Contemplative Meanderings 2: Beauty in being

Music Fields, yanadhyana | 2013

“His eyes are on their ways. They are exalted for a short time, but no longer. They are humbled then gathered in like everyone else; cut off like heads of grain.” – Job 24

One day this will be me too. The harvest come, the scythe swung, my bounty offered up. What will it look like, this life? What will I have to offer — what good toward the world which bore me and the people who bore me up?

A life of pleasure Read more “Contemplative Meanderings 2: Beauty in being”

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Sermon on the other side of the mount

The Lonely Mountain, KuroCyou | 2014

We have well traveled this path to the feet of the teacher. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted — blessed are the merciful for they shall be shown mercy. The Sermon on the Mount. The longest text, the crux, of Jesus’ teaching in the New Testament.

But come with me, dear reader, down the other slope. Maybe the following isn’t completely true, for positive statements need not imply their negative corollaries. However, walk with me and note the tracks of other New Testament voices here and there.

 And he opened his mouth and taught them, [probably implying]: Read more “Sermon on the other side of the mount”

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Contemplative Meanderings 1: Knowledge like a river

“The River” Limontea | 2011

“Knowledge makes people arrogant, but love builds people up. If any think they know something, they don’t yet know as much as they should know. But if someone loves God, then they are known by God.”
– 1 Corinthians 8:1-3

To “know” will always involve something of a struggle in the life of faith, because knowing is a process, not a destination. The sin is certainty Read more “Contemplative Meanderings 1: Knowledge like a river”

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I tried to pray my sexuality away

File this one under TMI. It’s super intimate and not something I yell at strangers, but it’s just us here so I’ll let you in on a secret:

My faith gave me issues.

As a developing adolescent I routinely heard sexual expression outside of marriage was anathema. Masturbation was an affront to my Creator; only within marriage were my sexual feelings legitimate.

So I prayed. I asked the Source of all living things to kill this part of me, to castrate me in the pursuit of holiness. I created an internal liturgy and recited it for years: remove this from me. Temptation was strong, but I believed God was stronger and could bring me to marriage spotless, untouched. Then marriage would solve all of my problems and, more importantly, validate this deeply meaningful portion of my personhood. Read more “I tried to pray my sexuality away”

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Greater than Jesus

I have been thinking a lot lately about why I call myself a progressive Christian. It could be that I’m getting close to ordination in a progressive denomination, or that I’ve spent the past two years hosting a “post-evangelical” podcast, or maybe it’s this election and the distance that I feel from the conservative church I once called home, a distance I feel sharply whenever I scroll through a Facebook news feed.

At any rate, I’m thinking and so I’m writing.
(and, secretly, I probably hope to close the growing distance a little)

I’m progressive because Jesus said his followers would be.

Not in those terms, of course, but clearly.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus is depicted comforting his disciples in preparation for his departure “to the Father.” He promises not to leave them orphans, commands them to trust in the miracles he did whenever they doubt his words and, with a hand under their chins (as I imagine it), he lifts their heads and says,

“Verily truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these because I am going to the Father” [John 14:12]. Read more “Greater than Jesus”

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