Lent, the Wilderness, and Celtic Christianity

How is Celtic Christianity inviting me into this Lenten season? My first engagement with church happened within the context of American Evangelicalism, and as an Evangelical friend of mine recently said, “We don’t really know what to do with Lent”. As I began to participate in the season more intentionally, one of the first things that became dislodged within me was the assumption that Lent was all about Easter – Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. While it is difficult (and probably unhelpful) to completely separate Lent from Easter, it has been transformative for me to intentionally remember the narrative that inspires the season – Jesus’ wilderness temptations. The reality is that the wi

What the Owls Are Saying

A pair of great horned owls lives in the meadow just beyond my porch, and I’ve taken to checking in with those wisdom birds when my life is veering a little off track. Maybe what I think they are telling me is just an echo of my own deep wisdom, but they shared some timely nuggets with me this week that I will share with you. Work hard, carefully and with focus when it’s time to work. Do your own work in your own way. We owls aren’t here to manage the meadow, you aren’t here to run the world. Employ your talents and skills with grace and simplicity. Don’t worry about what others are doing. Be a loyal companion and a responsible land manager. Sing in the morning, keep the rodents under

Behold, It Is Good

…And God saw everything that God had made, and behold, it was very good. This phrase is repeated several times throughout the Christian creation story found in Genesis 1. If you were paying attention in Sunday School, you know what comes next. But for a moment, let’s pause here… …And God saw everything that God had made, and behold, it was very good. Perhaps you know this feeling. We can imagine God, personified, taking a deep breath and surveying creation. “Wow,” God says, “this is good.” You might get a similar feeling at the top of a 14’r in the Colorado Rockies. “Wow,” you say to yourself, “the majesty of the mountains is breathtaking.” Or, maybe you’ve watched the sun set over the Pacif

Troubled

I remember this. Or at least days like this. This is the kind of frigid which is much deeper than just plain cold. If you pulled on one of these branches it would snap right off with a “crack.” The ice would shatter and the branch in its cold death-like grip would just fall. Eventually the snow and ice would melt. The branch would be worked into little bits and finally, find its way back into the earth from where it came. It is March now and we have moved into the second quarter of the Celtic year. Though I am looking forward to moving into the full bloom of spring, I find myself asking, “What happened to winter?” We have had some typically winter days I know but winter seems to have been ve

Thin Places: Black History Month & the Agonizing Jesus

It was one of those spaces that Celtic people might refer to as “Thin”. The Last Supper was over, but Jesus hadn’t been arrested yet. He journeyed with some of his friends to a nearby garden to pray. This story is one I have read hundreds of times over the years, but I began to see it with new eyes about a year ago. Jesus is in agony. He prays. He weeps. He sweats blood. His friends sleep. He wakes them up and begs them to stay with him, to resist the urge to fade into the numbness that sleep promises. But for sorrow, they sleep again. Last month was Black History Month. For many years this meant nothing more to me than knowing I would see lots of faces on television that I might recognize f

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