Secrets

“Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I ever did.'” – John 4:39 Life is laden with secrets. From people on the outside, we keep our family secrets. From people who...

Powerful Name(s) – Notes on Matthew 1:18-25

When the angel Gabriel met Joseph, a sigh of relief wasn’t the meeting’s only outcome. Joseph had discovered not only the origin of his betrothed wife Mary’s baby, but also the significance of the One to come. The angel instructed Joseph to name the baby Jesus...

Merton on the Pharisee

This past Sunday we looked at the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, Jesus’ story of two people who approached God in prayer with vastly different postures. The Pharisee was proud and self-exalting, the tax collector humble and self-effacing. Here...

We Are Not Alone: Reflections for All Saints’ Day

We are not alone. Those words are likely to summon up thoughts of stargazing, of E.T., and of episodes of Star Trek and The X-Files. And while SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) is apparently an ongoing pursuit, for now we can probably safely proceed...

Is Prayer Pointless?

If God knows everything—including all that will take place in the future—and if he is in charge of everything, a simple but powerful question might arise: is prayer pointless? Unless God is somehow not sure of what he should do tomorrow, and needs us to twist his arm,...

Obscurity

On an episode of the television show The Office, Dunder Mifflin Paper Company branch manager Michael Scott approaches the receptionist Pam to ask what is wrong with a plant in the office which is wilting and withering. “Would you like me to ask the night cleaning crew...