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Anticipating Totality

John 1:1-5 The Lectionary – the traditional church calendar – has us read the first chapter of John at Christmastime, which also happens to be right about the winter solstice.  I find it beautifully symbolic.  When we have the fewest daylight hours of the year we Christians pause to reflect on how “the light shines […]

A Prayer After Charlottesville

What happened in Virginia this week is terrible – terrible in the disregard for human life that started it, and terrible in the violence that has escalated from it. Sometimes, when I see events like this unfold, I begin to nurture a judging hate for those responsible. I call them names; I don’t want to […]

What Fear Does to Faith

Matthew 14:22-33 When I was a teenager in youth group, I loved to hang out with the adult counsellors. I hung around them so much… that they’d occasionally tell me they were having a private “staff meeting,” no youth allowed. You’ve already guessed what took me years to realize: there were no “staff meetings,” just […]

It started with a boy…

John 6:1-15 It all started with a boy. Well, the way John tells it, it does. The story of the feeding of 5,000 shows up in all four gospels.  In all four a crowd has followed Jesus and stayed to listen to him teach.  In all four, Jesus asks the disciples to provide a meal […]

Where to take your complaints

Psalm 142 It’s been about two months now that I’ve been using the Psalms as my devotional material, reading them multiple times a day.  It’s had quite an effect on me – at the very least in a renewed appreciation for the Psalms. I’ve been reminded of how many praise songs take their lyrics directly […]

Praying is (not) like breathing

Psalm 112 Praying is like breathing.  Where breathing is essential to physical life, prayer is essential to our spiritual life. The time we spend with God in prayer shapes our souls.  (Philip Yancey makes a good case for this in his book on the subject.)  I think it works much the same way our human […]

Famous Last Words

Matthew 28:16-20 The last thing someone says is important, right? Case in point:  the end of Saving Private Ryan.  The movie follows a team of eight men as they try to bring a last surviving son home from WWII.  This is long before our time of instant communication, of course, so they have to physically […]