“A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”

"Portrait of Jesus," Jacob Barosin (c. 1955)

When I was a little Lutheran preacher’s kid in 1950s Ohio, the most familiar images of Jesus were ones with children gathered round and sitting on his knee. These accompanied songs like “Jesus Loves Me.”

I was blessed with caring parents and a child-friendly neighborhood, and my father’s sermons were about Jesus’ compassionate humanity. These childhood portrayals of Jesus did not clash very much with my personal experience of family and community.

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“Listening in tongues”

In a recent post on Quaker Pagan Reflections, the blog he shares with his helpmate Cat, Peter Bishop of Mt. Toby (MA) Friends Meeting has given me a phrase which I believe speaks to the heart of Quaker faith and practice.

Peter writes about “how difficult it is to express in words what worshiping in silence means to us,” even across the perceived barriers within Quakerism itself:

I see [some] Friends…using Christian

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Weeds (Part III)

Part I: The parable of the weeds in the field
Part II: Religion or belief
Part III: Wilderness and cultivation

Wilderness and cultivation

“Religion in its purest form is a vast work of poetry.” (Carse, 111)

The first draft of “Weeds” was one long post. It began with my reaction to Matthew’s version of the weeds in the field parable, proceeded immediately with those insights from James Carse which now comprise the second half

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Weeds (Part II)

Part I: The parable of the weeds in the field
Part II: Religion or belief
Part III: Wilderness and cultivation

Religion or belief

In Part I, I laid out a problem—really a faith challenge—presented to me by the parable of the weeds in the wheat field, as told and interpreted in the book of Matthew (13:24-30, 36-43). The significance of this parable for me is that it sets up an

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Weeds (Part I)

Part I: The parable of the weeds in the field
Part II: Religion or belief
Part III: Wilderness and cultivation

The parable of the weeds in the field

In a July post on Walhydra’s Porch, I built a story around the troublesome contrast between a new Lutheran pastor’s doctrinally correct sermon and the palpable, all-inclusive embrace of an image of Jesus which spreads its arms over the sanctuary where the sermon

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