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Why Scruffy Hospitality Creates Space for Friendship

After seven years of marriage, my wife and I have welcomed numerous friends into our home. Once we decide to host friends for an evening, we usually kick into get ready mode, a fast and furious sprint in the days and hours before our friends arrive. We divide and conquer the to-do list: select a…

Jesus Falls Station of the Cross, Transitioning to the Lent

Preparing For Lent Before Ash Wednesday Arrives

Two weeks from today, the season of Lent begins with the observance of Ash Wednesday. Depending on the Christian calendar each year, Ash Wednesday can catch many Christians unaware because of its arrival in early February. Last year, Ash Wednesday occurred only six weeks after Christmas Day. When a narrow space separates Christmas and the…

Praying Badly

Lately I’ve begun Morning and Evening Prayer with a short confession:  “What is about to happen will not go well, Lord.  I’m sorry.”  Almost two years into a regular routine of praying the Daily Office in the Book of Common Prayer, I’ve learned I’m no good at this.  Oh, I’ve learned when to stand, when to kneel,…

Advent Meditation: The Subhuman Smartphone Escape

Creative Commons license A few months ago I was standing just inside the doors at Target, waiting to meet up with Emily after our shopping was done.  As I waited near the doors, one of the only open checkout lanes had a line seven customers deep.  Every customer in the line was buried in their…

A Soundtrack for Advent: Mumford and Sons ‘Babel’

Advent will officially begin this Sunday, but the perennial holiday rush has already begun.  And by holiday rush I mean the rush to celebrate Christmas before the first day of Advent arrives.  Nowhere is this more evident than the music resounding from speakers everywhere in our world–from stores to our workplace to our own laptops.  I’m…