Ashes and pieces of old vintage photographs strewn across the ground. Text reads: "Reluctant Mysticism: Ash Wednesday 2019, www.reluctantmysticism.com

Ash Wednesday: Embracing Healing for Lent

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday — the day in the Christian liturgical calendar that marks the beginning of Lent. The day we remember our mortality — we are dust, and to dust we shall return. The day we confess repentance and our need for God’s forgiveness. The text for the day was from Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 — Jesus criticising the religious…

Picture of open old gothic church doorway seeing out towards a misty coniferous forest at night.

Mist-Covered Mountains: Finding the Magic in Liminality

The Celts believed there was another dividing line that all people could straddle, if only they stretched themselves out a bit. And that’s the divide between the world and the otherworld. -Steve Rabery, In The House of Memory I was lying in a tiny berth in a cabin supposedly made for three grown people, but really could hardly accommodate one.…

A pair of white hands cupped around a little off-white taper candle, the flame steady between the hands. Text reads: "Creating Shadows, "What if candlelight -- small, confined light -- is the energy I need to explore my shadows?"

Creating Shadows

There’s nothing quite like the fluid warmth of candlelight. One small flame illuminates a dark space with a nonjudgmental gentleness — its light welcomes everyone regardless of our crimes and misdemeanours, our successes and glories. It is fully itself. It shines. No other questions asked, no responses needed. There’s so much anger rising up in the world that this gentleness…

Clear, deep blue sky with bright sun shining long rays over a frozen lake surrounded by a forest.

The Cold Light of Illumination

The polar vortex is a demanding oppressor. Coldness creates contraction — in cells, in molecules. The same goes for life. It becomes frigidly contracted, small, hunkered down. The plague that is cabin fever sets in quickly and spreads rapidly because it’s too cold to walk or run outside for more than a few minutes. Of course, there are the die-hard…

Statue of Jesus at sunset in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; large statue of Jesus arms outstretched on the edge of a cliff over looking a hazy valley, large setting sun over the horizon. Text reads: "People love dead prophets." -Rev. William J. Barber II

When We Kill the Prophets

I remember when Rob Bell released his book “Love Wins”. There was somewhat of a frenzy at our church about Rob’s teachings — whether or not they were heresy. Eventually, the church board at the time chose to ban Rob’s works from the church library. He was deemed dangerous, a threat to bible-believing Christianity. I was still fully immersed in…

Goddess & Saint: Trusting Shared Space on Imbolc

In the Northern Hemisphere, February 01 is Imbolc or the Feast of St.Brigid/Brigid’s Day. Imbolc, in the Celtic calendar, marks the beginning of spring (which, I understand, is a little bit laughable coming from a Canadian currently sitting in the midst of the polar vortex). The day rests halfway between the autumnal and spring equinoxes, just as the summer festival…

Background: old rusty typewrite on a table surrounded by crumped paper. Text reads: Reluctant Mysticism, 2019 At-A-Glance: A small snapshot of what's coming up for the rest of the year. January - Word, February - Light, March - Curiosity, April - Breathe, May - Element, June - Pride, July - Wonder, August - Journeys, September - Autumn, October - Darkness, November - Healing, December - Enchantment. Subscribe by email & have posts sent directly to your inbox! Register at www.reluctantmysticism.com

What’s Up for 2019

It’s exciting to be blogging again after being on hiatus for a few months. Being on internship has required me to start learning an entirely new language as well as a new job. Learning not only who to ask questions of, but what to ask at all has been a delightful challenge for me. There aren’t as many people actively…

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…

Pair of hands holding a pen over an ornate sign reading "Merry Christmas, surrounded by pine boughs & frosted pine cones

Light & Word, Hope & Life

I had the honour of preaching the Christmas Day message this morning at Trinity Lutheran Church. John happens to be my favourite gospel, for all it’s imagery and poetry. John 1 especially because it takes the human Jesus we see the night before to a cosmic Christ in the bright light of day. This Word was spoken at creation, at…

Background of lit white votive candles. Text in foreground reads: May the light never cease to disturb us, Leaning into the light of the Magnifict

A Magnificat Protest — Sermon for Advent 4

The more I learn about Mary, the more I love how much of a rebellious world-shaker she is. I left behind the image of a meek, mild, plump middle-age woman sweetly humming a lullaby long ago; but even today I’m constantly surprised at just how daring Mary truly was. The Magnificat is a radically political poem that dares to stand…