Let there Be Light: Thoughts on the Life-Giving, Death-Dealing Power of the Tongue

I'd just been paired with a stranger for one of those awful icebreakers at a conference in a Denver hotel. We stood among the other pairs, politely smiling, straining to hear each other in the din of the introductions going on all around us. He was a tall man, late sixties maybe, with thinning hair … Continue reading Let there Be Light: Thoughts on the Life-Giving, Death-Dealing Power of the Tongue

Human Praise: The Tempered View of Christ

Very early in John’s gospel (2:23-25), just after the wedding at Cana and the first cleansing of the temple, we read that “many believed in [Christ] when they saw the signs that he was doing.” Those must have been exhilarating days for the disciples who first left everything they had to follow him. Numbers seem … Continue reading Human Praise: The Tempered View of Christ

Neither Share a Reckless Rant nor Post a Mocking Meme: Give Me a Clean Heart

Woke up this morning The whole world was yelling I wish I was dreaming Of all that we've been through. These are the opening lines of "Clean Heart," the first song on the album I can't stop listening to:  Matt Maher's new release, Echoes. If there's anything good coming out of our current climate of division … Continue reading Neither Share a Reckless Rant nor Post a Mocking Meme: Give Me a Clean Heart

How to Speak of Easter Hope without Harming the Humble Christ

Swiss painter Eugène Burnand renders the confusion and hope of Peter and John's first Easter morning with such poignancy. They'd learned of the resurrection from some women friends who'd been told by an angel, and particularly from Mary Magdalene, told by the risen Christ himself, to tell them.  And then they ran to see that … Continue reading How to Speak of Easter Hope without Harming the Humble Christ

Holy Saturday: Harrowing the Hell in Our Hearts

It was on a Holy Saturday about ten years back that I first saw an image of the "Harrowing of Hell," a depiction of Christ entering the realm of the dead and releasing the souls imprisoned there (1 Peter 3:19). We proclaim it in the Apostle's Creed:  Jesus Christ "suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, … Continue reading Holy Saturday: Harrowing the Hell in Our Hearts

Good Friday’s Speech and Silence

It is Good Friday.  Meditating on speech and silence in various Good Friday texts can enlighten us about our own uses of each. The choices of those present that sorrowful day may bring us to a fruitful examination of conscience, as we see: Accusation:  "The chief priests accused him of many things." Truth:  "I have … Continue reading Good Friday’s Speech and Silence

Judas and Isaiah: Our Betrayals and Our Hope

  At the Passover meal before his death, Jesus said to his disciples, "One of you is going to betray me." And along with all the others, Judas said, "Surely it is not I, Lord?" My Lenten examination of speech and silence leaves me convicted, at times almost helplessly so, of the many ways I … Continue reading Judas and Isaiah: Our Betrayals and Our Hope

Do Everything without Complaining or Arguing

When I was newly married and helping put my husband through his final year of college, I worked at a drug store behind the camera counter which doubled as the return desk.  It was a deep immersion into the world of complaints. One of the most memorable was a post-Christmas encounter with a man dissatisfied … Continue reading Do Everything without Complaining or Arguing

Human Praise: The Tempered View of Christ

Very early in John's gospel (2:23-25), just after the wedding at Cana and the first cleansing of the temple, the text notes that "many believed in [Christ] when they saw the signs that he was doing." Those must have been exhilarating days for the disciples who first left everything they had to follow him. Numbers … Continue reading Human Praise: The Tempered View of Christ

How to Create True Intimacy (and Avoid Gossip’s Tempting Secrecy)

Little by little, I've been reading Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict as part of a book study with some fellow early childhood educators who want to provide the very best for the children and families they serve. The author, Dr. Donna Hicks, has spent almost two decades facilitating dialog in communities in conflict … Continue reading How to Create True Intimacy (and Avoid Gossip’s Tempting Secrecy)