Mary, the First Apostle

Mark 16:9-12: Now after he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went out and told those who had been with him, while they were mourning and weeping. But when they heard that he was alive and had [...]

The Meaning of Judas

Among my vivid early memories is a betrayal. I was in seventh grade, at a middle-school Halloween dance, dressed in the football uniform I’d borrowed from the boy I liked. The year prior, my best friend—the most cherished friend of my youth—moved away. But that weekend she was in town and showed up at the [...]

Pre-Middle

{This poem about "pre-middle" age seems to resonate with the times we are in—so much slipping away, so much being learned. I wrote the poem back in my 30s, though now I am squarely "middle."}   Pre-Middle If childhood is a cradle of universal arms and middle age a turning back—needy or humbly surrendered; if [...]

Seeing Clearly

When I was a college undergraduate, my ethics teacher taught that ethics come down to this: being able to see clearly. We can engage in all sorts of philosophizing, all sorts of ethical calisthenics when we get into a quandary, but when it comes to a situation where we must make a difficult ethical decision, [...]

Love is our destiny

“The purpose of life is to be continually defeated by ever greater things.” ~Rainier Maria Rilke Fall arrives and my walk takes me past Foley Creek, the stream quickened after a week of heavy rain. The loud splash of a salmon stops me in my tracks.  At several points around my neighborhood, roadway meets creek, but at this [...]

We Go Together

In the intriguing book Sapiens, Yuval Harari makes the case that homo sapiens dominated all other species and left behind other early-humans because we were able to pass on shared mythologies, or sacred stories. Prior to the ability to build group cohesion in this way, through shared concepts and values, groups tended to reach a [...]

We are Already There

Throughout his ministry, Jesus challenged every boundary people used to define and separate themselves—ethnic boundaries, geographical boundaries, purity boundaries, moral-legal boundaries, relational boundaries, boundaries between humans and animals, adults and children, men and women. Jesus didn’t stop at material boundaries, but went on to demonstrate with his life that everything is spiritual—there is no boundary [...]