Epiphany: The Showing of God in the Most Unlikely

It’s not so far-fetched, you know. The Magi. Them being occultic astrologers, I mean. Jesus’ entire life is predicated on learning from and uplifting voices of the unlikely. The presence of pagan strangers with expensive taste simply falls within this odd norm, along with foul-smelling shepherds and pregnant virgins. Technically, they aren’t even classified as ‘wise folks’ in Matthew’s account.…

Christmas in the Lightness & the Darkness

For much of my life, I was raised in a culture that venerated moving from darkness into the Light during Advent, culminating in celebrating the Light on Christmas morning. It’s not terribly surprising. I do live in a country that has its shortest days of the year around this season. I wake up in the dark, I go to work…

Permission for Holy Rest

It’s odd that we so often need to hear permission for what we so desperately need. Rest is one such hellish need. Sometimes rest seems far too much like a luxury. It’s afforded to those of us who finish our to-do lists or who have salaries that cover expenses every month. Even when we have very little to do, our…

Angels & Demons: Do We Still Need to Believe in the Supernatural?

This past Sunday was the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels or Michaelmas (Michael’s Mass). In some countries in the northern hemisphere, it’s a Christian version of celebrating the equinox. For Lutherans, it’s one of the only feasts to commemorate supernatural forces in the world. It was a strange movement coming from evangelical worlds that took supernatural entities literally…

Celebrating Mabon: A Season of Thanksgiving

The autumnal equinox has wheeled around once again. Every year I am reminded how this season has become my favourite season. Historically lacking the consumerist trappings of Christmas or Easter, it has been free to explode a worthy celebration on the world without forcing it into a plastic mould. Without knocking the lovers of pumpkin spice lattes, I can’t help…

Those We Meet on the Road

Roads are thin spaces. I often romanticize thin spaces — their defiance of clear boundaries and their endless possibilities. They represent a reality of spiritual realms that are often rationalised in our pulpits and pews. And I love them for it. The world can drain for us even the desire to believe in what can’t be understood, and thin spaces…

When the Powers are Wrong

This week’s pericope is one that has troubled Christians for millennia. Jesus utters horrifying words like “no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” For those of us raised in conservative traditions, flashbacks of discipleship Sundays, altar calls, and long sermons about unwavering loyalty to the King of Kings…

When Healing Make Life Complicated

When I skimmed this week’s gospel reading from the lectionary, I rolled my eyes a little bit (my mother would be so pleased, quite possibly declaring I was looking for my brains). Jesus heals the man at the pool. Lovely. It was an optional reading, but avoiding difficult texts is a sure-fire way for any clergy person to dive headlong…

A Mothering Jesus

This week’s pericope was a long one — John 21:1-19. The disciples are fishing all night long, Jesus waits for them on the beach, there’s a miraculous catch of fish, breakfast, and suddenly we stop talking about the fish and start talking about sheep instead. I needed to whittle down the text to a perspective often glossed over — a…

White church with black spire with cross on top against a white sky. Text reads: "40 Lifelong Gifts Over 40 Days"

40 Lifelong Gifts — Part I

Part of my Lenten practice this year was to think of one genuine gift each of the forty days that the world of evangelicalism gave me. It’s not an earth-shattering practice or one that will herald any second comings of Jesus or anything. I really only wanted to find beauty and meaning in a past that has done damage. It’s…