04 May 2018

Empty Hands

I want to hold my worth in my hands; to trace my accomplishments in gilded letters on spine and cover; to smell them in ink and paper.   But my desire is a dream awakened, and all I can trace are tears of shame, that I have nothing to hold out in offering but empty hands.   Empty hands—not clenched fists, angry, or grasping at given gifts; Empty hands, ready to hold another’s, to serve,

Johanna Byrkett 0
09 Mar 2018

What if the Season is Barren?

They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper. —Psalm 1:3, The Living Bible   What if the season is barren rather than bearing? How if the leaves have curled and the river has curved away—away from from this tree, empty?   “Empty? Why art thou empty?” Asks the Spirit-wind, rustling through parchèd leaves. “Have you ceased to delight

Johanna Byrkett 0
20 Jan 2015

The Religious Atheists: Community, Ritual, and Dogma in a Secular Age

The Sunday Assembly is an odd bird, exhibiting something of a contradiction in its very existence-”free thinking,” and yet congregational, “scientific” and yet worshipful, “non-doctrinal” yet “We are born from nothing.” The Sunday Assembly represents an attempt to plunder the goods of institutionalized religion while still attempting to stay outside of it. Despite its best efforts, this article will argue that the Sunday Assembly does indeed represent institutionalized religion within the three points of community, ritual, and dogma. Unfortunately, the “celebration” of the Sunday Assembly appears empty, resulting in an unfortunate parody of the riches of the real Body of Christ. Reflecting on the existence of the Sunday Assembly, like eating tofu and yearning for filet mignon, should have Christians rejoice in the good news in the true assembly.

George Aldhizer 9
21 Jul 2014

A Shell Dishabited

The rumble of thunder reverberates off the foothills. Damp pine scent laces the air. A trio of squirrels seek refuge in the spruce that touches the sky with its tip-top branches. This is the stillness of the very first Summer Saturday–my day of solitude and sleep, of caramel-filled chocolate and endless mugs of PG Tips. It is a fairy sort of daylight, ripe for reading Phantastes or Lord of the Rings. I can see sunlight slanting

Johanna Byrkett 0