Thursday, March 17, 2011


I sometimes think that contemporary worship has the effect of encapsulating Jesus's body, making it a product of our past. We have replaced God with Jesus-as-historic figure, making the object of our worship something other than the divine, something much more like a memory.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Living in Tension

It's much harder to
live in the tension, to daily
struggle with balance

I find that much of my work as a youth pastor involves helping students to live in rather than evade the tension of authentic living. Within my own denomination, for example, there are dueling emphases on both simplicity and stewardship.

Should I carefully steward what I have for the future? Or give away everything, taking a vow of poverty in order to live simply?

It's human to want to resolve the tension, to want to move in one direction or the other. But that kind of resolution almost always ends in an extreme (making me an extremist). It's much harder to live in the tension, to daily struggle with balance, with paradox, with the between-ness of never quite getting it right and never giving in or giving up.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


concerns don't apply

The long, dark nights of winter make the early morning a time of almost – almost light, almost new – and I find in these early-morning, liminal moments, the perfect threshold for prayer. It is still quiet. But the morning quiet is a quiet of anticipation, not the evening’s tired silence. It is still dark. But the morning’s black sky, edges changing to silvery gray, makes a promise of warm light to come. It is still, the perfect setting for contemplative prayer. For waiting.

So I wait.

And each morning, as I wait, I feel peace, at ease. I feel that yesterday’s concerns don’t apply today, that everything hard’s been set aside, that it can wait.