirituality. Who wouldn’t want that? Reckless abandon. Religious ecstasy, even.This sensibility lies at the heart of the American religious experience. During the most famous American camp meeting, the Cane Ridge Revival of 1801, one observer looked on in amazement:To see those proud young gentlemen and young ladies, dressed in their silks, jewelry, and prunella, from top to toe, take the jerks, would often excite my risibilities. The first jerk or so, you would see their f … [Read more...]

Pentecost for the Rest of Us

He Qi. "The Holy Spirit Coming." He Qi Gallery, http://www.heqigallery.com/. Used with permission.

When I arrived at church on Pentecost Sunday a few years ago, I sat down in the pews and looked up to see red and orange balloons in the rafters, and a small red candle on the altar. The service bulletin explained that these were meant to symbolize the famous "tongues of fire" of the first Pentecost. After the service was over, I asked our pastor about this. "I don't know what to do with Pentecost," she mumbled.Other churches aren't much better. Mainline Christians (I'm a United Methodist) … [Read more...]

After the Jelly Beans Are All Gone … Comes Pentecost

DSC_0004

Last night, my son and I were chatting about baseball, school, his girlfriend—father and son sort of stuff—before he headed to bed. During our conversation, I spied the remnants of an Easter basket on top of a shelf in the corner of the room by his desk. “Can I have a jelly bean,” I asked. “They’re all gone,” he told me. I love jelly beans. I can do without chocolate bunnies (it still bothers me to bite their heads off) and marshmallow peeps, but jelly beans I love.That’s it, then. It’s offic … [Read more...]


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