The Aftermath of Christmas

“I’m with you through Christmas,” he said, leaning back in his chair.  A friend of mine and I were sitting in the University pub while I was in college, and had gotten into a discussion about Christian faith. He was the son of an Episcopal priest, but from adolescence on had put considerable effort into […]

Continue reading

Love in the Background

Television commercials are one of the most powerful mediums for communicating cultural values in our society. That doesn’t mean they are the best or most constructive; just very powerful. They have to be in order to be effective. It’s often thought that the point of advertising is to convince us of a need that the […]

Continue reading

A Magnifying Faith

It’s happening again; it seems to happen every year now, actually. Right after Thanksgiving the battle lines are drawn. Declarations are thrown into group conversations; challenges are issued in social media posts. Animated arguments erupt, with people on both sides declaring that their position represents both moral purity and demonstrable fact, while those on the […]

Continue reading

Jesus’ Opening Act

The most common format for concerts in popular music for decades has been for there to be an opening act, occasionally more than one, followed by the headliner act. The idea behind it is a mutually beneficial experience for all the acts involved. The opening act is usually relatively unknown but up-and-coming, and so it […]

Continue reading

In the Meantime

Occasionally, I get asked what my biggest wedding disaster was as an officiant. The truth is, I haven’t had what I would consider a disaster, but there were a couple that caused an awful lot of anxiety. One was when I was a pastor in New York City. The couple getting married had met when […]

Continue reading

Fit for a King

It seems fitting that, in the month leading up to Christ the King Sunday today, Jesus has been king of the music charts. Literally: Kanye West, one of the most famous hip-hop artists on the planet, dropped an album about a month ago that was entitled, simply, Jesus is King, and it ruled the charts […]

Continue reading

Where You Comin’ From?    

Based on Ruth 1: 14-22 and Hebrews 11:13-16 We live in unsettled and unsettling times. Does anyone doubt it? Although exact numbers are hard to determine, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees says that “70.8 million individuals have been forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations. We […]

Continue reading

Not Too Far

What does your name mean? I don’t mean what is the significance of your name, I mean what does your name, in itself, mean? Do you know? Probably most of us do not, because the inherent meaning of a name is usually not why we use it. We often name our children for someone: a […]

Continue reading

Salvation al Fresco

There are certain phrases in dining in other languages that we use for aspects of dining here in the United States in ways that are very different from their literal meaning. Pie “à la mode,” for example, means pie with ice cream here. But “à la mode” in French really means “in the fashion,” so […]

Continue reading

“Yes, And…”

“Yes, and…” Those two words are the summary of the acting method in improvisational theatre. Saying “yes, and…” to someone else’s idea in the scene, no matter what it is, keeps the scene alive and growing. If another actor says, “Watch out, there’s a dragon!” and you say, “no, there isn’t,” you kill the scene. […]

Continue reading