• Thank you so much for this beautiful and wise piece of writing, Shige. It harmonizes well with the message that Pope Francis delivered last night in his homily for the Christmas Eve Mass: “That is where God is, in littleness. . . . This is the message: God does not rise up in grandeur, but lowers himself into littleness. Littleness is the path…[Read more]

  • My son and a group of his friends got together a few days ago and marked the start of the holiday season with a “hate-watch” marathon of Hallmark Channel Christmas movies. I was genuinely torn when I heard abo […]

    • Great piece, Dr. Guthrie, thank you!

    • This keeps popping up as a recurring theme this season.  Almost like we have to fight back a little, to keep joy in the mix.  Thank-you!

    • Excellent! I was just working on a piece yesterday inspired by Buechner’s book, Telling the Truth where he speaks to many of these things. 

    • I simply love how all of you Rabbit writers can take something as unserious or “profane” as Hallmark movies and turn it into something Holy. 
      How you take what the world makes and says, “See, this is how this thing points to the eternity in man’s hearts.” 
      Thank you. 
      And Merry Christmas to you all!

  • Wonderful and powerful examples. Thank you!

  • Wow. Thanks so much for sharing this very meaningful call to service, out of a very profound experience of suffering.

  • I think that’s a really helpful insight Debbie. One of the things that comes across in the story is that *everything* was harder for an African American living in the South — whether that was getting together with friends, going to a movie, or getting medical treatment. So, someone like Perkins didn’t simply have to be resilient enough to bear…[Read more]

  • Thanks so much everyone for these introductions! I’m looking forward to our conversations over the coming weeks!

  • Thanks Shigé! It is really interesting to think about the tradition of the Yeshiva on the one hand, and a room full of Hebrew scholars chanting melodies, as a contrasting image to the dead silent space of a university library on the other hand. And yes, I’ve also been thinking about how I use my voice and my silence, and what I contribute or…[Read more]

  • [Editor’s note: click here to read Part 5: The Preposition of Love.]

    “We believe in the Holy Spirit. . . Who has spoken through the prophets.”—The Nicene Creed

    I am sitting in the upstairs office space […]

    • “The spiritual life meant learning to steward sound well; cultivating attentiveness on the one hand, and training one’s voice on the other.” This is such an intriguing concept that I hadn’t considered before…makes me re-think how I engage in both sound and silence. Thank you, Steve. As always, this post is thought provoking and helpful, and so well designed.

    • Thanks Shigé! It is really interesting to think about the tradition of the Yeshiva on the one hand, and a room full of Hebrew scholars chanting melodies, as a contrasting image to the dead silent space of a university library on the other hand. And yes, I’ve also been thinking about how I use my voice and my silence, and what I contribute or choose to preserve in the various sounding spaces I inhabit. Thanks for being part of the conversations and distractions that inspired the essay!

  • Thanks so much for these further thoughts Ron. Really enjoyed reading all of this. I was just talking with someone the other day about the whole “God gave me this song” thing! Thanks again!

  • [Editor’s note: click here to read Part 4: Sounding, Re-sounding, and the Antiphonal Shape of the World.]

    How accurate one has to be with one’s prepositions! Perhaps it was a preposition wrong that set the w […]

    • I loved this, beautifully written, the idea of breath coming through an instrument. The instrument retains all of its created character. Light works on the same principle – it is really seen in its interaction with objects in the environment.
      I’ve heard people complain that “Christ in me” means something like losing our personality, our personhood. But as persons we retain all of our humanity, personality, and life experience in walking as Christ-filled temples, yet we can be empowered, enlightened – the holy Breath in us can breathe out through us to others. This is the power of Christ in the believer. Our part is to get with God, be loved by him, and have Love beget love, love beget faith, and faith beget hope – the settled expectation of future good.

    • Yes – I’ve told this story quite often. A friend of mine was in a band that did lots of Gospel, though not necessarily all believers. A woman came up and gave him a cassette (in the days of cassettes). She said, “The Lord gave me this song.” He said he put it in on the way home, listened to the song, and thought, “Wow. God’s a really sh—y songwriter!”

      The woman may have had a real God-thought. But she hadn’t worked on songwriting technique enough to let it come through. It’s the same with anything – paint, music, words. And it’s especially true of life. Christ may have taken my inner Jericho in the promised land and is living inside me, but if I don’t move into knowing his life in me by faith and let God show me the areas in my life I need to change, the Word coming out from my inner capitol through my personality will be distorted badly by it. I have to let him take me on campaigns into the lands of the enemies to take my inner landscape back. I have to rescind the bad words spoken to me as a child, revoke the bad things done to me, let him release me into entering his Rest. I have to move into the gentleness, the kindness, the love that belongs to me by my rights as a child of God, indwelt by God; I have to learn to be truthful but courteous, aware of the feelings of others and kind but unafraid of what others think of me.

      In other words we “put off the old man” and “put on the new man.” It isn’t a works-trip of trying hard to be good. It is simply recognition – recognizing that Christ in me makes me a new creation human being, full of the same power that spoke the universe into existence, full of the same love that sent the Son to die and rise for humanity, the same God who put all who will believe into the Son as he dies and resurrects and ascends, so that we can begin to live the same tangible quality of life he lived. When I speak out these truths before God on a daily basis, things begin to internally shift. Inner walls begin to fall. Longstanding unbelief begins to turn to mist and shadow.

      This makes us into more of our real self, not less. So much more. The unknowable god, the That behind all That, the god in whom we all lose our identity and consciousness as drops of water in the ocean, is not the God we know, the God we see in Christ.

      Lewis illustrates your point well: “There are no real personalities apart from God. Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self. Sameness is to be found most among the most ‘natural’ men, not among those who surrender to Christ. How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerers have been; how gloriously different are the saints.”

      Anyway, Steve – I really enjoyed reading the article. It made me think again of the depths of potential in each human personality if God is accepted, seen, recognized, embraced.

    • Thanks so much for these further thoughts Ron. Really enjoyed reading all of this. I was just talking with someone the other day about the whole “God gave me this song” thing! Thanks again!

  • Thanks for your comment Gllen! Comments and conversation is especially welcome following a post about how one voice calls to and answers another! I like your imagery of “varieties of voice” for different artistic forms.

  • [Editor’s note: click here to read Part 3: God in Motion.]

    I believe in the Holy Spirit . . . Together with the Father and the Son He is worshipped and glorified.—The Nicene Creed

    On a recent Saturday mo […]

    • Thanks for your comment Gllen! Comments and conversation is especially welcome following a post about how one voice calls to and answers another! I like your imagery of “varieties of voice” for different artistic forms.

  • Thanks Mary! I’m grateful for the feedback!

  • Thanks so much for this Kara! I’m glad this was helpful.

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