Category: theology

Skyward shot of two doves flying through the air. Text reads: "Learning from John the Baptist and Martin Luther King Jr. -- A Call to Repentance, Rediscovering our new life in baptism

A Call to Repentance

John’s baptism is tricky to preach on. On the one hand, he’s a fiery preacher who makes stark the need for transformation in a dark world. On the other hand, he sounds awfully judgmental and ‘works-based’ (especially in Lutheran contexts). Well, if we can contextualise John’s actions and practices to his own time and place without overlaying our own fears…

Man with white hair and black leather jacket sitting in wooden pew facing the front of an old stone church, cross hanging high over the altar. Caption reads: Where is Jesus now?

Where is Jesus Now if Not in My Heart?

Where is Jesus now? Awake at 2:30 this morning, I wondered what becomes of the images and metaphors we use in our initial spiritual or religious contexts after we exit them. Where do they go? Who does God then become? How, then, do we connect with the Divine? For those of you who may require some explanation, evangelicals describe a…

For What Ails Us: On Healing & Cures

My headache begins with a dull tension at the back of my skull.   Here it comes, I think.   It’s not enough to warrant ibuprofen yet, but enough to signal to me that something’s up. I push the tension aside and focus on other tasks of the day. Soon the dull tension rises to a throb behind my left…

Celebrating Pride Month

June is Pride month. To celebrate, I’ll be featuring LGBTQ+ faith and spiritual leaders who are passionate about justice and community. I’m excited to be sharing the words and vision of these people with all of you! So much wisdom to learn from and so much hope. Stay tuned for Friday posts! In the meantime, here are just a few…

The Worship of Perfection

I was sharing some thoughts about launching Reluctant Mysticism with a group of online friends. While I wasn’t intending to go deep theologically, words popped out of my mouth before I registered what I was saying: “Isn’t it heartbreaking that we worship a perfect figure while living in a society that despises our imperfections?” I was referring to Christianity’s belief…

Pentecost

  A GHEALACH UR [54] An ainm Spiorad Naomh nan gras An ainm Athar na Cathrach aigh, An ainm Iosa thug dhinn am bas, O! an ainm na Tri tha d’ ar dion’s gach cas, Ma’s math a fhuair thu sinn an nochd, Seachd fearr gum fag thu sinn gun lochd, A Ghealach gheal nan trath, A Ghealach gheal nan…

Bread

There is an especial quality of healing in the smell of baking bread. For me, it is not just any bread but the warm, yeasty smell of my mom’s homemade bread. It seems no matter what darkness enters into my life, the smell of her bread reminds me that somehow — however remote that how appears — all will be…

The Unspoken Sacrament

“Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” (Mark 9:7) Sacraments are those wondrously mundane visible acts of inward grace. For some of us there are seven; for others there are two; and for some there are none. In trying to understand how the sacraments intersect with…

For A Name’s Sake

I’m sitting in front my screen, tapping absently at the keys trying to formulate a final paper for my Lutheran Confessions course. Nothing. I have plenty of material, but I have zero impetus to engage in medieval theology anymore. You would think a theology of grace would be liberating. But during the actual class, I found myself pulling my hair…

Hospitality of Cold

“…I was a stranger and you invited me in” -Jesus (Matthew 25:35b). To some, this little cabin looks the pristine picture of a perfect retreat. To others, it’s a bit far out of the way of civilization. To a few friends of mine, it’s the perfect horror movie setup, and I’m clearly trying to get myself killed by a) an…