I made a mistake when appointing the Most Relevant Onion Article By a Significant Margin in our 2014 year-end wrap-up post. I don’t regret the one we awarded the label (“Area Child Disappointed to Learn Parents’ Love Unconditional”). It stands up. The runner’s up were pretty solid as well, “I’m...
After one moment when I bowed my head
And the whole world turned over and came upright,
And I came out where the old road shone white.
I walked the ways and heard what all men said,
Forests of tongues, like autumn leaves unshed,
Being not unlovable but strange and light;
Old riddles and new creeds, not in despite
But softly, as men smile about the dead
The sages have a hundred maps to give
That trace their crawling cosmos like a tree,
They rattle reason out through many a sieve
That stores the sand and lets the gold go free:
And all these things are less than dust to me
Because my name is Lazarus and I live.
As per usual, we’ll be taking a break for the next few days, returning with new content on Monday. While we’re gone, a few things that might be worth checking out:
- Thanksgiving has provided the inspiration for a number of memorable posts over the years. To peruse our archive, click here.
Funny when things hit at once. This past week, the episode of The White Horse Inn I was privileged to tape back in August hit the airwaves. Our topic was “Jesus in Pop Culture”, and you can listen here. Or download the mp3 (free), right here. Always a joy to be with those guys.
- Then, I had the opportunity to sit in with our friends at Christ Hold Fast for an episode of the Christ Hold Fast Cast. Among the subjects we touched on were Law and Gospel (our new book), church in a digital age, and self-forgiveness. Lots of fun to be with them as well.
- At the risk of over-saturation, we recorded a special new Thanksgiving episode of The Mockingcast this week, which you can listen to here. Sarah “adviceless” Condon guests #scottjonesismyhero.
- The digital versions of our magazines are just a click (or three) away! We’ve been incredibly touched and encouraged by the response to The Technology Issue. Important: if you’ve got a church or seminary bookstore that you’d like to see stock The Mockingbird, let us know (email@example.com)! We’d love to send them some sample copies.
- Speaking of the magazine, we’re about to send out a Christmas card with some exclusive deals on all our print publications. To be sure you get one, sign up for our physical mailing list.
- Great NY Times column on internal persecution and the echo chamber of conscience in the smartphone era from Rachel Fields, “The Five Stages of Ghosting Grief”, i.e. Was it Something I Texted?
- Believe it or not, Pixar’s beloved Toy Story turned 20 years old this past week. If you’ve never read the fantastic essay that Jeremiah Lawson wrote for us about the landmark film(s), “Toy Story as a Journey of Heroic Repentance”, click here for part one. Jeremiah wrote an updated reflection here.
- Along those lines, we couldn’t be more excited to announce our newest publication: the book-length Mockingbird at the Movies! This one’s been in the works for a while, a collection of 45 essays (almost all brand new) from a wide range of contributors, exploring relevant themes in our favorite films. The manuscript is being proofed as we speak, and you can check out a preview of the cover above (not final). Look for a release the first week of Dec #cjgreenismyhero.
- Last but not least, pre-registration for our 2016 NYC Conference (4/16-18) opens Wednesday, Dec 2nd.
The proper definition of “grief” is (according to dictionary.com):
Keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret. 2. a cause or occasion of keen distress or sorrow
While I wish it were otherwise, grief is something that most of us have felt at one time or another. Grief is one of those classic human experiences symptomatic of brokenness—ours and the world’s around us. Grief overwhelms the entire body; you can feel grief course through your veins, move through your joints, sound from your vocal chords, bear down on your mind, and burden your back.
The grief I’ve experienced…
Sermon on the Rocks, the new offering from Josh Ritter, opens with the slow-burning, apocalyptic “Birds of the Meadow,” a song aiming for prophecy that repeats the refrain, “Fire is coming, fire is coming.” These are the words of those who stand on street corners bellowing through megaphones: hellfire and damnation, intoned by Ritter in a deep, foreboding tone that matches the lyrics. For those of us who have grown up surrounded by American Christianity, these words sound all too familiar, resounding with notions of an angry God, just biding his time before coming to purge the world with fire….
It may be the single greatest Thanksgiving film ever made, yet Broadway Danny Rose is something of an anomaly in Woody Allen’s filmography. Released 1984, it came smack dab in the middle of his golden period (1977-1992), right after Zelig and just before The Purple Rose of Cairo, when Woody could do no wrong. His increased confidence as an actor and filmmaker showed itself in his decision to vary his character more than he ever had before, or since. Instead of a conflicted-yet-talented college-educated neurotic, Woody plays a long-suffering, working-class hustler, a guy who just can’t catch a break (and…
Our son is 16 months old and a true delight—curious, outgoing, and eager to explore the world around him. Our faith is important to both my wife and me and we want him to be raised in the church, especially since my wife is the rector of the church we attend. On Sunday mornings, she goes off to church—and my heart sinks in dread.
For some time—and definitely since our son started walking—church has been a nightmarish experience for me. It’s a small congregation and the children’s play area (for those too young for Sunday school) is in the rear…
This morning’s devotion comes to us from the Rev. Jim Munroe.
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as the ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. (1 Timothy 2:5-6, ESV)
In 1492, there were two prominent families in Ireland, the Butlers and the Fitzgeralds. They were in the midst of a bitter feud.
As the siege wore on, Fitzgerald had a change of heart. Here were two families, living in the same country, worshipping the same God, in the same church, trying to kill each other. So Fitzgerald called to Butler, inviting him to unbolt the door and come out. Butler, understandably wary of treachery, refused.
So Fitzgerald seized his spear, cut away a hole in the door large enough for his hand, and then thrust his entire arm through the hole. Fitzgerald’s arm, extending into the chapter house, was completely vulnerable, totally undefended, and utterly available for being chopped off.
James Butler grasped Gerald Fitzgerald’s hand with his own and then opened the door. The two men embraced, and the feud was ended. Thus was born the expression, “Chancing the arm.”
That door and that hole still exist today. You can go to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and see that evidence of chancing the arm.
But you don’t have to go to St. Patrick’s Cathedral to be encountered by the one who chanced his arm for you. For you, and whatever feuds you face with whatever enemies stand behind your door, that arm through the door is the arm of Jesus Christ. Chanced for you, his arm through the door bears on its hand the scar of a nail hole. It is offered to you, barricaded inside all of your own inner-chapter houses.
Another Week Ends: Palo Alto, the Other U-Curve, Adele Calling, Polly Answering, George Saunders in the Future, and Jonathan Haidt on Coddling
Click here for the accompanying episode of The Mockingcast.
Like many of these weekend columns, it seems we are provided a moment to stop and stand in the drift of cultural attention. Lots of times, especially if our collective attention is focused on something of particular interest to Mockingbird, we find we must write about it on its own, right now, sans weekender. This is what Dave did this week in his compilation piece about teenage optimism. Whether it is due to the atrocities in Europe, or the continued civil unrest here at home, it seems Americans (humans?) have had to…
Here’s one from our podcasting guru, Scott Jones:
This week Charlie Sheen revealed to the world he is HIV positive. In an interview with Matt Lauer, Sheen describes the moment he received the diagnosis:
… it started with what I thought based on a series of cluster headaches and insane migraines and sweating the bed, completely drenched two, three nights in a row, that I was emergency hospitalized. I thought I had a brain tumor. I thought it was over. Um… after a battery of tests and spinal taps, all that crap, it uh… they walked in the room and said, ‘Boom….