On Good Friday: Affirming the body

There is a grave error in the penitential notion of “mortifying the body.”

It replicates the false dualism of “spirit versus matter ” that crept into and overwhelmed the Jewish faith and practice of Jesus as his followers spread out through the Greco-Roman world.

A truer practice is to “affirm the body,” to affirm it as a mortal yet sacred part of the divine whole.

When I allow myself to suffer the large or small sufferings of my body,

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The horrible cost of the peace testimony

Today I am greatly conflicted about the Quake peace testimony.  Not giving it up, but struggling with the horrendous cost in lives entailed in staying true to it.

As of March 7, 2022, the Russian military is surrounding Kyiv, Ukraine, and it continues its deliberate targeting residential neighborhoods and blocking of escape by war refugees.  The suffering, death, and destruction are escalating rapidly.

I long to see something done at once to save the people of Ukraine from Russia’s violence.

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Sustaining the real presence of community on Zoom

Meeting for worship on Zoom

Excerpts from “A Jewel in the Lotus: Buddhist chaplaincy includes compassion and ‘skillful means,'” by Chris Berlin, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Autumn/Winter 2020


Chris Berlin, is an instructor in ministry and spiritual counseling and the denominational counselor to Buddhist students at Harvard Divinity School.  With his colleague Cheryl Giles, he teaches the course Compassionate Care of the Dying: Buddhist Trainings and Techniques.

The course interweaves teachings in the Buddhist view of impermanence and death with

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Teasing the scribes and pharisees

"Woe unto You, Scribes and Pharisees (Malheur à vous, scribes et pharisiens)," by James Tissot (between 1886 and 1894), Online Collection of Brooklyn Museum [Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons].

Some fun with words that may go deeper than we usually expect to go in reading the Gospels.

In Mark’s account of Jesus’ Temple teaching, Jesus answers trick questions from the scholars and Pharisees and then responds with one of his own, translated in English as follows (Mark 12: 35-36):

How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David?  David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared, “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right

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