April 23 celebrates the date of the martyrdom of St. George, a little-known saint by Americans, but one who, through the centuries, has stood as a shining star among all saints. He is also the patron saint of England. His origins, however, are obscure. George is thought to have been a British soldier who was put to death in April a.d. 303, under Diocletian, though the story’s origins are uncertain. According to the fifth-century Apocryphal Acts of Saint George, he held… Read more

PBS recently aired an episode called To Walk Invisible, exploring the short, vaulting and tragic lives of the Brontë sisters: Charlotte — author if Jane Eyre; Emily — author of Wuthering Heights; and Anne — author of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. The episode was as gripping as it was despairing, as these talented literary giants languished in a desolate home environment that crushed their spirits and their aspirations. Yet, by means of low whispers and darting glances, they began… Read more

The Thursday before Easter Sunday is called Maundy Thursday in some traditions. I have attended many of these services and the feeling of desertion and despair, such as our Lord himself experienced that last night of his life, is always palpable. Entering a dimly-lit sanctuary you would see glowing candles adorning the altar, while all crosses on the altar are shrouded in red linens. As the service would commence the priest might pray, “Mercifully grant that we may receive the… Read more

by Wendy Murray Amid the perpetual dissent that arises from President Trump’s many actions and policies, I have been perplexed by some who have appealed to the teachings of Jesus as the reason for standing against him. (This has been especially true in the case of his Executive Order on the status of refugees coming from hostile countries.) Some Christian leaders have gone so far as to say that a person cannot support Donald Trump while calling him or herself… Read more

By Wendy Murray Continuing my conversation with Fred Rogers on the day we met in his office in October 2000,  I probed him on his desire to go to seminary as part of his preparation for the work he was doing in television. What was behind his desire to study theology? In what way did he see seminary training as germane to the work he was already doing in television? [Listen to Part One of this interview here.] In the… Read more

by Wendy Murray A man keeled over and hit the floor hard one morning when I sat in my town’s public library. I wear earplugs when I work there, but even with those, the muffled THUD that I heard somewhere about me caused me to lift my head. There he was, lying in a heap on the floor under the desk at the computer station, his gray hair falling wildly about him. Those of us who saw this from afar… Read more

By Wendy Murray This posting marks the first of what I hope will be ongoing audio portions of actual interviews I’ve conducted with thought leaders and fascinating people over the decades of my career in journalism. In October 2000 I had the opportunity to travel to Pittsburgh to spend a day with Fred “Mister” Rogers and his colleagues for a cover story that appeared in Christianty Today. The project had been a pay-off assignment for me in the aftermath of… Read more

by Wendy Murray I heard a pundit say recently that “Jesus probably would have been okay with Muslims; he was around a lot of Muslims — it was the Middle East.” That was the moment I decided the time had come for a brief refresher on the beginnings of Islam and the paradigm forged by its founder, Muhammad. What was his intention for his new-found system of belief? How did he determine to advance it? Just as–in trying to understand… Read more

By Wendy Murray In church the other day, as the pastor gave his sermon, a phrase jumped out about Jesus that turned my head. I say I  “turned my head” because, having been married to and divorced from a pastor whose sermons did not help as our marriage was disintegrating, I tend to diminish the place of the sermon in my overall worship experience. Sometimes it is hard to listen. Often it is difficult for me to be moved. I… Read more

Many faded photos of women in horn-rimmed glasses and puffy hair are popping up on social networking sites: “My precious mother” or “My gone-but-not-forgotten dear mother.” As I have aged I continue to see that the connection to one’s mother is the singular most defining relationship that shapes another human’s life, for better or worse. My heart goes out to those women whose hearts will ache this Sunday when mothers are hailed, doted upon, and held up as saviors and… Read more

Follow Us!

Browse Our Archives