shadow shadow

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the inner life and the outer life

"Just because you're mad doesn't make you a prophet."more...

to make or not to make "trouble"

Each of us on our own stool, we sat in a row with our palms flat on the countertop in front of us, our heads down and eyes closed. The lurid whispers burst into loud shouting, then back again into a breathy intensity, flashing up against one ear, then the other, then back again; along with the crashing sounds of breaking glass and of pounding on the countertop, accompanied by vibrations running up our arms, and kicks against the bases of our stools, vibrating through our whole bodies.more...

American Gospel

This week I finished reading John Meacham's American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation. I commend Meacham's book to you (and not only because he's a Sewanee man! -- we overlapped on the Mountain for two years, if I recall). more...

to circle the drain, or to break out of the current

Circling the drain. That's what it's sometimes like when we let ourselves get swept into a current of negative thoughts.more...

baptism, thirty years ago today

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Christ bearers

Every Easter brings to mind, for me, the following blessing:

Risen Christ, give us a heart for simple things: love, laughter, bread, wine, dreams.  
Fill us with green-growing hope and make an Easter people, whose song is Alleluia, whose sign is Peace, and whose name is Love. Amen.

I learned the prayer from the late Rev. Edward H. Kryder, a friend and teacher. And, really, one of my heroes in the faith. Edward taught Gena and me at Virginia Seminary, became a dear friend, and presided at our wedding.

The Light of Christ shone through Edward. To borrow a line, to know him was to love him. To know him was be be inspired to live a more Christ-like life. Because that's what he did. Every day. His spirit had both an iron strength as well as a kind warmth.

Eastertide is as good a season as any to take a moment to think about those in whom the Light of Christ has shone brightest for us. Who has that been for you, and who is it now? 

Let us thank God for those Christ bearers, each and every one.more...

red and torn, fresh and fair

As together we move through Holy Week, I’d like to offer you, for your reflection, the following excerpt of a poem, “The Everlasting Mercy,” by the English poet John Masefield (1878-1967). In the poem, the poet speaks from a place of struggle (“red and torn”) toward a vision of new life (“fresh and fair”), in company with Christ. It is the arc of Holy Week, it is the arc of our shared life in Christ.more...

Merton's prayer, again

It is one of the great prayers in all of modern Christianity, one whose return is always welcome, like an old friend. I was reminded of Thomas Merton’s famous prayer while listening to an episode of the podcast "On Being," in which Krista Tippett interviews Fr. James Martin, S.J., who describes Merton’s prayer as “a prayer everyone can pray.” Indeed. And somehow it seems especially timely as we prepare for the journey through Holy Week.more...

praying shapes believing

There is a centuries old saying, Lex orandi, lex credendi. It means literally, “The law of prayer [is] the law of belief.” What it means for us Anglicans is that, if you want to know what we believe, you’ll find that in our Book of Common Prayer. Indeed. In a word, praying shapes believing.more...

important gathering

Afterward, I asked Fin (our seven- year-old) what he thought he would remember about the experience. The word he used was that it was "important." Which led me to ask Nelson (our eleven- year-old) how he'd sum up what we'd participated in. His word was "gathered." And Nelson was very conscious of and impressed by the wide array of people and faiths represented, as we stood with, I suppose, a couple of hundred Richmonders on Sunday, at the Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery.  more...

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