Growing Into Pentecost

By James Bratt When I was a kid, I never got the big deal about Pentecost. For one, it didn’t come along with any special songs or meals. Compare that to Easter, where you could get both of those in…
May 19, 2018

The Battle of the Spurs

There's something vintage Old Testament about the story, something decidedly like myth. But it happened; and just a bit north of Topeka, atop a hill along the road, a somewhat unkempt highway marker tells part of the story, the part…
May 18, 2018

Human. Holy.

Last week we marked Ascension Day, forty days since the resurrection of Jesus, and the day that his body was taken up into heaven. The writer of Acts makes a big deal out of the details here -- he gave…
May 17, 2018

A birthday gift for my dad

When I was a child, I never had any trouble believing in an absolutely loving God because I figured that if God was even half as amazing as my dad, everything would be fine. To be honest, I probably believe…
May 16, 2018

You Can’t Go Home Again

“You can’t go home again.” I’ve never read Thomas Wolfe and doubt I could answer a single a Jeopardy question about him. Nonetheless, his saying (book title, actually) rings true. When I told my dad, many years ago, that we…

She Needs Your Voice, Church

She leans forward, pressing her palms against the table. I see the fire in her eyes, a fierce tenderness. Or is it a tender fierceness, I know not the difference. I also see the sadness. “Something’s gotta change,” she says.…
May 14, 2018

Tell It and Retell It and Retell It

By Luke Hawley There’s an E.L. Doctorow quote that I love: “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” It’s a…
May 13, 2018


Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they utter knowledge. – Ps. 19:2 One evening last winter I was startled out of a quiet moment of meditation when an owl started hooting outside my bedroom window. It…
May 12, 2018

The Faithfulness of James Cone I remember when I first read God of the Oppressed by James Cone. It challenged me, it convicted me, and it made me re-think my approach to theological study. I was forced to contemplate the politics of the gospel,…
May 11, 2018

Playing Dead

Midnight. Pitch black. On these rural, winding roads are many carcasses--deer, rabbits, chipmunks, raccoons, and most of all, opossums. I’ve been driving this same route to and from work for almost three years, and I haven’t hit an animal yet.…
May 10, 2018