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.