10 summer reads from our archives for the heat and these hard times

Here are 10 summer reads from the Messy Jesus Business archives that could fuel your fires, ignite your actions, inform your choices. These words could companion you in the summer heat and during these hard times.

How can I find God?

Stress warning: Content includes suicidal thoughts. What would you say if a friend with no religious affiliation asked you the simple question: How can I find God? This is the scenario posed to the young and the old, the famous and the not-famous and those of a variety of religious preferences who contribute their voicesContinue reading “How can I find God?”

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”

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”

White supremacy and me and you

1. I am driving through the Northwoods of Wisconsin, talking to a friend, a man I know very well, on the phone. Tall, snow-covered pines line the ditches; gray overcast hovers. The man and I are catching up, chatting about our lives. The tone of his voice becomes shameful, reluctant. My gaze moves over theContinue reading “White supremacy and me and you”

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”

Outsiders help the church grow

The 2015 movie Spotlight shows the painful and vital role of the outsider in exposing the systemic sex abuse perpetrated by clergy throughout Boston, and the U.S. Key outsiders, including the Jewish editor of the Boston Globe, the Armenian attorney representing survivors of abuse, and, most importantly, the survivors themselves, unlocked this horrific cover-up. OneContinue reading “Outsiders help the church grow”

Finding common ground in the din of debate

Debate divides this nation, and democracy is in disarray. On one hand, we enjoy light, good-natured disagreements: — Is the dress blue and black or white and gold? — Do you hear Yanny or Laurel? And then, there are the more serious debates; the ones that could be causing our civility to crumble. The latestContinue reading “Finding common ground in the din of debate”

Chris Hedges’ prophetic voice

The present era of misinformation and manipulation in the media and politics calls us to seek out truth amid the noise, and to discover the prophetic voices that can help us follow the spirit through our complex realities. One the most powerful voices to guide our understanding is Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, formerContinue reading “Chris Hedges’ prophetic voice”

Serving up accountability this holiday season

Thanksgiving in the United States is often a time to come together with family, friends and whomever else we call community. My favorite memories of Thanksgiving are around the table sharing food, memories full of warmth, comfort and a feeling of belonging. But as I grew up, I also learned about the real history behindContinue reading “Serving up accountability this holiday season”