Sharp About Your Prayers

the challenges, absurdities, and joys of an urban faith

Sharp About Your Prayers header image 4

Entries Tagged as 'Faith and the City'

Why We Do What We Do

September 22nd, 2017 · No Comments · Faith and the City

Over the past two days, our Jewish brothers and sisters have been celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the arrival of a New Year. In addition to reading Scriptural texts that recall the goodness of creation and offering prayers for God’s blessing in the year to come, Rosh Hashanah is the occasion when the shofar (a ram’s horn) is sounded during […]

[Read more →]

Tags:···

Summer Reading

June 9th, 2017 · Comments Off on Summer Reading · Faith and the City

Summer is upon us. With the promise of hot days, plastic tumblers of iced tea and (I hope) a slower pace comes one of the great pleasures in life: summer reading. This year, the stack I am taking with me on study leave includes serious, prepare-for-the-fall-sermon-series books, but also some fun stuff. Here is a […]

[Read more →]

Tags:

Choose Your Own Adventure

May 4th, 2017 · Comments Off on Choose Your Own Adventure · Faith and the City

In the late ’70s, my mother gave me a book entitled The Cave of Time. Turning to the first page, I found something unique and thrilling. The book placed readers at the center of the story. YOU, it explained, are exploring Snake Canyon. YOU discover the mysterious, dimly lit Cave of Time. Gradually you can make out […]

[Read more →]

Tags:··

Sooner or Later… Church!

April 27th, 2017 · Comments Off on Sooner or Later… Church! · Faith and the City

Church is the textured context in which we grow up in Christ to maturity. But church is difficult. Sooner or later, though, if we are serious about growing up in Christ, we have to deal with church. I say sooner. Eugene Peterson A clergy friend of mine once said, “God sure chose a crazy, leaky vessel to help […]

[Read more →]

Tags:··

Temperance — Virtue #4

March 24th, 2017 · Comments Off on Temperance — Virtue #4 · Faith and the City

A few years ago, the acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns turned his attention to a fascinating thread in the tapestry of American history: Prohibition. With an eye for quirky characters and an ear for the idiom of the age, Burns’ series unpacks the events leading to the adoption of the 18th amendment to the Constitution […]

[Read more →]

Tags:····

The State of Your Faith

February 9th, 2017 · 2 Comments · Faith and the City

Do me a favor. Please take 10 minutes at some point today and consider this question: “How’s your faith?” Here’s how I suggest you proceed. Go somewhere quiet — somewhere you will not be interrupted. Close your eyes. Now, take the pulse of your soul. Ask yourself, “How would I describe the current state of […]

[Read more →]

Tags:

Up Against the Holy

February 3rd, 2017 · Comments Off on Up Against the Holy · Faith and the City

This week I have been thinking about the word “sacred.” What does it mean for something or someone to be “holy”? To some people the word “sacred” distinguishes between the mundane parts of the world (buses and spreadsheets and really good chicken parm) and the holy things that reside in church cabinets (beeswax candles, water […]

[Read more →]

Tags:··

Holy Graffiti

January 5th, 2017 · Comments Off on Holy Graffiti · Faith and the City

Dear Friends in Christ: Today is Epiphany — Jan. 6. After the 12 days of Christmas, Christians move from celebrating the birth of Jesus to contemplating the revelation of Christ to the world. In other words, Epiphany is Jesus going public. During Epiphany, we contemplate the transformative things that happen when people from all walks […]

[Read more →]

Tags:···

Gaudete Sunday

December 8th, 2016 · Comments Off on Gaudete Sunday · Faith and the City

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. –Isaiah 35 Friends in Christ, The Third Sunday of Advent is upon us. Tradition calls this Gaudete (gow-da-tay) Sunday. It is the Day of Joy. Isaiah 35 […]

[Read more →]

Tags:

Skeletons in the Closet

October 28th, 2016 · Comments Off on Skeletons in the Closet · Faith and the City

This week I finished Hillbilly Elegy, a gripping memoir by J.D. Vance. Vance tells the story of growing up in Ohio and Eastern Kentucky, in America’s Rust Belt. The book provides an unflinching description of a poor Appalachian family of Scots-Irish descent who faces disappearing coal and steel jobs, the scourge of highly addictive drugs, and […]

[Read more →]

Tags:·