Date Archives December 2021

What Should We Make of Advent?

Here is a story that never happened, but that doesn’t make it less true… One night four rabbis were visited by an angel who awakened them and carried them to the Seventh Vault of the Seventh Heaven. There they beheld the sacred Wheel of Ezekiel. Somewhere in the descent from Paradise to Earth, one Rabbi, having seen such splendor, lost his mind and wandered frothing and foaming until the end of his days.  The second Rabbi was extremely cynical: “Oh I just dreamed Ezekiel’s Wheel, that was all. Nothing really happened.”  The… Read More

The Minds of Passengers and Pilots

One of my favorite experiences is taking people flying in a small plane. Sitting next to me in the cockpit, they can see all the screens, buttons, maps, and gears. They hear the radio calls and listen to the weather reports. They have the same experience that I do as the pilot, except they have no context for understanding what it all means. If they’ve never flown in the cockpit of an airplane before, they don’t know what the buttons do. They don’t understand the coded language of the weather… Read More

Love Is On the Loose

One evening the New Testament professor from Princeton Seminary visited a high school youth group. As he was speaking about the baptism of Jesus, one adolescent boy sat aloof in the back, slouched in a chair, staring at his tennis shoes.  After the professor finished speaking about the significance of Christ’s baptism as a revelation of God’s presence in Jesus, the high schooler said without looking up, “That’s not what it means.” Glad that the student had been listening enough to disagree, the professor asked, “What do you think it means?” “The… Read More

All Shall Be Well?

In my ongoing collaboration and friendship with Buddhist teacher Isa Gucciardi, I am discovering that Buddhism offers wonderful gifts to Christians. Where Christianity tends to obsess about doctrines and dogma, dragging us down rabbit holes of endless narrow debate, Buddhism stays focused on the “how.” How do we live holy lives? How do we open ourselves to wisdom? How do we learn to love?  The Dalai Lama offers a beautiful teaching when he says, “My religion is kindness.” Jesus said something similar when he said, “I give you a new commandment, that you… Read More