Jesus did not try to change one person. He certainly didn’t set out to change the world. We hear a lot these days about “theory of change.” It’s a term in non-profit, philanthropy and development that describes the organization’s goal of social change and the step-by-step process for achieving it. I’m sure it does all […]
Why Is Prayer Such A Struggle?
How I pray is breathe.” -Thomas Merton I grew up with the slogan, “Prayer changes things,” which I believed. I was just wrong about what got changed. I thought it could change my lot, save my soul, rescue people I cared about. I hoped I could change God’s mind. Not surprisingly, that kind of prayer […]
What Does It Mean To Repent?
The original word for repent is not so much lost, as destroyed in translation. Wherever in the New Testament we see the word “repent,” it’s a gross mistranslation of metanoia. The problem seems to have begun with Jerome, who in 382 translated the Greek New Testament into the Latin Vulgate. When Jerome got to Matthew […]
Meeting My Brother in the E.R.
I was already aware of him when he walked in. He was the man whose car pulled up to the door just ahead of us, and I had hopped out quickly to get ahead of him. Who knows how deep the line is inside that door. I am on vacation in a strange town. I’ve […]
The Heaven of Bread
“Can you get that bread out of the oven?” Pam calls to me. “I think it’s done.” I open the oven door and a soft cloud of heat drifts over me. Then the smell wafts out, wave after wave—the yeasty aroma, the malted perfume, the toasted whiff of . . . I don’t know—heaven. Or […]
Easter Monday is always like the day after Christmas. The party is over. The leftover lamb is sitting forlorn on the counter top; it was not put away last night. The children’s plastic eggs lie empty and raided on the floor. The sun comes in the window a little harsh. That great victory over death […]
The Cock Crows
At the heart of the “Greatest Story Ever Told” is a betrayal. No one would call their child Judas. The name is slimed with centuries of condemnation: the lily-livered turncoat who betrayed an innocent man for thirty pieces of silver. We might understand how the crowd could turn on Jesus, but how could someone from […]
If you visit the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi, you will find a small museum containing some of the most famous relics of the saint. The finest is the patched robe Francis wore to cover “Brother Body.” It was a sign of his poverty vow, certainly, but a plain brown robe would do for […]