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'

@Table w/ the Confirmands

February 25th, 2016 · Comments Off on @Table w/ the Confirmands · Faith and the City

It is a common icebreaker: “Name the person, living or dead, with whom you would most like to share a meal?” An Australian food company recently posed this question to a group of adults. Predictably, their answers listed celebrities: Marylin Monroe, Justin Bieber, Jimi Hendrix, and Nelson Mandela. After filming the adults, the director dismissed them. […]

[Read more →]

Tags:····

Hold on to the Good

February 18th, 2016 · Comments Off on Hold on to the Good · Faith and the City

Do you savor? Do you take time — pause-and-reflect time — to delight in the moments of grace and joy that flit through your life? This morning I read something that troubled me. Psychologist Dan O’Grady claims that our negative experiences and critical thoughts have remarkable staying power. They stick to us like Velcro. They […]

[Read more →]

Tags:·····

The Souper Bowl

February 5th, 2016 · Comments Off on The Souper Bowl · Faith and the City

About 12 years ago, I met the Rev. Brad Smith. Brad told me an amazing story. In 1990, he was an associate pastor at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina. On Super Bowl Sunday, Brad offered a simple prayer as the church’s youth group settled down to watch the big game: Lord, even […]

[Read more →]

Tags:···

Slush

January 28th, 2016 · Comments Off on Slush · Faith and the City

This past Monday put me in a grumpy mood. After dropping my son off at school, I negotiated icy sidewalks and slush clogged intersections trying to make my way back to the subway. It was a ridiculous mess. Trudging along in single file with other commuters and school children, I began muttering about scofflaws who […]

[Read more →]

Tags:·····

Hit the Wood

January 22nd, 2016 · Comments Off on Hit the Wood · Faith and the City

Can you keep a secret? Step a little closer. I do not like election years — specifically Presidential election years. Yes, yes … I know. The Presidential election in America — the once-every-four-years process through which we select a leader for this country, followed by the peaceful passing of the baton from one administration to […]

[Read more →]

Tags:····

Mulch

January 7th, 2016 · Comments Off on Mulch · Faith and the City

Life moves fast. If you walk around the city this week, you cannot help noticing the curbside stacks of bedraggled Christmas trees. They are ready for “Mulchfest” — New York’s annual recycling program that turns our holiday remnants into something useful for local parks and playgrounds. The Church moves fast, too. This week we celebrate Baptism […]

[Read more →]

Tags:····

Hopes and Fears

December 19th, 2015 · Comments Off on Hopes and Fears · Faith and the City

Christmas is for poets. The best verse for Yuletide tweaks our nostalgia. It prods our skepticism, too. It pushes past both the syrupy sweet and the sadly cynical places in our hearts. The best poetry ushers us into the mystery of God’s incarnation. How could the Eternal do a temporal act, The Infinite become a finite fact? […]

[Read more →]

Tags:····

What Are You Waiting For?

December 3rd, 2015 · Comments Off on What Are You Waiting For? · Faith and the City

Two splendid works of 20th-century culture have a lot to teach us about the ancient mysteries of Advent. One is a play, the other a movie. In a 1999 survey by The Massachusetts Review, Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot was voted “the most significant English language play of the 20th century.” Written in 1949, […]

[Read more →]

Tags:·····

Christ Actually

November 7th, 2015 · 1 Comment · Faith and the City

Who is Jesus Christ to you? Is he the same, gentle figure you met in your Children’s Bible? The same healer your Sunday School teachers told you about? The same Messiah you wrestled with in high school? The same Divine whose nature you questioned when doubts first swirled through your head? It’s likely that, whenever […]

[Read more →]

Tags:····

Heroes, Villains and Violence

October 18th, 2015 · Comments Off on Heroes, Villains and Violence · Faith and the City

My daily route to the church takes me past the Grand Army Plaza on Fifth Avenue and 59th Street. From my seat on the bus, I have an unobstructed view of the plaza’s central attraction — the freshly gilded statue of General William Tecumseh Sherman. A West Point graduate, Sherman settled in New York City […]

[Read more →]

Tags:···