We need each other, not more consumption

Every year around this time, companies ramp up marketing campaigns that do their best to connect contentment with consumerism. Feeling lonely? Buy a candy cane latte. Feeling grief? Buy more holiday decorations. Feeling afraid and anxious as you watch the daily news in a world plagued by family separations, endless wars and mass shootings? BuyContinue reading “We need each other, not more consumption”

Meat

When I walked the Camino de Santiago, I survived on a steady diet of ham sandwiches and beer. I subjected my body to a pack that weighed more than was healthy for my frame, moved my feet over miles of terrain, felt my muscles fatigue and my flesh blister and bleed. Every day, somewhere alongContinue reading “Meat”

Bring on the boredom: the paradox of the path

Years ago, at a family gathering with cousins and aunts and uncles rubbing shoulders and shaking hands, I uttered words for which I was shamed and even scolded. We were in the hills of Iowa at my uncle’s pig farm. He was the eldest uncle. His children were at least a decade older than me,Continue reading “Bring on the boredom: the paradox of the path”

The joy of being surpassed

Pass on what you have learned. Strength, mastery, hmm … but weakness, folly, failure also. Yes: failure, most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters. – Yoda, to Luke Skywalker, “The Last Jedi” It is good to remind myself, everyContinue reading “The joy of being surpassed”

Prayer beyond words

I was 10 when it happened. I fell in love with silence. I was looking for my own church. My mom would drop me off at places of worship for different denominations — Catholic, Presbyterian, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. I think I also went to the synagogue. I would attend a service and noContinue reading “Prayer beyond words”

Belief in the risen body of Christ (but what is belief?)

Happy Easter!! He is risen! Alleluia!! It’s not exactly an Easter song (it’s the Canticle of Zachariah from Luke 1), but it has been in my head since Sunday morning. Maybe because it’s a joyful tune. Or possibly because of the promise of peace and justice. Anyway, it’s super fun and I love it! Alleluia! God knows,Continue reading “Belief in the risen body of Christ (but what is belief?)”

For We Know Not What We Do

The world that surrounds us is daunting,        too many voices speak truth        and prophetic words from false prophets sow division. God cannot be both compassionate and a defense through which morality props up the unjust But the most persuasive voices        can tailor the emperor’s clothes to align with God’s will or is it man’s? SoContinue reading “For We Know Not What We Do”

Preaching the Gospel for the first time … again

I sat down in front of 15 pre-K students for our bi-weekly Bible story time, expecting more or less to follow our routine. Every Wednesday and Friday I join them for a 15-minute story session, telling toddler-friendly versions of Sunday’s scripture or the classic Bible stories that adults clean up and present to young children:Continue reading “Preaching the Gospel for the first time … again”

I fasted on only bread and juice for Lent. This is what I learned.

My stomach felt like an empty pit. There could not possibly have been anything left in the tank. I had already been on the toilet for 10 minutes, but I had not built up enough confidence to walk away. Diarrhea for reasons beyond our control is bad enough. This time it was, I admit, completelyContinue reading “I fasted on only bread and juice for Lent. This is what I learned.”

As dust

Oh God, who desire not the death of sinners, but their conversion, mercifully hear our prayers and in your kindness be pleased to bless these ashes, which we intend to receive upon our heads, that we, who acknowledge we are but ashes shall return to dust, may, through a steadfast observance of Lent, gain pardon for sinsContinue reading “As dust”