Jesus, The Jerk

Making Sense of the Times Jesus Wasn't Very Christlike

Jesus could be a real jerk sometimes. I’m not referring here to the times he got angry (John 2:13-17), cynical (Matthew 21:18-22), or sarcastic (Mark 12:18-27) with people. I’m talking about the times Jesus was just plain mean to them. Case in point: the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15. You remember the story. After months of popular acclaim in Galilee,... Read more

Disappearing Our Pastors

“So,” I said, “what I reckon it all comes down to is, how can I preach if I don’t have any answers?” “Yes, Mr. Crow,” he said, “How can you?” … “I don’t believe I can,” I said, and I felt my skin turn cold, for I had not even thought that until then. He said, “No, I don’t believe you can.” And we sat there and looked at each other again while he waited for me... Read more

Seeing Through Brokenness

Beauty and Love in the Church's Kaleidoscopic Change

As my father might say, it was déjà vu all over again: Driving to Andover Newton Theological Seminary (ANTS) for the last class of the course I taught this semester, closing out my year as a visiting professor there. Rather than some “school’s out for summer” kind of delirium, the drive carried a good bit of melancholy. It was more than vaguely reminiscent of one... Read more

God is Not a Boy’s Name

On the evening of our first dinner church gathering, my then three-year-old daughter sat on the sidewalk in front of our banner that read, “God is not a boy’s name.” The picture struck a chord and continues to circulate on social media, in part because she is a happy, adorable little girl and also because her presence along with those words offers a bold theological... Read more

Re-Imagining Communion

Radical Listening and Making the Body Whole

I remember the words so clearly: “I know what it’s like to have my body broken, I know what it’s like to have my blood spilt. I won’t celebrate anyone else’s broken body or spilt blood, and I don’t want anyone doing that on my behalf.” Sitting in the pew next to me, my friend spoke her truth in a soft and tentative, but somehow still firm, voice. She then slumped... Read more

Winter Dreams: The Warmth of Church Camp

I guess it’s not surprising that, while staring at about eight inches of hard packed snow in my yard, I am already thinking about summer. For a lot of people summer means lazy days at the beach, quiet moments in the sun, and long nights sitting on the front porch enjoying the cool evening air. But, for me, it’s not quite that. When I start to dream about summer,... Read more

Who Has The Right to Be Violent?

In July I was invited to speak about the #BaltimoreUprising at the Duke Summer Institute for Reconciliation. My presentation focused on “Why We Cry, How We Cry and Who Can Cry?” in response to state violence. “Why We Cry” dealt with the systemic and structural violence in Baltimore City—the years of neglect, disinvestment and underdevelopment. “How We Cry (The... Read more

The Privilege of Belonging

One weekend this fall my husband and I flew to New Mexico. One of our twin sons is a college junior in Santa Fe, and we find that the 2,500 miles between us pulls at our heartstrings. Parents’ Weekend offered us a legitimate pretense for visiting. This particular son, our picky eater, has grown up to be a foodie. With the parents in town to foot the bill, he... Read more

Our Savior of the Soccer Pitch

Like many young families, our weekends in the fall are busy with soccer. We have four kids on three different teams. That means three practices and three games each week, mostly clustered on Friday night and Saturday morning. While the schedule is hectic, we love to see our kids play, and we track their progress year over year. (That said, we aren’t those crazy... Read more
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