You will show me the path of life

Christianity is bracingly realistic about the human condition and the reality of natural disaster and human-caused disaster. Today Jesus predicts suffering and turmoil, and he says, “All will be thrown down.” Yet in the very same passage, in practically the very same breath, he also says: “Do not be alarmed” (Mark 13:7). “Do not be alarmed… This is but the…

Filled with the fullness of God

This is a story about hopelessness shifting to hope, about scarcity being transformed into abundance, about empty places being filled to overflowing. It’s a story about one small person initiating a miracle by offering what he has, even though it seems very small. It’s a story about the power of generosity – a story about how one small but selfless…

“Here am I; send me!”

Trinity Sunday reminds us that we live in the midst of a great love affair going on between God and God’s Creation. Divine love has no limit. It embraces not only human beings but also all beings (Genesis 9:12). And the love of God being poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5) gives us strength to protect…

Facing the climate crisis and abiding in love

A wave of religious activism, including, in some cases, civil disobedience, is beginning to sweep the country, as religious leaders and institutions start to speak out that climate change is not just a scientific issue, not just economic issue, not just a political issue, but also a moral issue. For I ask you – is it ethical to ruin the…

O beautiful for spacious skies

What does religion have to do with ecology? Would Jesus care about this? After all, isn’t paying attention to the natural world a rather suspect practice for Christians? Aren’t Christians supposed to be focused on “otherworldly” things like heaven and the salvation of our individual human souls? Some people scoff at Christians who emphasize the value, even the sacredness, of…

Martin Luther King, Jr. and the climate movement

The struggle to end racism is linked to the struggle to end poverty, the struggle to end war, and the struggle to protect life as it has evolved on Earth. Racial justice, social and economic justice, environmental justice, climate justice – all these struggles intersect. In the end we share one struggle, one dream, one deep and God-inspired longing: the…

Comfort, O comfort my people

In a situation that speaks so much of death, of hopelessness and fear, it is deeply reassuring to hear God say, through the prophet Isaiah: “Comfort, O comfort my people.” For of course we do need comfort. We need fresh confidence and hope, for we fear for our children and our children’s children. We know that if we just keep…

Fatalism about the end of the world?

Today on the first Sunday of Advent, as we do every year, we must grapple with the Bible’s portrayal of the end-times, which include frightening predictions of social breakdown and cosmic turmoil. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus foretells “wars and rumors of wars” (Mark 13:7); he speaks of earthquakes, famines, and persecution. As we heard in today’s passage, when…

Show me your glory

I take Moses as a spiritual guide, and I take him as a guide to activism, too. For what happens when he sees the burning bush? What happens when he sees the divine Presence shining out toward him and hears God addressing him intimately by name? What happens next is that he hears God calling him to become not just…

Speaking and living our “Yes”

That is one reason why last Sunday I found the People’s Climate March so exhilarating. Here we had people of all the world’s faith traditions – everything from A to Z, Agnostic to Zorastrian, and people of every religion in between – Episcopalians, for sure, but also pagans, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Greek Orthodox, indigenous people, Evangelicals, Buddhists – you name…