When Peacemaking is Unpopular

Commonwealth is an unusual word in the modern world. Still used in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Massachusetts for the word “state,” it is a way of seeing life together, a political community founded for the common good. I thought of this a while back while listening to an Israeli, a Palestinian and a Jordanian, each one committed [Read More…]

Sonship in Star Wars

Of the Father’s love begotten…. I do love music, and love different kinds of music. But of all the music I know, this Christmas carol is one of those I love best. That it is centuries-old is important to me, as I have consciously chosen to root myself in the deeper, longer story of human [Read More…]

The Way the World’s Supposed to Be

The way the world’s supposed to be. Is there a world like that? Do we know? How would we? What does it mean? These are the greatest questions of life, and ones that we answer very differently, given our deepest commitments about the meaning of life, our beliefs about God, the human condition, and history. [Read More…]

Scrooge’s Question to Us

“If these shadows remain unaltered by the future….” Of all the scenes in A Christmas Carol, the visit of Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present with the Cratchit family, is perhaps the tenderest. It is, after all, where we hear Tiny Tim say, inimitably, “God bless us, everyone!” So very human, full of hopes and heartaches [Read More…]

Far as the Curse is Found

All of us have antennae. We watch for things, hoping that what we see and hear is more truthful than not. And when we sense that something is being said that is not quite true, we cringe; we may even cry out in dismay or disgust. I am that way about Christmas. While I love [Read More…]

Who Are We, Anyway?

“What are the Japanese peasants looking for in me? These people who live and work and die like beasts find for the first time in our teaching a path in which they can cast away the fetters that bind them…. for a long time they have lived in resignation to such a fate.” The Washington [Read More…]

Justice Cannot Be Just Us

“At crucial moments of choice, most of the business of choosing is already over.” There are some truths that are true across time, perennially true. Year after year, generation after generation, century after century, civilization after civilization. In a sentence, the Oxford moral philosopher Iris Murdoch captured the heart of our humanness. We see out [Read More…]

Thankful for Good Neighbors

Neighbors by choice. There is nothing magic about it, though I am sure there are mysteries in it. Mostly it is about ordinary people who have ordinary lives who live in ordinary places, like many, many other before us. For most of life, Meg and I have lived this way, choosing our neighbors before we [Read More…]


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