I've never heard anyone point to Joseph as an icon of biblical manhood. If the Gospel according to Matthew were packaged like People magazine, Joseph of Nazareth's face would grace the cover, for Joseph is the lead story in Matthew's Gospel -- and not for chiseled abs.
Many women facing abortion don't see a choice. They see abortion as their only real option. They don't see the possibility of a real life for their children; so why would they bring them into the world?
And there is the key to Christmas joy. The little-known secret of Christmas is that our joy is full when we study and learn from Mary as servant, God as servant, Jesus as servant, and become servants ourselves. When we do, our joy will be full.
With just a few days to go before Christmas, many Americans will be rushing around completing their Christmas preparations: doing their last minute shopping, finalizing travel plans, figuring out how to deal with awkward family dynamics.
For years, I prided myself on being an atheist and had no interest in god or religion. Back then, the word "spirituality" wasn't part of our everyday vernacular. But all that changed during the 1970s when spirituality became a buzz word.
Our redemption comes from another direction. The first step is to look within, to recognize our own interior "Grinch thoughts" that act as a thief in the night. These self-critical, self-doubting beliefs end up robbing us of our birthright to live freely as we are.
Mary Magdalene's three gifts of Spirit are her inheritance: dissolving what is impure or evil, offering ointment for sickness and discernment, and vision to perceive the spiritual truth of resurrection.
I know baseball well enough to teach and coach the kids, but the skills have never been my strength as a coach. Rather, I bring the qualities from the rest of my life as a speaker, preacher, and pastor to my Little League team.
While Christians put decorations away, vacuum up the tinsel, and find places to put our new toys, I often wonder what it all means. After the pregnant longing, after the birth, how do we understand that God is with us?
There was that morning I will never forget, when I stood in the sweet sanctuary. I was at the table before the bread and the wine, saying those ancient Words of Institution, when my belly began shifting around with those smooth oceanic movements.
Prophets are men of passion. They radiate great force. They fire the spirits of their followers. They are charismatic in the true sense. But there is no blaze in the eyes of the Jesus typically depicted in art.