In a season where death may feel a little too prevalent, we might be able to find wisdom in a strange place: a number.
Who do you trust when it comes to spiritual guidance? Contrary to the church answer, it’s more than just Jesus.
What does it take to respond appropriately to prejudice and racism? Can the stories of Jesus give us guidance, even if they don’t give easy answers? Perhaps, at the very least, they can help us become the type of people who are open and grounded enough to confront racism in ourselves and our society.
This episode mentions a couple of organizations doing amazing anti-racism work. Check them out:
Sometimes it seems like the Apostle Paul is an ass, or at least overly confident. Sometimes though, it turns out his letters may help us hold two contradictory ideas together and give us some spiritual guidance.
Why are millions of people so invested in the sex life of an ancient Hebrew teenager? There has to be more to the virgin birth than what could be taught in sex ed. With a lighter approach and a whole lot of context, we may find a few options.
Image: Lake George Reflection by Georgia O’Keeffe
Prophecy gets an understandably bad wrap. But, it doesn’t have to be as strange as we’ve made it. Instead of crystal balls or proofs for Jesus, it may actually be something much more empowering and helpful.
The Good Samaritan. It's a famous story with a simple message: a neighbor is someone who helps when needed. Then why is it so hard to imitate? Sociology, psychology and even prank TV shows may help us out.
Image: The Good Samaritan, after Delacroix by van Gogh
Judas might be the most hated figure in Christianity, or at least a close second behind Satan (Is that really better though?). But what we've done to Judas says a lot more about us than it does about him. When we humanize him, his story might even have something to offer us.
The rise of tyrants and narcissists is alarming, but not new. Since history tends to repeat itself, an old story may give us wisdom for when an empire tries to demand too much from us.
Being told not to do something doesn't seem to help us avoid it. So why would the Bible have so many lists of things to avoid? What would make a long list of no no's sacred? A little context goes a long way in answering that question.
"I don't care about truth." That one short statement led to this entire episode. An old poem and a bunch of words in dead languages offer us guidance, but no easy answers when we think about truth. As with most things, it's a lot bigger than we may have first thought.
Rising from the dead works up an appetite, so we can't really blame Jesus for asking for a snack at an inappropriate time. Plus, Jesus' munchies may actually help us know what to do with the complex emotions we experience in our faith journeys.
Photo Credit: Jess Sawrey
God doesn't have one magical soulmate for you (or at least I don't think so). But, the good news is that when our relationships get more grounded in reality, they also get more interesting, dynamic and worth hanging around for.
In a week when there's a lot of talk about death and resurrection, you may find yourself with a few questions. What exactly is resurrection? Can we know what happens when we die? Isn't Easter just a pagan holiday that Christians repurposed?
Resurrection may not be exactly what we thought. It might even be more.
As always, all my gratitude to Theology Corner for promoting the podcast and Light Theory for providing the intro and outro tunes. Make sure to listen in next week for the one year anniversary episode! Fun will be had, books will be given away and money will be raised for refugees.
Conversion. What does it make you think of? A divine encounter? Emotional manipulation? A weird mix of both?
When we set aside our baggage for a minute and look at one of the most famous conversion stories, we may find something worth imitating.
Advent is supposed to be about waiting. So then why is one of Advent's most told stories trying to get us to stop waiting for divine intervention?
It's that time of year: everyone talks about peace and you're seeing a lot of sweet little baby Jesus. As it turns out, the Christmas story may not be as sweet and quiet as we think. Jesus was one subversive baby.