April 6 - Miracle #33: Jesus raises Lazarus... OK, what's next?

Other than "walking on water" this is probably the most widely known of Jesus' miracles, (Although, "the Episcopal miracle" of turning water into wine, is right up there in my book...) and we've heard it a million times.

The danger in hearing these stories over and over is that you grow numb to their depth and meaning. We tend to make lists, categorize things, draw apt analogies, and completely miss the point.

Feb 16 - There's probably no God - so stop worrying and enjoy your life.

An atheist group in the UK paid money to post this sophomoric insight on the sides of London buses. (I could have come up with a much better use for the funds...)

They think God is a cosmic killjoy, a bully? That we can't have a happy life? That we have to spend our time in punishing moralism, or always trying, and failing, to "measure up"?

Wrong. Dead wrong.

November 24 - Why the Roman Emperors went after Christians

Human intelligence, creativity, industriousness and organized societies are gifts of God. We have God-given powers to reason, create and prosper. We must rise above the Conservative (uphold), Revolutionary (condemn), and Reform (transform) schools and constantly remind ourselves: What powers do I have? How did I obtain these powers? In Who's interest am I serving? To whom am I accountable? How can Christ have first place in all that I do?

November 3 - Someday, I'll.....

Father Jonathan had one of those weeks.

It included the anniversary of his brother's death, two funerals for St. Paul's members, leading a seminar on death and dying, a frank discussion with an elderly friend about such matters, and the inevitable sadness that comes with the "Feast of the Faithful Departed". Whew! It's enough to make a guy go running off into the woods (which is exactly what he did).

October 6 - What is "faith", anyway?

The disciples are once again on the raggedy edge between trust and despair. They plead with Jesus: "Increase our faith!"  

"Increase our faith" - as if faith is something you can measure, and you just have to up your dose and God will like you more and your life will improve.  Or maybe if you study hard and get more intellectual insight - using logic and reason - your faith will increase? (Maybe even to the point where you don't have to cross your fingers when you recite the creeds?)

April 7 - Be more like Doubting Thomas. Ask for what you need!

On the Sunday after Easter, we always read the same passage of scripture.

The twentieth chapter of John is the story of Thomas, the sole disciple who has not seen Jesus since the horror of the crucifixion. The others tell Thomas that Jesus has come back from death and has appeared to many people.

Thomas is skeptical. He has the audacity to ask for proof; to see the risen Jesus with his own eyes before he can believe this crazy story.

Feb 24 - How Jesus and Bill Anders changed humanity forever.

Father Jonathan ties together the first public views of Earth that came from the Appollo eight mission with Jesus' "view" of Earth. (Astronaut William Anders took the photo that changed the world, "Earthrise", on Christmas Eve, 1968.)

The Earth-photos that the astronauts sent back gave us a new ecstatic* view of the physical planet. Jesus gave us a new ecstatic view of humankind's place on it and of it.