Aggressive Media, Part 3

Aggressive Media, Part 3 Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.[1] The form of aggressive media that most exposes my aggressive tendencies is that of sports. This is particularly humbling to confess because I consider myself a non-violent person, even as I faithfully follow and cheer for my favorite teams. When I was younger, I … Continue reading Aggressive Media, Part 3

Non-Physical Violence, Part 4

Non-Physical Violence, Part 4 There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence to which the idealist most easily succumbs: activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to … Continue reading Non-Physical Violence, Part 4

Non-Physical Violence, Part 3

Non-Physical Violence, Part 3 A lot of giving and receiving has a violent quality, because the givers and receivers act more out of need than out of trust. What looks like generosity is actually manipulation, and what looks like love is really a cry for affection or support.  Henri Nouwen[1] Violent, aggressive acts are not … Continue reading Non-Physical Violence, Part 3

Non-Physical Violence, Part 2

Non-Physical Violence, Part 2 The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.  Elie Wiesel[1] In last week’s reflection on non-physical violence I focused on verbal aggression and how the words we say, write, and even think can wound in ways as bad or worse than physical acts of violence. Verbal aggression, like its physical … Continue reading Non-Physical Violence, Part 2

Guns and Immaturity, Part 4

Guns and Immaturity, Part 4 Love God. Love neighbor. Love self. Love period.  Rev. Jacqui Lewis[1] Because we are inseparably interconnected with all beings, we cannot mature into our truest nature without first accepting others as possessing equal value and equally deserving of the respect we desire for ourselves. When Jesus told us to love … Continue reading Guns and Immaturity, Part 4

Guns and Immaturity, Part 2

Guns and Immaturity, Part 2 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother … and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me…  Matthew 10:35-37 Immaturity expresses in countless ways when it … Continue reading Guns and Immaturity, Part 2

Guns and Fear, Part 2

Guns and Fear, Part 2 Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul… Matthew 10:28a I ended last week’s Life Note by saying there is a reason Jesus taught that we should be willing to give up our lives instead of committing violence against another. It is the same reason … Continue reading Guns and Fear, Part 2

Guns, Mental Illness, and Jesus

Guns, Mental Illness, and Jesus Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” Matthew 26:52 On Tuesday, May 24, 2022, an 18-year-old gunman walked into two adjoining Uvalde, Texas classrooms of fourth graders and murdered 19 students and two teachers … Continue reading Guns, Mental Illness, and Jesus

Is the Church Canceling Christianity?, Part 4

Is the Church Canceling Christianity?, Part 4 And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Matthew 6:5 According to gospel accounts, Jesus divided his waking hours among three activities: prayer, … Continue reading Is the Church Canceling Christianity?, Part 4

Is the Church Canceling Christianity?, Part 2

Is the Church Canceling Christianity?, Part 2 …strive first for the kingdom of God and (God’s) righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33 Last week I suggested the church may be canceling Christianity by the practices and teachings it has adopted as standard church fare. What I mean … Continue reading Is the Church Canceling Christianity?, Part 2

Is the Church Canceling Christianity?

Is the Church Canceling Christianity? Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15-16a Wikipedia defines cancel culture as “a form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles.”[1] I began this series of Life … Continue reading Is the Church Canceling Christianity?

Reborn into Ordinariness, Part 2

Reborn into Ordinariness, Part 2 “I was reborn into ordinariness, but what more could one ask for?” Kevin Kelly[1] Kevin Kelly, an independent photographer at the time, was 27 years old and in Jerusalem during Easter weekend, an experience he shared with Ira Glass on the podcast, This American Life, in 1997.[2] He found himself … Continue reading Reborn into Ordinariness, Part 2

Reborn into Ordinariness

Reborn into Ordinariness “I was reborn into ordinariness, but what more could one ask for?” Kevin Kelly[1] The annual Christian celebration of Easter is over. Easter Sunday, even in the post-pandemic days, is one of the few times that people flock to church in unprecedented numbers (the other being Christmas Eve). Easter is an unusual … Continue reading Reborn into Ordinariness

Guns ‘n Moses, Part 3

Guns ‘n Moses, Part 3 The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the … Continue reading Guns ‘n Moses, Part 3

An Extraordinary, Ordinary Christmas

An Extraordinary, Ordinary Christmas Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. Luke 12:6 Our challenge at Christmas, as every day, is to stop discounting the ordinary in search of the miraculous so we can see the miraculous in the ordinary. The Christmas stories of … Continue reading An Extraordinary, Ordinary Christmas

The Church vs the Christ, Part 2

The Church vs The Christ, Part 2 “Christ is not Jesus’s last name.” Richard Rohr[1] Assuming the church to be synonymous with God has led to a deceptively limited perception and portrayal of God, both for church and non-church people. When our pastors remind us of the importance of supporting the “work of God,” it … Continue reading The Church vs the Christ, Part 2

The Church vs the Christ

The Church vs The Christ “In the first century in Palestine, Christianity was a community of believers. Then Christianity moved to Greece and became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome and became an institution. Then it moved to Europe and became a culture. And then it moved to America and became a business.” Priscilla … Continue reading The Church vs the Christ