Tag Archives: baptism

On choices in the wilderness

What are you living for? When Martha was distracted by many things, Jesus told her that only one thing is essential (Luke 10:41-42). What is your one essential thing? A meaningful life is not a matter of how many things you do or how fast and efficiently you do them; it’s a matter of what […]

When you’re desperate enough

How desperate do you feel? Thoreau believed most people “lead lives of quiet desperation” (Walden, “Economy”), not the frantic desperation of someone who’s in imminent danger, but the subtler kind, the low-level anxiety that slowly eats away at us. We may pretend it doesn’t exist, but once in a while it bubbles up and lets […]

Faith unbound

No one taught me the gospel I proclaimed. I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:11-12 paraphrased). Whatever else we Methodists did during General Conference this month, we certainly reaffirmed our inability to agree on matters of human sexuality. We’ve tackled the issue head-on in every General Conference since 1972, four years […]

Name calling

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. Most of us know that children’s expression, so often used when hurtful words are hurled in childish ways. Most of us have probably used it at one time or another. And most of us also know it’s not true. Words do hurt. […]

A school for the Lord’s service

Perhaps the best description of the church I know – the church that seems to be emerging for a new generation of Christians in the twenty-first century – is also one of the oldest and most enduring. It was developed nearly 1,500 years ago by the leader of a small Christian community in central Italy, […]

The new birth

It takes grace to change a term of ridicule into an affirmation of faith, and grace was clearly God’s gift to the revival movement that became The United Methodist Church. The methodical disciplines that 300 years ago became the hallmark of the Oxford Holy Club under the leadership of John and Charles Wesley soon became […]

This call is for you

After the curtain falls on our celebration of Christmas, Howard Thurman reminded us in his poem, 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 […]

Coming and going

Now another Christmas has come and gone, and what was the good of it? Aside from the seasonal heart-warmth it provided, what lasting difference did it make? That’s the kind of question you might expect from Ebenezer Scrooge, but it wasn’t Scrooge who asked it. It was Meister Eckhart, the German theologian, philosopher, and mystic […]