Category Archive: The Big Picture: theological, cosmological, and mystical

Jul 20 2016

On life as a dream.

Robert Snow was the captain of homicide at the Indianapolis police department. He was a sharp, intelligent, respected—and respectable—man, skeptical both by nature and by professional habit. He didn’t know this was all beginning to change for him when one day at a party, a colleague struck up a conversation about past lives. She had …

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May 17 2016

On this American life.

It has been months since I posted any thoughts on this site—months since I’ve written anything. Much has happened in the past couple of years that kept me away, and I will tell you in a few minutes, but let me start with something else. Last Saturday, on NPR’s “This American Life,” David Rakoff described …

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Jun 24 2015

On being adopted by God.

A couple of weeks ago my parish priest said another homily on the joy of being adopted children of God. It is a frequent sentiment in the church and a concept older than Christianity itself, and yet these days, whenever I hear it, I find that something about it doesn’t sit right with me. I …

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Apr 17 2015

On peace with us.

We are uncertain. Much of the time we are afraid. We endure pain and grieve, mourning for lives unlived. We huddle in rooms that feel safe with our loved ones, and there we thread through our fingers the most precious of our memories and the most fragile of questions. Sometimes we are desperate, sometimes hopeful. …

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Mar 18 2015

On the Lent of life.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart And lean not on your own understanding. — Proverbs 3:5-6 These are not easy times. Every day we open our eyes to a world of bad news, a struggle for survival, and apocalyptic expectations. Mid-century-style Stalinism is taking over Russia, the Seventh Century is taking over the …

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Feb 23 2015

On who is to blame and what is to be done.

What does a three-thousand-year-old murder have to do with a 20th-century revolution? What does a queen of ancient Israel have to do with Stalinism, slavery, or internment camps? The interplay of two eternal questions humanity has asked, nurtured, abused, distorted, ignored, and bounced off each other since the dawn of its consciousness: When something goes …

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Jan 26 2015

On Jonah and me and running from God.

Hello again, my friends. Some of you, my precious regular readers, have noticed that my blog has been on hiatus for the past few weeks. I have been insanely busy, as have all who work in the Church during the Christmas season, and I have been insanely tired, and I’ve been unwell – but I’d …

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Nov 04 2014

On serpent and the cross. Part II.

Continued from “On serpent and the cross. Part I.” You must admit, one can hardly keep from eisegesis when one is a Christian holding Numbers 21. “Eisegesis” is reading meaning into the text rather than out of it. The authors of the bronze serpent story didn’t have the Christ in mind, but we discern the …

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Oct 18 2014

On serpent and the cross. Part I.

It’s been a while since I’ve engaged in pure, unadulterated biblical commentary, but it is time. So much of life’s chaos and din has been converging on me without pause for so many weeks that I must put it all away—for today—and open the Bible and immerse myself completely in the questions that seem to …

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Oct 07 2014

On Being Cup.

A few weeks ago I went to a discernment retreat, the theme of which was “A Cup of Your Life.” A Cup of Life, right beside the Bread of Life, is a deep-running symbol in Christianity, and I need not explain to you where it comes from. At the mention of the word, we envision …

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