Tag Archives: faith

On seeing the risen Christ

You may be familiar with the drawing depicting both a young woman and an old woman at once. Several versions are circulating. If you look at it and see a young woman, it can be very difficult to see the old woman, and if you see an old woman, it can be next to impossible […]

An untroubled heart

The first thing that comes to mind for me when Jesus says goodbye to his friends (John 14:1-14) is that I expected more from him. He knows he’ll soon be arrested and that he’ll be executed, probably in a few hours. The disciples probably know it, too, though they don’t want to admit it even […]

The sacrament of service

Last week I recalled those travelers on the road to Emmaus and how they came to know the presence of the living Christ in the breaking of bread (Luke 24:1-35). And I wondered, during this pandemic, while we’re unable to gather for the Lord’s Supper, are there other ways we can know that presence? The […]

Love lives again

Thomas usually gets a bad rap in the first Easter story (John 20:24-29). “Doubting Thomas,” we call him, as if his absence on resurrection evening or the doubts he expressed a week later put him on the fringe of the little band of disciples. All of them scattered in the critical moment. Did Thomas run […]

Living without fear

“Do not be afraid.” Usually the first words we hear in the Easter liturgy are, “Christ is risen! Alleluia!” – words of exuberance, bursting forth after six long weeks of Lent, the deepening darkness and foreboding of Holy Week, and the utter emptiness of Holy Saturday. But those words are not in the first resurrection […]

The transforming choice

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 […]

Almost Christian

It’s profoundly ironic that we’ve created a Sunday called Christ the King (the gospel for the day is Luke 23:33-43) to celebrate Jesus, who went out of his way to avoid being made a king. We sing, “Crown him with many crowns, . . . and hail him as thy matchless king,” despite reading that […]

When life falls apart

Read Isaiah 65:17-25 and Luke 21:5-19 What do you do when life falls apart? “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men / Gang aft agley,” poet Robert Burns wrote, “An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, / For promis’d joy!” Our best-laid plans often do go awry and leave us nothing but grief […]

Let your life speak

A week ago we were celebrating Reformation Sunday and the church renewal movement launched by Martin Luther. It’s too soon, only a week later, to overlook his teaching about the Feast of All Saints and the renewal of our faith. Here’s what he had to say about the day: “Here is the true foundation for […]

A faith that heals

The story of the ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19) is not a story about the healing of ten individuals, and it’s not about the value of expressing gratitude. It’s a story about faith that transcends tradition, that grows beyond the limits of religious practice, and that fosters a uniquely personal, authentic, and original relationship with the […]