On the first day of the week some women came to the cemetery to find the body of Jesus. They did what any of us would have done. They came looking for him where they had left him, where they had last seen him, where they knew he must surely still be. And there they […]

“When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this’” (Matt. 21:10)? The actors are in their places, the musicians are poised with their instruments, the conductor’s baton is raised. Everything is ready for the curtain to rise. Even the audience is ready, or so we like to think. The first […]

It’s a good question – “Can these bones live” (Ezek. 37:3)? Not a question about the bones of a mighty army bleaching in the sun on a great battlefield that might have sparked Ezekiel’s imagination. And not a question merely about “the whole house of Israel” (v. 11) that those bones symbolized for him. It’s […]

Mary Oliver’s question keeps returning. “Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?” Like the question from Thomas Merton, “If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live or what I like to eat or how I comb my hair, but ask me […]

Forty-one of you responded to my challenge last week, to complete the sentence, “Before I die, I want to . . . .” I had quoted Thomas Merton: “If you want to identify me, . . . ask me what I am living for, in detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me […]

Forty-one of you responded to my challenge last week, to complete the sentence, “Before I die, I want to . . . .” Here are your responses. Related to personal life. (13 responses) Live a full, joyful life of happiness. I wish I had enjoyed each day more and have less worries. Focus on myself […]

At some place deeper than where I usually live, I’ve passed the proverbial tipping point or am very near it, it seems, with the unrelenting offense from Washington – and from elsewhere, to be sure, but especially from Washington. I wonder less about what shoe will drop next, expecting that all of them will drop […]

“The distresses of choice,” W.H. Auden observed, “are our chance to be blessed.” Not just any choices, mind you, but the distressing ones, the ones that test your character, define your center of values, clarify your priorities. Choices that define the world in which we live. Choices that reveal whether we’re ready for the life […]

I’m giving up Christianity for Lent this year. Well, not literally. I’ll maintain my role in the church. It pays my salary and expects me to show up, after all. But I’ll be doing in a more intentional and centered way something I’ve been doing peripherally for decades. I’ll be examining my faith – not […]

It’s difficult to pinpoint the moment when spring arrives. It tiptoes up to us, subtle and shy, trying hard not to show itself. And then, before we’re aware of it, everything is changing. Here’s how Todd Nelson described it in the Christian Science Monitor. “The junipers may still be shagged with ice. Ice-fishing shacks still […]