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Jan
10

We refugees

We refugees By the first dream, I was assured.
Jan
9

On the Magi: Offerings presented

On the Magi: Offerings presented Away from home, Mission accomplished: It is finished.
Jan
8

On the Magi: Feigning faith

On the Magi: Feigning faith Herod the King, "racially Arab, religiously Jewish, culturally Greek, politically Roman."
Jan
7

On the Magi: Through centuries

On the Magi: Through centuries From the beginning, Magi pondered and travelled; offered and worshipped.
Jan
6

On the Magi: Farcical journey

On the Magi: Farcical journey Persians not Arabs, Farsi not Arabic, Magi not Kings: worship not rule.
Jan
6

Costly devotion

Costly devotion Those wise men brought such manifestly impractical gifts to the infant Christ: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Jan
5

A sense of place

A sense of place When I was first consecrated and people asked me how I liked my new ministry as bishop, I used to reply that I thought it would take me at least five years to figure out the answer to that question.
Jan
4

The curse of the via media

The curse of the via media The cherished Episcopal notion, that we are a church of right-thinking, reasonable people, is going to be the death of us. Don’t get me wrong: I am all for right thinking and reason in equal measure, and indeed compromise, and some sort of Anglican via media may indeed be found to be the solution amidst the church’s present agonizing over its own identity. But moderation as the keynote of any sort of...
Jan
1

Holy Name and a great sacrifice

Holy Name and a great sacrifice Our fear of blood might explain why the feast day we celebrate today is often called Holy Name rather than the Circumcision of Christ (evidently the more common name in days gone by)
Dec
31

Sufjan blessed my year

Sufjan blessed my year I was a big Sufjan fan about ten years ago, but I forgot about him for a while. I was called back to my senses with the release of Carrie and Lowell.
Dec
31

Joy comes in the morning

Joy comes in the morning Tonight the Church begins the celebration of the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. In the Western monastic tradition, the Divine Office for this feast is an extended meditation on the mystery of the Incarnation in ways that Sunday morning worshippers rarely have the opportunity to pray. Ruminating on these special antiphons is the Benedictine way of lectio-meditatio-contemplatio, and I am delighted to be...
Dec
30

12 days with the paradoxical Word

12 days with the paradoxical Word Few preachers handle well both the temporal birth and the eternal begetting of the Son of God. One of them wrote in Latin in the middle of the fifth century, yet without passing along his name.
Dec
29

The terror of the Nativity

The terror of the Nativity Here is Isaac’s Fear revealed; here is Jacob’s ladder stretched out; here the prince of this world looks on, agape.
Dec
28

Abortion is not a blessing

Abortion is not a blessing Abortion is not a blessing. Let us in all humility never be afraid to say so. And may the prayers of the Holy Innocents ascend to the throne of grace to strengthen us in God’s saving work
Dec
27

John and Peter, patterns of holy life

John and Peter, patterns of holy life Jesus’ words in the Gospel today reveal how Peter and John would die, but also how the disciples provided patterns for two different states of life: the active and contemplative.
Dec
26

Stephen, full of power and grace

Stephen, full of power and grace Could I ask, with the martyr St. Stephen, "O Lord, give me every disadvantage, every difficulty, every hardness. Send me out with no tools, no friends, no worldly hopes of vengeance or reward. Put me among the hateful, the violent, the diseased, the unstable"?
Dec
25

Becoming

Becoming Mary breaks into a cold, damp sweat, her eyes bloodshot, her skin crawling as she takes one more breath and screams, pushing baby into open air, riding a rush of adrenaline and blood so pure that it can only be love. Deep down, though, she knows that love is far more than chemicals and sweat, and she wonders if the hope she has is pure enough to keep the doubts from crawling out of their corner and sucking...
Dec
24

Emmanuel, the LORD

Emmanuel, the LORD At Christmas, we sing hymns and carols that call the child born to Mary and Joseph “Lord.” But we are told that more and more, the use of that title is outdated, sexist, and perhaps even a sort of theological “microagression” against some of the folks in the pews.
Dec
23

holy hands

holy hands I'm currently in a phase of "secular" work (employed at a church, but not empowered to use my "magic hands" — that is, to function as a priest), and have had the opportunity to reflect quite a bit on the boundaries of Christian ministry.
Dec
22

A church that loves the prophets

A church that loves the prophets Are the prophets merely the forerunners of the non-profits, God’s agents of social improvement in the lives of those who need it most?

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