October 8, 2021

  Visionings is a series that explores sight and seeing. A Recap In the last piece, I offered a general introduction to icons. This will be a more practical guide to praying with icons. The next will highlight the work of a current iconographer, Khrystyna Kvyk, whose work I’ve come to know and appreciate over the past year. The image above is her icon “I am the light of the world.” As we learn how to pray through icons, I… Read more

September 22, 2021

Visionings is a series that explores sight and seeing. In the first installment, we considered the relationship between seeing and compassion. In the second installment, we will consider how religious iconography helps us to see God. This claim, that icons help us to see God, may seem strange to us in the West but is absolutely central to the Eastern Church. I’ll be making the case over the next few pieces. The first will be a general introduction to icons…. Read more

July 16, 2021

Visionings is a series that explores sight and seeing. In the first installment, we consider the relationship of seeing and compassion. Part 1 is called Whale Eyes. The title is taken directly from the title of a New York Times video essay: How My Life Looks Through My ‘Whale Eyes’. What I want to do is provide some commentary on the video essay in order to frame one way in which you can see it. Watching the essay is a… Read more

July 3, 2021

In his famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Frederick Douglass reflects on  how the peals of church bells and cries of jubilation commemorating this great nation’s birthday lands on the ears of the two Americas. The two Americas, of course, are White America and Black America. The riches of justice and freedom that this day commemorates are the inheritance of White Americans, not Black Americans. “The sunlight that brought life and healing to you,” Douglass… Read more

January 27, 2021

Yesterday there were less, tomorrow there will be more. How does one make sense of hundreds of thousands of untimely deaths? The answer is: I’m not sure one does. If you’re like me, it can be difficult to actually get a sense of the human toll this pandemic is taking. It’s easy to feel numb to the tragedy and loss. To fight this, I have found Malcolm Guite’s “Quarantine Quatrains” a faithful guide for processing and praying through this long… Read more

January 20, 2021

  The first world war, boys it came and it went the reason for fighting I never did get but I learned to accept it accept it with pride for you don’t count the dead when God’s on your side In one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs, the great poet describes the perennial American pattern of always assuming God is on our side. More American than apple pie, this is. In a not-so-subtle way, he traces this absurd pattern… Read more

June 4, 2020

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall… Read more

May 26, 2020

At the time, March 12 felt like any other Thursday. I went to the office. Our oldest son went to school. We had friends over for dinner and we even experimented with a new chocolate mousse recipe (with Grand Marnier instead of plain ol’ Brandy). Not knowing quite what to make of it, the coronavirus was just one of the many topics around the table. Out of what felt like an excess of caution, we decided not to shake hands… Read more

April 11, 2020

This is the transcript of a message I gave during our Good Friday Compline service on April 10, 2020. Today is Good Friday, the day when Christians around the world remember the crucifixion of Jesus. During this Compline service, I want to offer a meditation on the cross of Christ. Christians believe that 2000 years ago, on a cross, in the middle of a trash heap outside of Jerusalem, a man called Jesus of Nazareth suffered and died. The crucifixion… Read more

March 23, 2020

The emotional whiplash caused by the coronavirus and the changes it has wrought has been severe. For some of us, the feeling of loneliness has been painfully heightened by our imposed homebound isolation. For others, we are dealing with the stress of trying to work from home with a house full of children who need their lessons in reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic. Because of the flood of changes, many of the things we formerly took for granted are now insecure:… Read more

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