Writings from The Church of the Saviour Community

How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place

I remember it so vividly. I am 10 years old, sitting on the banks of a lake at mid-morning, between tall grasses on all sides that closed around and over my head. I am a camper at Jewish summer camp in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, and usually we pray the regular weekday morning liturgy, from books, on benches inside. But this morning, the counselors have told us to spend the prayer time each by ourselves, to go somewhere outside.

It is quiet. I feel very at home here, very still. Suddenly the wind picks up, rushing through the enormous trees that line the lake, and my heart lifts. Read more…

Come to the Party!

When we hear the invitation to claim our membership in God’s family, it’s like we’ve stumbled onto a Grace Party. We can hardly believe our good fortune. The sights and sounds of it are pure delight. Abundance characterizes the whole shindig. The most delectable manna is falling everywhere, and wine flows as though from an Artesian well. Everyone is eating and drinking endlessly yet not being harmed because this food and wine are not of the world but New Life. And get this: everyone’s invited! Read more…

There Is Another World

A friend has shared his awareness of the life transition toward dying and eventual death he finds himself in now. Big news for us all, and dare I say, “glorious” for the sense of awareness and wonder and something even deeper than acceptance—perhaps “welcome”—that I sense in him at a time when he is beginning to lose his life as he has always known it. What manner of loss is this? A big part of his loss, if I understand him well, includes a deeper sense of well-being than almost ever before in his life. Wow.

When he shared his truth, my fear of losing my mind, my fear of loss of control of my life, my fear of dying this way was lifted. A lot. Now I’m kind of curious: What might become possible for me when it’s my turn to lose the things that have defined me to myself and others all of my life? I’ve been giving this question a lot of thought. Read more…

The Politics of Following Jesus

I’m proud to call myself both a follower of Jesus and a political leftist. I believe that many of my political beliefs—care for the poor, non-violence, political activism, etc—spring directly from the Gospel. But I get tired of the jeremiads against Christian beliefs from my secular left-wing brothers and sisters.

Analyzing right-wing, reactionary politics, too many of the articles and columns in the progressive and radical magazines I read will at some point lambast the Christian Right. And then the lefty columnist can’t resist the temptation to lump together all those who call themselves Christians, as if everyone who believes in God and tries to follow Jesus cares only about preventing gay marriage, and getting prayer into schools.

I can take the occasional lampooning of Christianity but it makes me wonder whether those on the secular left, especially the intelligentsia, realize how many of the foot soldiers for justice and peace are Christians (and people of other religions) whose activism springs directly from their deeply held faith. Read more…

What Kind of Church are We?

When it comes to church and the spiritual life, we tend to think it has to be more complicated than Jesus said. For 2,000 years people have thought up complications and followed them religiously, but too often they miss out on the abundant life, the peace that passes understanding, and the joy that knows no bounds. The reality is, life in Christ is simple, so simple that a child—or a destitute person or a paralyzed person or someone in jail—can have it. Why do we make it so complex? Read more…