Perfecting Love

If God is love, then God is something we do, rather than somebody or something we try to believe in. If God is love, then God is a relationship, and not a Guy in the Sky or some other kind of supernatural entity. If God is love, God is nothing to fear. If God is love, when we really love someone – even of another religion, or of no religion at all – God is in that relationship, blessing it. So these three words wipe away all the theological debates about science and common sense versus religion. These three words sweep away the problem of evil, the perennial conundrum of how an all-powerful God could love people while allowing horrible things to happen to them. If God is love, then God is not in charge of the universe. Love is extremely powerful, but it is not directive. Love does not force anybody to do anything, nor to force anything to do anything to anybody. If God is love, then God is omni-attractive, not omni-potent.

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Peace is Like Warm Syrup

I think each of us is born with a place of grace, a spot free of regret, disappointment, fear, shame and loneliness. To me it’s that untouched place from which is birthed love, joy, compassion, kindness and peace. Throughout our lifetime though, this place can become clouded over and we may lose touch with it from being wounded and hardened by life. Yet this place of pure grace remains untouched. Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, defines peace as harmony and tranquility derived from the awareness of the Christ, or unitive, consciousness. I believe it is known by many names including what is called Atman, Oneness, Buddha Nature, Tao, and what Jesus called Love, and we embody it when we become aware and awaken this consciousness, known as our Most Noble Self.

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3 Lessons of Revolutionary Love in a Time of Rage

What’s the antidote to rising nationalism, polarization and hate? In this inspiring, poetic talk, Valarie Kaur asks us to reclaim love as a revolutionary act. As she journeys from the birthing room to tragic sites of bloodshed, Kaur shows us how the choice to love can be a force for justice.

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Going Where We’ve Never Been

The turning of the calendar is meaningless in many ways. What really matters is how much of the past dominates our minds. Entering a new year can be powerful if we first set aside our resentments and pain of past disappointments and hurts. Moving into the future can be a time to discover new worlds, new friendships, new love.

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Church Confession

I am the church, and this is my confession.  My last confession was 500 years ago.  I have oppressed women and kept them out of leadership positions.  I have oppressed gay and lesbian people.  I have judged people pointlessly for having normal sexual urges and relationships, treating sex like a disease instead of lifting it up as a precious gift from God. 

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What Type of Kindness Will Make You Happy?

For World Kindness Day, we wanted to know what type of kind act brings the most happiness. The results are in and may surprise you!

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What Child is This: A Christmas at Bremmer’s Novel

When a baby is abandoned on the loading dock of the second-largest Christmas store in the world, it kicks off a heartwarming mystery that will fill you with the Christmas spirit.

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Maybe God is Too Big

Belief is giving of one’s mind, faith is giving of one’s heart – this is focusing on the smallness of God. Like I said, maybe God is too big sometimes. If so, then start practicing the smallness by the giving of your heart – to yourself, to a loved one, a stranger, and the one unrepeatable moment just barely in the peripheral vision of your world.

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Christians Knowing Christians Without Agenda

I don’t need or want to change you. But I ought to get to know you. After all, we both profess to follow this same guy Christ. And we inhabit the same public spaces. As a Christian, part of my responsibility is to at the very least get to know Christians of other stripes and build positive relationships, perhaps even mutually-beneficial relationships, whenever possible. Many Christians are already doing this.

And sometimes in doing this I pause and say to myself… “I actually like that you are different from me…. it gives me a chance to learn something new and see things differently.” And maybe somewhere in this we find the miracle of the unity we already have—and a taste of the unity to come.

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On the 50th Anniversary of Thomas Merton’s Death

Monday, December 10th marks the 50th anniversary of Thomas Merton’s death—which has now been confirmed as a martyr’s death by the recent solid and important investigative study, The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton by Hugh Turley and David Marin (as well as by my own encounters over the years with three CIA agents who were in Southeast Asia at the time).

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An evening with Michelle

First Lady Michelle Obama swept into Beantown Saturday as part of the national book tour promoting her memoir “Becoming” that was held at the TD Garden. The evening before the event, my spouse and I were gifted front row seats.

OMG! the event was simply magical. And, the audience was wildly excited.

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Mysticism and Social Action: The Spirituality of Howard Thurman

Activism is at the heart of progressive theology. The way of Jesus is both personal and social. Jesus’ embodiment of prophetic spirituality was reflected in his welcome of the marginalized, affirmation of women, expansion of the scope of salvation and ethical concern to include foreigners and the disinherited, and challenge to narrow purity codes which promoted exclusion. Jesus proclaimed that the “spirit of the Lord” was upon him, and this meant the healing of the social order as well as people’s religious lives.

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Who We Are – Gungor Video

Growing up as a Christian and an American, I always had a sense that I was on the good team. I was told our country was founded on ideals like freedom and justice for all. I was told our faith in Jesus led us to be the salt and light of the world. We were the sheep, not the goats. We were the ones who welcomed the stranger. Took care of the widow and the orphan.

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Kicking Back Against Homophobia

“What does it mean to be queer and what does that say about your relationship with God?” An interview with Pamela Lightsey.

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Terrorism: Playing with Numbers

I was in a debate recently with some friends about the NFL protests over police brutality. Some folks were saying there are no structural injustices in the police force. Rather, they argued there are some isolated “bad apples” who do bad things. The incidents may be bad, but the number of them is not statistically large when you look at a nation of 300 million (I’m paraphrasing a bit here).

Numbers can be funny. You can get them to say all sorts of things.

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A GLOBAL INTERFAITH COALITION CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE CEASEFIRE AND ADMINISTRATION OF AID IN YEMEN

Yemen is a nation in crisis. The impoverished country is facing a humanitarian crisis of mammoth proportions, including a devastating famine, in an ongoing civil war that is exacerbated by a scourge of religious violence. There is no time to spare in working to assist more than 3 million Yemenis that are displaced within the country, and over 280,000 who have sought refuge in other countries.

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Gratitude in a Time of Grief

A sparrow was in her tree singing to the dawn. But before the song was complete, a spark somewhere flashed and a tree somewhere ignited. Because the forest was dry, the fire spread from tree to tree faster than though. The whole forest seemed to explode in flame.

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Home by Another Way: A Christmas Story

This enchanting Christmas story by beloved author and preacher Barbara Brown Taylor follows the three wise men on their world-changing journey to Bethlehem. In this beautiful retelling of their adventure, Taylor captures the power of one very special star and gives readers a new perspective on the three wise men and their encounters with King Herod, Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus. Home by Another Way: A Christmas Story features breathtaking artwork from illustrator Melanie Cataldo and is perfect for gift-giving. Ideal for children ages 8-10.

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