The first and best thing to do with mystery is be quiet. The word itself suggests it. It’s from the Greek mustēs, “secret,” something shared only with the initiated. It has the sense of “shhhh,” a sound best made with a forefinger pressed to the lips. Maybe that’s why, after Jesus’ disciples had witnessed his […]

Last week I reflected on Jesus’ comment that we Christians are the salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13), a seasoning presence in what might otherwise be a tasteless world. If we simply live our faith as authentically as possible, like salt is simply salt, we might make a tasteless world a little more savory and […]

“What’s the point of this life?” my friend asked over dinner. No doubt, it was a rhetorical question, the kind people ask knowing there’s no completely satisfying answer. It was also, no doubt, a question that arose from a deep hunger to have an answer and from the knowledge that the only answer that counts […]

To be filled, we need to be empty: Clay gives shape to a bowl, but it’s the emptiness within that makes it useful. To speak, we first need to be silent: “He who does not understand your silence,” Elbert Hubbard said, “will probably not understand your words.” To gain wisdom, we need to live with […]

“Follow me,” Jesus said, and two young men dropped what they were doing and followed (Matt. 4:12-23). Ever since, he’s been calling, and people have been following. Today we baptized two children, their entry into a church that is both relationship and journey. Two young girls receive their first holy communion, following deeper into the […]

“Come and see,” Jesus said to those would-be followers who wanted to know where he was staying, and they came and saw, or so the story goes (John 1:39). But often seeing is not as easy as that. I can look and look at what is obvious to someone else and not see a thing. […]

When our celebration of Christmas ends, theologian and poet Howard Thurman tells us that the work of Christmas begins: “To find the lost, / To heal the broken, / To feed the hungry, / To release the prisoner, / To rebuild the nations, / To bring peace among brothers [and sisters], / To make music […]

Sometimes I think the main problem with Christmas may be the infant Jesus. It’s easy to romanticize the sweet babe of Bethlehem. And it’s easy to forget what Simeon said when Mary presented her child in the temple: “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many,” and “the inner thoughts of […]

The thing about a good story is, if you let it, it will tell itself. It doesn’t need embellishment or interpretation. All the storyteller needs to do is stand out of the way and let the story speak. That’s true of the Christmas story. It’s also true of the story of our lives. Wednesday Sheryl […]

“You must be ready,” Jesus said (Matt. 24:44). How do you get ready for what you already have, for what’s already here? Do we even know what we’re getting ready for? Those are the questions of Advent. All through the scriptures we hear echoes of God’s encouragement. “For surely I know the plans I have […]