Leaning against the sides of the wooden market stalls are sticks festooned with coloured ribbons on the top. Made of braided willow branches, these sticks serve a very important role in an unusual Czech tradition.
One of the best ways to observe Lent is by joining Jesus for supper in the Upper Room and listening to his sermon in John 13 - 17, as though spoken just to you.
Because the Christian year is rooted in the liturgical observances of ancient Judaism, it should not surprise us that over the centuries different strains of Christianity have developed different variations on the Christian year.
What if Lent were not about giving up something that makes us happy, but taking something on that makes us better, maybe even joyful? What if the purpose of Lent were not to be miserable but to live life more abundantly, not less?
Starting Wednesday, I will forsake all sugar, salt, meat, junk food, fast food, coffee, soda, caffeine and all things alcoholic (I do drink non alcoholic beer which I affectionately call Lent beer).
Today marks the first day of Lent in most Western Christian denominations -- the beginning of a 40-day celebration within to reflect upon a desired sh...
This coming Wednesday, March 5, is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Let's take a look at the historical emergence and spiritual significance of the Lenten season.
When making plans to attend this momentous occasion, it's important to know what to expect in order to make the most of your experience!
What happened when humanity lost its innocence, as represented allegorically in the Eden story, is not that biological existence began, but that the harmonic balance of the food chain started to be skewed.
Here it is, hiding in plain sight: The only two verses in the New Testament gospels that relate the discovery of Jesus' empty tomb that ring true historically.
How could a yearly three-day Christmas weekend not be preferred? Look, nobody who knows anything actually believes December 25 was the literal date when Jesus was born.
To pastors who are exhausted from extra holiday sermons and services, not to mention the stress of preaching for folks who hear only two sermons a year, it can be tempting to see the Holly-Lily crowd's financial gifts as the only blessing of their attendance.
Explain to me why I'm supposed to feel honored on my birthday because you and your rich friends pay good money for a dead tree, underpay someone to schlep it into your 12-bedroom McMansion and put ridiculously overpriced non-union-made presents under it for your spoiled kids, but God forbid you should increase the minimum wage or extend unemployment benefits.
John 20:1-10 is a precious glimpse into a most plausible historical scenario as to what happened after Jesus' death, and why the temporary tomb into which Jesus was placed was indeed empty, before the various theological presentations involving "sightings" of Jesus began to accrue to the story.
These fictional men and women, who wear inappropriately tight-fitting spandex costumes and only exist in our imaginations, bring hope to millions of real people on a daily basis, and have become an integral part of American cultural life and identity.
It's official: the end of the Easter season. Pretty soon, in fact, the church will settle in for a long summer of what it calls ordinary time. But not yet.