The Violent Grace of The Green Knight
Author’s note: This essay contains spoilers for the 14th century British poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and the 2021 film The Green Knight. If I spoil the poem for you, well, your bad, you’ve had six centuries to catch up. However, spoiling the film for you would be more understandable, so perhaps steer clear until you’ve seen it.Read More ›
The Unbridled Joy of Making It
If you’re like me right about now, you’re looking for just about anything to give you a glimpse of joy and beauty in a world that feels like it’s burning to the ground. And if you’re a maker of beauty, you might also be struggling with trying to draw anything remotely creative out of yourself during this season. Despite what the productivity gurus might suggest, it’s kind of hard to get things done with the underlying anxiety and fear so many of us are dealing with (much less working and parenting from home 24/7).Read More ›
The Faith of Linus Van Pelt
When it comes to Christmas films, there are few moments more iconic than Linus’ recitation of the Nativity story in A Charlie Brown Christmas. It has become immortalized in the consciousness of our modern holiday experience.Read More ›
The King of Autumn
In the spirit of fall, here’s a “lost verse” from Douglas McKelvey’s liturgy of “Praise to the King of Creation.”Read More ›
My Attention Is My Prayer
These days, I tend to find myself bemoaning my own easy distractedness. I took a little bit of a social media fast in the opening weeks of the year, and I resolved at the end of that experience to be more measured in my use of social media, but let’s be honest: I fell pretty quickly back into old habits. I guess it’s at least good that I’m aware of my backslide? Gotta start somewhere.Read More ›
Justin McRoberts and Scott Erickson Help Us To Pray
If I’m honest, I’ve followed Jesus most of my life, and sometimes I don’t know how to pray.
If you’ve been part of the Christian spiritual tradition for any length of time, you probably have collected a few ideas of what prayer is and is not, both from teaching and practice. Is prayer just pulling the lever of a cosmic slot machine and hoping everything lines up? Is prayer a non-verbal, mystical experience of the Divine? Is prayer simply reciting the words of other saints from the past? Does God need my prayers or do I need them?Read More ›
Prodigal Sons and Fathers in the Music of Springsteen
“My Father’s House” is the ninth track on Springsteen’s classic lo-fi album Nebraska, and the last song he wrote for the album. In his autobiography Born To Run, Bruce has this to say about the creation of the album:
What The Office Taught Me About Christmas
One of the more odd Christmas traditions that my wife and I have developed over the last few years is re-watching all of the Christmas episodes from everyone’s favorite workplace comedy, The Office.
Quietly, Quietly: An Advent Reflection
Today is bone cold, gray, and still, which seems appropriate for the beginning of Advent. As I was headed for a walk in the woods, I was listening to a haunting rendition of Longfellow’s “I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day” by Beta Radio. It’s been one of those Christmas songs I’ve least connected with, for whatever reason. But Beta Radio’s melancholy twist resonated with me this morning, under the gray skies…
God in the Dark: Rilke’s Prayers of a Young Poet
I would like to beg of you, dear friend, as well as I can, to have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves.
–Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
The Visceral Power of Childish Gambino’s “This Is America”
By now, many of you may know that the Internet blew up last weekend over Childish Gambino’s music video for his new song, “This Is America.” As of the time I’m typing this, five days after release, the video has racked up over 63 million views and probably about as many think pieces.
Jon Foreman’s 25 in 24
Last year, the seemingly inexhaustible lead singer of Switchfoot, Jon Foreman, released the second four-EP project of his career, called The Wonderlands. The four EPs, Darkness, Dawn, Shadows, and Sunlight, track the hours of the day and explore a variety of themes. As if such a project were not already ambitious enough, Foreman decided to celebrate the project by playing 25 shows within 24 hours in his hometown of San Diego. This musical experience took place between October 24th and 25th of 2017, and a film crew was there to capture the action. For those of us fans not able to be there for such a momentous occasion, we can now experience it through the film 25 in 24, an hour long documentary just released.