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Essay

Essay

Breathe On Us

It was not lost on many of my fellow preachers on Sunday that on the very day we celebrate the outpouring of God’s Breath on the church, many black people (and people of all races and ethnic groups) in the…
Calvin Theological Seminary
Essay

Monday is Wash Day

A few months ago, when we were still gathering for worship, we sat in church celebrating our granddaughter Annie’s baptism. The priest poured water generously over her little head.He spoke. ”Do you not know that all of us who have…
Essay

Pentecost: Making Christianity Weird Again

This past week, a friend pointed me to a fascinating interview with Tom Holland. Holland is a leading English author and historian who’s published several best-selling books and TV series with the BBC. He was being interviewed about his most…
Essay

Silas Soule and Fortitude

As much an adventurer as anyone else from out east, Silas Soule went west when what was back home wouldn't cut it any longer. He was just a kid, but he knew--his abolitionist father told him--that what was out there…
Essay

Being Kind, Being Racist

My son has discovered a love of birds.  It happened after I gave him a thrifted copy of a bird book. It wasn’t long before he was identifying every bird he could see, ingesting fact after fact, planning how he…
Essay

A Matter of Course

It wasn’t until my thirties that I even considered not wearing a slip. This is not, perhaps, the most shocking admission, though it may be one that results in some of you not continuing this essay, either because it strikes…
Essay

Two Takes on a Pandemic

Jesus says, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

Want to Be Like Mike?

I have been transfixed over the past several weeks by The Last Dance, ESPN’s ten-part documentary ostensibly about the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls but really a behind-the-curtain look at the basketball god Michael Jordan. There is no question that Jordan is…
Essay

When the Church Dreams

1 Corinthians 15:1-26, 51-57 As part of an exercise at a Churches Learning Change virtual retreat this week, I was asked to describe my dream. Not the peaceful dreams one might have while their head rests on a pillow, but…