The Secret Reward

Part 2 in a Five-Part Lenten Series Imagine the Academy Awards… in secret. Someone from the Academy calls. “Congratulations,” the voice says, “you are the Best Actress.” That’s it. There is no gala, no red carpet, no envelope please, no Oscar statuette. No one ever finds out who wins. Only you. Isn’t that the whole…

The Big Secret

First in a Lenten Series How did I miss this? I’ve been reading this Ash Wednesday gospel for decades. Same every year. Matthew 6. Sermon on the Mount. Yet when I heard it this year, I was struck by what seemed the most obvious, pressing, urgent message of Jesus’ address. It’s the word secret. I…

Gutsy Embrace

I’m not a big fan of “inclusion.” I’m very much for widening the circle of love and embrace, but “inclusion” has been sloganized by liberal Protestants until it means something like vague acceptance. The ideal includers are people with a coat hanger smile who just love everybody! And if that’s what it takes to be…

Four Percent

The rationalists used to be able to laugh at us believer-types, when we stood together and confessed our belief in “all things visible and invisible.” That was before astronomers and physicists discovered “dark matter.” When we look up at the moon and the stars we assume we are seeing all there is in the universe….

Storm the Barricades!

I parked my car in New York last night and came back to find a leaflet jammed into my door handle. I looked down the street; every car had been hit. I saw a picture of the pope and figured it was just an overeager Catholic blanketing the neighborhood with tracts. I opened it and…