One billboard outside Sandusky, Ohio

Each year my wife and I attend St. Bartholomew’s three-hour Good Friday service.  Each year I wonder how on earth I will sit through three hours of music, extended periods of silent prayer, readings on the seven last words of Christ, and a homily on each.  Each year the time disappears.

“Do not be afraid…”

Today I find myself in the Holy Land—on a pilgrimage.  This is not my first pilgrimage, nor, do I suspect, will it be my last.  Moreover, this is my 5th or 6th time visiting many of the sites on this trip.  Yet, each visit is a little different.  Each visit challenges and rewards me inContinue reading ““Do not be afraid…””

What kind of person does God want me to become in 2018?

Christmas decorations tend to linger around our house until Ash Wednesday.  I’m always reluctant to sweep them away too quickly after December 25th.  After all, there are twelve days of Christmas—it’s a season not a day.  Certainly any decorations associated with the Three Kings have their place in our home through Epiphany.   Those whoContinue reading “What kind of person does God want me to become in 2018?”

Fanfare for the Common Man

For the last several years my wife and I have marked the passing of one year into the next with a quiet dinner, sometimes with friends, sometimes just the two of us, followed by an 11 p.m. organ concert at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church here in New York City.  The program for the concert variesContinue reading “Fanfare for the Common Man”

Twenty characteristics that make a genius

In keeping with my desire to observe Advent by seeking out beauty (see my November 28th post) and my fascination with Salvator Mundi (see my November 14th post), I just finished reading Walter Isaacson’s masterful and insightful biography of Leonardo Da Vinci.   Isaacson concludes his book by identifying twenty characteristics that make a genius.Continue reading “Twenty characteristics that make a genius”

Servants of God: St. Nicholas & Bishop Paul Jones

On Wednesday, December 6th, Episcopal Relief & Development, the organization I have the privilege of leading, marks the anniversary of its founding. It also happens to be St. Nicholas Day. That is a happy coincidence and provides an opportunity to reflect on the values that shaped St. Nicholas’ life and inform the work of EpiscopalContinue reading “Servants of God: St. Nicholas & Bishop Paul Jones”

Five Advent Lessons

This Sunday, the First Sunday in Advent, will mark a new liturgical year. We tend to gloss over that in our culture, focused as we are on the big event: Christmas Day. However, Advent is one of the places where one can feel God at work in the world. Here are five ways to makeContinue reading “Five Advent Lessons”

Salvator Mundi

On Wednesday morning I met Christ on my way to work.  If you want to catch him, he is currently at Christie’s auction house in New York City until Wednesday, November 15th at noon.  After that no one knows where he will go.  Stop by if you have a chance.

Finding God on the other side of Halloween

Let us stipulate that God seems very far from the commercial extravaganza that now surrounds Halloween.  I am much more likely to find God on the other side of Halloween, on November 1st, when we observe All Saints’ Day.   All Saints’ Day is a day to remember all of the saints who have passed throughContinue reading “Finding God on the other side of Halloween”

Binge Watching for God (Part One)

One of my vices is binge watching foreign television series on Netflix or Amazon.  I’m not proud of this.  Most of the time it’s cotton candy for the mind.  But sometimes, when you least expect it, you find God.