Christ in the Stranger's Guise

As the lark says in her song: Often, often, often goes the Christ in the stranger’s guise
— Celtic Rune of Hospitality

Not long ago, I came across a Celtic saying that I thought I’d share with you: “Often, often, often, goes the Christ in the stranger’s guise.”

The saying is a part of a longer poem called a “rune,” and it’s quite old, dating back to a time before the alphabet we now use had taken root in Ireland.  But the message, of course, is older still.

Caring for Self -- For God's Sake

The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,‘One does not live by bread alone,but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
— Matthew 4:3-4

Recently I was asked to share some thoughts about Matthew 4:1-11, the story of Christ’s Temptation, and I thought I’d share just a bit of that with you. In this story, we find the importance of loving yourself—but not for selfish reasons. Much the opposite, Jesus shows us the importance of loving and caring for yourself for God’s sake, and the sake of others.

Sin is Broken Relationship

Adam’s sin is the sin of attempting to violate God’s person, of wanting a goal (to be like God) outside the end of being in relationship with God, walking in the evening breeze of the garden (Gen. 3:8), simply being together and sharing in God’s person.
— Andrew Root

Recently, a book by Andrew Root has helped me to think about sin and its effects in a new light.  In the following reflection on the story of Adam and Eve, Root describes how Adam’s sin problem is really a relationship problem.  Satan’s trick is to get Adam to chase a shortcut to “being like God,” which is what Adam (rightly) wants to be...

Wounds Like Canyons Deep

The more I think about loneliness, the more that I think that the wound of loneliness is like the Grand Canyon—a deep incision on the surface of our existence which has become an inexhaustible source of beauty and self-understanding.
— Henri Nouwen
 Photo: sharefaith.com

Photo: sharefaith.com

What makes the Christian hope special is not that it takes away pains like loneliness or sadness, but instead that it allows us to share them with one another in a way that accentuates the beauty in our struggles...