Evangelicalism, stemming from the First Great Awakening in American colonial times (think Jonathan Edwards and Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God) and various holiness movements, has always promoted a view of people in black-and-white terms, i.e., Us and Them. The whole point of the gospel, the good news, in evangelical thinking, is to […]
In Matthew 5:8, Jesus gives what I suspect is the loftiest, most mysterious, and least attainable of all his beatitudes: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” And yet, in its very simplicity is the key to everything. It’s the key that allows us to transcend a religion of rules and prohibitions, guilt and shame, judging and punishment. . .
The young woman stands, white-faced, before a shouting crowd. She is naked but for a bedsheet clutched around herself. Some of the men’s eyes travel hungrily up and down her body, leering and smirking slyly. . .
Have you ever experienced real hunger? I don’t mean our everyday tummy cravings, which we usually manage to satisfy within hours, if not minutes. I mean hungry to the point that finding food becomes an obsession, and you can’t think of anything else? . . .
When I was a young teenager, my single mom didn’t have a car, so we would walk to church. It was a long walk in our Sunday clothes, through neighborhoods without sidewalks, where we had to be prepared to throw pinecones at dogs that ran towards us, barking and snarling and trying to bite our legs. . .
Now, here’s a Beatitude that can come out sounding pretty convoluted, We’re used to thinking of “blessed” as meaning holy, as in Blessed Mary, or rewarded, as in “God bless you for your help” . . .
Jesus had a big, fat soft spot in his heart for the poor. He himself was raised in a poor family
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I’ve been thinking a lot lately. Thinking and reading. Listening and talking. And thinking some more. I’ve been an evangelical for 50 years . . .
In Praise of the Sun
Rays of sunlight beaming down like a gentle fan
set translucent spring leaves ablaze
midges become fairy lights, swirling sparks . . .
It’s still dark when I open the back door to let in the cat, but something calls me to step out into the cool stillness. At the edge of the concrete, like Moses, I slip off my sandals and step onto the hallowed grass, cold and wet with dew. . .