What I keep hearing is that more than outright hostility, a huge piece of the white church's complicity in America's original sin comes down to indifference to others. Indifference to the experience and sufferings of their black neighbors and even black brothers and sisters in churches -- including indifference to those "prophets who cry out."
So by giving up chocolate, sweets, alcohol, or social media for the 40 days of Lent, we can increase our powers of self-control and then exercise those powers in other realms of life where perhaps we struggle with such control.
Another Ash Wednesday has come. Another day when some Protestants will say, "Oh, this is a Catholic observance." Another day when clergy like me will respond that it is a Christian observance, for all Christians.
Lent, for me, is not about (and has never been about) sacrifice or penance or appeasing some unexamined heritage. It's about interrogative love, passionate justice, and learning how to wonder again in the midst of all the awful, awful sadness. It's about asking how beauty might occur in the midst of our fragile, decaying lives.
The other day my friend Patrick and I went to see the new Cohen Brothers' film, Hail, Caesar! It's a beautifully done film, chronicling a day in the l...
As Christians worldwide embark upon the penitential season known as Lent, many will honor the time by giving up something of value like chocolate or a...
There were three of them, just wasting time before their appointments. They had just come back from combat downrange and the unit had suffered some ca...
By Barbara Falconer Newhall Giving up something -- making a change in our lives -- for Lent is tough. That's partly because change can be so painful....
Jesus said that his followers would be people who revel in the truth that they are loved by God, and who are identified by the radical love they have for each other and the world. Love. That's it. It's that simple.
I still struggle with numbing. It's too easy after a long day or a rough experience to drown myself at happy hour. Or sleep with someone to avoid feeling lonely. But action by action and sometimes moment by moment, I choose a different experience.
Lost in this procession is one of the events of Holy Week that is most relevant to our modern age: the trial of Jesus and the role of the zealous prosecutor, Caiaphas, who pushed for his death.
Many Christians tend to glorify Jesus' death, as if somehow Jesus suffered in ways no one else does. Jesus' death does not distinguish him from the rest of humanity so much as it unites us with him. If we begin to argue that Jesus' death was somehow unique, we embarrass ourselves.
As an intersex person who recently transitioned from the female gender assigned at birth to a masculine one, healthier for me physically and psychologically, I have struggled in my relationship with the religious tradition in which I was ordained and taught university-level theology for two decades.
Lent, in the Christian tradition, is a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, penitence, and self-denial beginning with Ash Wednesday, leading to Easter. Thankfully, this season affords me the opportunity to give up three burdens for Lent, and I pray, forever: beams, gongs, and stones.
We're not even a full three weeks into Lent and I've been trying and rejecting Lenten vows faster than a Millennial flips through Tinder. Herewith, a list-in-progress. It will probably get longer.
Even though Lent is almost halfway over now, it's not too late to read a book that will nourish your faith and enable you to more fully embrace the rigors and blessings of this austerely beautiful season.