If we had eyes to see what really happens in a baptism, we’d treat them as R-rated acts of violence. Not only is a person about to be killed. Not only are we about to witness a drowning. Horrific monsters writhe in the water. Dragons of the sea lurk therein. And a bloody battle, with crushed heads and butchered bodies is about to go down. To treat baptism as cute or sentimental or symbolic is a lie. Abandon all such foolish notions. Every baptism is war.
On Good Friday, Jesus cries out from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Ps 22:1). When you hear those words, what do you think of?
In the most chaotic times of life, we maintain a white-knuckled grip on anything that remains predictable. It might be a close friendship or a gym routine. It might be something simple like how you fold and stack the towels.
Jesus is always many things: always truthful, always faithful, always divine. But he is not always nice.
I remember cradling him in my arms, his blood splashing my coat as I ran home, stumbling through the darkness and the trees and the tears to my boyhood home. His little body shaking. His right front paw a red mass of splintered bone.
The auger spun its way beneath the city street. Red Oklahoma dirt churned at its end. Danny eyed its progress. He had kissed his wife and their two lovely daughters that morning, and drove off to work. "I'll see you tonight, girls. Love y'all."
Tom and Charlie remembered their respective wedding anniversaries in two very different ways. Tom’s way landed him in his wife’s good graces; Charlie’s landed him in the doghouse. Here’s why.
The little psychologist within us is often hard at work to pinpoint the origin of our life’s problems. During marital strife, we sift through everything from sexual proclivities to spending habits to discover the source of our discontent. When raising a rebellious child, we replay every episode in his upbringing to determine where things may have gone awry. We want to know when Pandora’s box was cracked open, introducing mayhem into our lives.