Categories
Essays

My Father

We—all of us Christians—are bound together in our baptism, no matter the river. And so nothing separates us—not even death. That’s why we pray for the departed. And that’s why I believe the saints pray for us, that the great cloud of witnesses intercedes in the name of Jesus on behalf of the those who have yet to finish the race.

Categories
Essays

General Conference 2019: A Failure of Theology

It seems inevitable now that we are going into a period of schism, uncertainty, and—very likely—more loud and rancorous disagreement. And I believe that much of it could be avoided by simply doing what the Church has done for centuries: thinking theologically and sacramentally about what it means to be human and alive in God’s world.

Categories
Essays

Is There a Theological Way Forward for the United Methodist Church?

I know we all believe marriage is important. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be debating the future of the United Methodist Church primarily around this single issue. I believe something this important deserves theological treatment. United Methodists (and in more general terms, Evangelical Protestants) have shied away from making very many theological claims about marriage. In the process, we have ceded the definition of marriage to the civil authorities, leaving a very important question unanswered: What is the difference between civil marriage and a Christian marriage?

Categories
Essays

Breathing New Life into an “Old” Eucharistic Prayer

Here is an update to a mostly unused Eucharistic prayer from the United Methodist Hymnal. I think this revised version would work well as an option for any United Methodist Eucharistic Celebration. What do you think?

Categories
Essays

God With Us In Bread and Wine

In the sacrament of the Eucharist, in Holy Communion, God meets us where we are. The humble elements of bread and wine communicate the flesh and blood of the one who became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. Jesus, who poured out himself for the life of the world, offers us the food and drink of unending life in him. The holy mystery of Eucharist is also the mystery of the Incarnation: that God would deign to abide with humanity.

Categories
Essays

Wild Eagle

There is a second at the apex, just before the car goes over the hill to plunge 135 feet into the first of four loop d’ loops (the industry folk call them ”inversions”), when, for me, time stands still. It’s a moment of pure anticipation. Then, in a heartbeat, it’s over and I’m hurtling downhill with nothing but the wind to slow me down.

Categories
Essays

Steven

While people I should have loved enough to help suffered, I was having too good a time to notice.

Categories
Essays

Thomas the Believer

Jesus was dead. Anyone who said otherwise was either crazy or lying. Thomas had no desire to waste time entertaining the tales of hysterical women or deluded men. Jesus was dead and all the wishful thinking in the world wasn’t changing that. Ridiculous chatter about visions in gardens and visits from the master only made […]

Categories
Essays

Oh, Momma!

This past Sunday was Mother’s Day. I know, I know. Old news. At least I hope it’s old news. You didn’t forget, did you? Anyway. The Mother’s Day holiday put me in mind of some of my favorite literary mothers. And I thought I’d share a few with you.

Categories
Essays

Love, Change and Being Made Whole

Harold Hill is a man whose life has been without purpose. Marian Peroo, the River City librarian (Hill’s love interest in the play), is a woman whose life has never quite taken off. When they meet, it’s obvious they need each other to be whole.