Marlena Graves: The dangers of money, power and influence

Marlena Graves: The dangers of money, power and influence Season 1. Episode 9 of Messy Jesus Business, hosted by Sister Julia Walsh LISTEN HERE: IN THIS EPISODE: In episode nine, Sister Julia speaks with Marlena Graves the author of The Way Up Is Down. They discussed her new book and its message about downward mobility andContinue reading “Marlena Graves: The dangers of money, power and influence”

Back to the basics in a time of war

In the light of the epiphany star and the glowing headlines this week, the Spirit is convincing me that it’s time for us to get back to basics, to recenter on the core values of the Christian faith. It seems that from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed, theContinue reading “Back to the basics in a time of war”

Encouragement when the world feels like a mess

If you’re like me — and most people I know — the world feels like a mess. Maybe you’re heartbroken and horrified by the latest news coming out of Syria, by the continued slaughter of human life. Perhaps you’re worried about loved ones impacted by the fires in California — or you are one ofContinue reading “Encouragement when the world feels like a mess”

Whitewashed Mary and White Supremacy

What image of Mary. the mother of God, do you remember seeing as a child? When you close your eyes and imagine Mary today, who do you see? What color is her hair? Her eyes? Her skin? What type of clothes is she wearing in your imagination? As a kid growing up in a tight-knitContinue reading “Whitewashed Mary and White Supremacy”

Headlines and prophets: a conversation

McDonald’s workers go on strike over sexual harassment  “Yes, I’m on my  way to visit you with Judgement. I’ll press compelling evidence against sorcerers, adulterers, liars, those who exploit workers, those who take advantage of widows and orphans, those who are inhospitable to the homeless — anyone and everyone who doesn’t honor me.” In NorthContinue reading “Headlines and prophets: a conversation”

Questions as a path to unity

Years ago, while teaching theology to 9th graders, a particular student tugged at my heart. Each day he would come into my classroom and listen thoughtfully. His face would twist up with frustration and confusion while he heard me explain how the Bible came to be and the call of discipleship. The questions seemed toContinue reading “Questions as a path to unity”

In this time of great distress

The book of Revelation is a profound example of resistance literature. The author, a disciple named John, is responding to a crisis: the severe persecution of the Church in the late first century. He himself is in exile, in Patmos, a Roman penal colony and island located between Greece and Turkey. The vision John receives andContinue reading “In this time of great distress”

Locked up in different prisons

The heavy metal door bangs behind me, the electric buzz locks the bolt in place. After a pause, another door buzzes and is unlocked, controlled by a police officer sitting near a video monitor in another room. I cross the florescent-lit linoleum and open the next heavy metal door, making my way through this thresholdContinue reading “Locked up in different prisons”

The wounds of Christ and the inauguration of Donald Trump

Last Friday morning—the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration—two screens were in front of me; words and images flooding in. A glowing laptop sat upon my knees, my web browser opened to an online Bible, Psalm 34. It was there because I awoke with this song in my head, particularly the “The LORD hears the cry of theContinue reading “The wounds of Christ and the inauguration of Donald Trump”

Fear, darkness, and Advent

Lately a certain Gospel instruction is has been grinding challenge into my life, really giving my heart a doozy of a talking to. Jesus says it a lot, in many different ways: Do not be afraid. (Luke 1:30; Mark 5:36; Mark 6:50) Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? (Matthew 6:27)Continue reading “Fear, darkness, and Advent”