Move On

The stories people tell at funerals. We were burying Christine, a woman who would soon have been ninety. A good friend, Donna, remembered how she complained and whined to Christine about some recent changes in church worship, and after a few weeks of this Christine just said, “Get over it. Move on.” Donna was stunned:…

Life is a Ride

Riding a hot air balloon is probably about as dangerous as riding a Ferris wheel, but it didn’t feel that way on Saturday when I climbed into a basket and the thing took off. As the massive balloon inflated, it took the pilot, Stan, and three men on the ground to keep it under control….

The God I Don’t Believe In

Last week I heard Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, the writer and scholar of the Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah, interviewed on the radio. He told a story that I haven’t forgotten. Rabbi Kushner was invited to a dinner for a class of young people preparing for their bar or bat mitzvah. Classes completed, they had come…

You Don’t Have to Be Good

The things people tell a minister after church. . . . Yesterday a woman I did not know spoke to me after church—she was there for a baptism. I heard about the church of her childhood, where “salvation” was attained by refraining from smoking and drinking and dancing and cursing. It was a rigid theology…

Trust Yourself

Why is it so hard to trust yourself? Yesterday we heard the story of the two forlorn disciples on the Emmaus Road—who had a vivid, astonishing experience of the risen Christ, only to lose it the next moment. In Luke’s account, as soon as they recognize Christ, he “vanished from their sight.” That vanishing reminds…