Christ’s Last Will and Testament

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

It is very important to listen to what a person says in the final months, days and hours of one’s life.  It can tell us a great deal about that person. But if we cannot actually hear what a person says, if we are not in his or her presence, we can find a written expression of the person’s last […]

This World Seems Upside Down

Imagine if you will, that you took a copy of the morning newspaper, turned it upside down and then tried to read and make sense of it. This example actually comes from the French philosopher Simone Weil when she attempted to describe how we humans experience our eternal reality and our relationship with God, while looking at things through our […]

The Stone Walls Surrounding our Heart Must Come Down

“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.” (Hebrews 11:30) This verse from the Letter to the Hebrews refers to the well-known Old Testament story of the fall of the walls of Jericho. But, truthfully, the story has a much larger meaning for each of us. In the context of our individual spiritual […]

Winter of Our Discontent

As these winter months drag to a close, many of us have become familiar with, or been reminded of, the experience expressed in the title of the well-known John Steinbeck novel cited above. Literary buffs might know that the line is actually from William Shakespeare’s play, Richard III. “Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by this sun [or […]

An Eternal Hope for Healing

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness.” (Matthew 9:35) I heard someone say recently that the number one thing Christ brought to us, aside from the gift of our eternal salvation, was the gift of healing. And I agree, […]

I Believe in the Love of God

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

There is a very simple question we Christians should wrestle with at some point in our lives, indeed, we should wrestle with it continuously. Do we Believe in a God of love? Do we really believe that the One who created the Universe, who holds the stars in place, who created and maintains the oceans knows each of us by […]

Wholly Indifferent, or Holy Indifference?

There is an interesting dynamic that plays itself out in the spiritual lives of many souls. It is the struggle between the conflicting attitudes of one being wholly indifferent and of one practicing holy indifference. To be wholly indifferent means that a person is not particularly concerned with or perhaps even aware of the challenges, trials or suffering of society […]

But What About All My Good Works?

There is a subtle but dangerous trap even faithful Christians sometimes fall into when it comes to thinking about our relationship with God and our performance of our good works. It is not at all unusual for Christians to sometimes place a little too much emphasis on the merits of their individual works. This can happen for several reasons. It […]

How Alive am I Willing to Be?

Why bother spending time in prayer? Very few people would be so bold as to ask themselves this sort of question, let alone ask another person. The truth is that there resides deep within all of us the inherent belief, or at least the desire to believe, that there is something real, perhaps even eternal, in this mysterious act we […]

What is my role?

There is a Scripture verse many people are probably familiar with, but it seems to have taken on a new significance in light of some of the recent trials we are facing in our modern society. It is one you do not hear mentioned very often by ministers, perhaps because it is somewhat difficult to understand, and certainly very difficult […]