I noticed it in Sleepless in Seattle: an incredible Baltimore church (Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church) that […]
Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. Matthew 22:21, […]
It used to be that people shunned the use of a mask. Outside of Halloween or playing pranks on our friends, a mask was nothing to be proud of. Sure, we might praise the masked surgeon, fighter pilot, or hero running into danger to save others, but it is in the taking-off of the masks that we find cause for joy and celebration. For it is in the removal of the mask that we see their humanity, we see they are one of us. The fact that there remains a kinship between us and them offer us the promise and hope of potential glory.
Waking up this morning I felt that sick stone pressing on my lungs again. Breath a little short, metal spoon-like keeping me from inhaling the bright dawn. Throbbing pools held back just behind the shell of my face. Not enough power to let it down, to let them fall, to release.
It is the fundamental crisis of every life: in its beginning is the beginning of its end. Every relationship, every project; everything that is built, created, or born has within it the seeds of its own death. In Light from Light (2019, for rent here), it is like a refrain: everything ends.
It is a most pleasurable and painful need of His image: To speak, to sing, to form, to make. Our hands were sculpted to press a moldless form into beauty. Our eyes were crafted to dream color into a dark grey vision. Our lips were shaped to taste the ever-sweeter sensations that we could conceive. We were fearfully and wonderfully designed to create like the Creator.
I feel genuinely sorry for people who do not go to a church that follows the old church calendar. Not that it will necessarily make the preaching better or ensure the handing over of the gifts of God, but as an organizing principle the movement of seasons and times throughout the year gives us something powerful, something beautiful, something to help drive our attention and focus. Could you imagine not having the season of Lent?
In the middle of the night, that’s when I fear unlove. Whatever light shone during the day, its not guaranteed that it will come back again in the morning. I wonder on my pillow if I did the right thing, said enough words, made my warmth accessible enough to you. I wonder in the darkness if you will be kind to my vulnerability, patient with my emotions, present in the raw moments.
I love you. Someone once said. No you don’t. I said.
I love you. Someone said again. Don’t say that unless you know what that means.
I love you? Someone asked. And I wondered about the law of love.
I have to just accept the fact, God loves me, whether I like it or not. Once in a while a pastor receives a wonderful phone call from someone who heard the Gospel. Not that he heard it for the first time, but for whatever reason the ridiculous love of God in Jesus Christ finally opened his eyes.