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In Ascension Love Remains

In Ascension Love Remains

It has been forty days since their master turned the world upside by rising from the dead. But now, it appears, the end has come. An end the apostles could not have anticipated, to be sure. As Jesus approaches his departure they are simultaneously heavy and elated. Elated, as Jesus’ mission is at an end […]

The Only Places on the Streets That Understand

The Only Places on the Streets That Understand

Way back on Christmas Eve of 2013, The Guardian ran a piece by photographer Chris Arnade under the provocative title, “The People Who Challenged My Atheism Most Were Drug Addicts and Prostitutes.” It remains one of the best and most heartening things I’ve read on that intersection. Arnade recounts how thoroughly his unbelief was challenged […]

Don't Ruin Brunch: A Mother's Day Primer for the Church

Don't Ruin Brunch: A Mother's Day Primer for the Church

I’ve got an idea for churches this upcoming Sunday. Please just ignore Mother’s Day. I do not know why we started to attach the church to this secular holiday, but for the love of all that is sacred and holy, she wants us to stop. I got a desperate note from her in the mail. […]

The (Step)Ladder to Glory

The (Step)Ladder to Glory

This reflection comes from Rev. Will Ryan. I never thought I had outsized expectations of how my career would go, but I certainly did have expectations. Once I got through the first year of seminary—which admittedly was an eye-opener to this guy who thought he could turn in rough drafts and get A’s (spoiler alert: […]

Sixty to Zero

Sixty to Zero

In Lyndal Roper’s Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet, the author narrates the moment when Martin, a newly minted Augustinian monk, participated in his first mass as priest (1507). What made this moment especially charged was that his father Hans was present. Hans, you may remember, sacrificed to send his boy to college so that Martin […]

I Love You, But I'm Not Gonna Wash Your Feet

I Love You, But I'm Not Gonna Wash Your Feet

Sometimes I’m asked after our Maundy Thursday service why we don’t hold a foot washing like some other churches do on that night. They’re never quite prepared for my answer. The reason I don’t do foot washings is that I’m not sure about the theology communicated in that act, namely that we are at all […]

Rebuilding What We Never Made: Notre Dame

Rebuilding What We Never Made: Notre Dame

Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah. (Matthew 17:4) Those tabernacles were the best way that St. Peter could fully express his love of Jesus. But […]

The Sermon in Stone at Notre Dame

The Sermon in Stone at Notre Dame

Notre Dame has burned. The cathedral had — “had,” how terrible to write — one of the oldest surviving wood frames in Paris’ history, comprising 52 acres of trees. Workers cut those trees down in the 12th century and made the beams. Each beam required the wood of a whole tree. The intricate lattice of […]

Preachers in Sneakers: A Merciful Mirror

Preachers in Sneakers: A Merciful Mirror

When a friend sent me the Instagram account @preachersnsneakers, I was dumbfounded. A guy who goes by the name “Tyler” posts photographs of nondenominational mega-church pastors sporting sneakers alongside a cost analysis. It is funny and staggering. I had no idea that sneakers can cost hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars. I mean, I feel […]

The Top Ten Reasons the Lectionary Sucks and Five Half-Assed Solutions

The Top Ten Reasons the Lectionary Sucks and Five Half-Assed Solutions

This one comes to us from Sarah Hinlicky Wilson: A lectionary is a collection of readings for Sunday worship, ordered according to the seasons of the church year. The version most widely used by mainline Protestants is the Revised Common Lectionary, though others such as the earlier Common Lectionary and the Roman Catholic Lectionary for […]

Botched Convocation for the Handsome Boy Modeling School of Ministry

Botched Convocation for the Handsome Boy Modeling School of Ministry

“Why is everyone scowling at me?” I had a week(s) where every time I made eye contact with someone, invariably, they would have this pained look on their face. I had to look into a mirror, like Boris Karloff in Targets, before realizing what was causing it: my face. Every time a certain subject came up, […]

I Have Decided to Go to Church

I Have Decided to Go to Church

Grateful for this reflection by Sarah Gates: I have decided to go to church. It’s a good idea. It’s at least a better idea than not going. I’ll probably feel bad if I don’t go. Specifically, I’ll feel bad about myself. I should go. I don’t want to go anywhere lately, but I will go. […]