14 Dec 2018

The Splendor of Light

If I may approach the subject of sacred music without diving into the worship wars, a recent time of personal devotion reminded me of one of the aspects of worship music I particularly appreciate. That is, songs which tickle my brain, allowing me to continue pondering God’s nature after the music has stopped, the service is over, and I am back into the grind of the everyday week. One such song is the hymn Immortal

Jeff Reid 0
16 Nov 2018

The Passing of the Shadow

In the gloaming across the sere grass I see a shadow roaming up the hill, across the loam I see the dark shape pass.   Golden evening light has given way to misty twilight, the shadow’s flight (or was it descent?) lost in grey.   Who was it walked that hill? Who was it passed by without seeing— the porch, the cat sleeping still?   And who, indeed, let their shade-self walk across the bare

Johanna Byrkett 0
06 Dec 2017

Advent

Advent Heavy lay the snow the last warm breath just lingering inside our gloves next to fatigue it slowed and chilled me and my brothers toying with a seam at winter’s hem until the cold was far too much we stumbled home and stood like living clouds of steam our thrown scarves garlands for the railing and the chairs Mother I even began to feel afraid when the last light topped its arc those slender

Daniel Hyland 0
08 Nov 2017

All the Secrets

All the Secrets You don’t believe me, look there, part the grass, he’s walking through the kitchen in his shirt you laugh he’ll hear you and come looking. He keeps (I saw it from a faded picture snagged at midnight on a full-waned moon a solitary awning’s bulb the best light going) a frog that talks, oh yes I mean it don’t you say I lied, I’ve heard it croak a choked horn’s wheeze that

Daniel Hyland 0
19 Jul 2017

Like So Many Things

Like So Many Things Through invisible fissures bones invested the jelly and were spooled around with veins that traced a floating scaffolding of fibers, twitching with electricity, suffused with untouched blood newly made for this alone. This new being is like a heron perched on the concrete box that catches the beach after the hurricane swept away the sand. How still he stands before he lifts into the heavy air, rolling his wings once and

Daniel Hyland 0
05 Jul 2017

Her Play

Her Play Vroom-vroom! Pushing a toy bus she disturbs my thoughts’ quiet with her prattle. I’d have lain untroubled as a mule slipped from the halter, tugging up the roots of clover with their tangled clods hung unmeaning, broken up and shifting down my chin. I would have missed seeing the day intrude through the shutters, shining here and there between her shoulders and her golden hair, the light as clear as language when she

Daniel Hyland 0
09 Jun 2017

Sorrow and Stars

Last light is leaping from hill to hill spilling like liquid from an upset cup, A golden haze spreading o’er rock and rill until, until, until the valley has its fill and the glory thins and wavers and is taken up     The clouds’ creamy bronze hues drain clear, drop by drop—suddenly they run ashen grey in an eye-blink, in the drip of a tear giving way to darkness, uncertainty, and fear as the

Johanna Byrkett 1
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/
10 May 2017

Soli Deo Gloria

Soli Deo Gloria    John 6:56-58 Soli Deo God alone gloria glory untouchable yet the light Comes down to this particular place all gathered and acclaiming With one voice one eternal song one renewal of one Face All light creating here that City without darkness this Word The City’s light Himself the small white votive candles and the liturgy Our prayers another voice the single Word resounding as light Giving each new birth each grace

Daniel Hyland 1
26 Apr 2017

The stars all started going out

The stars all started going out You slowly exhaled. The wind crept, twisting through the sloping grass spanning away beneath miles of power lines. From your mouth, the smoke curled over its own shadows, dull blue on thick white under the moon. “What if the stars all started going out one by one–” I saw filaments crackling their last fits inside glass bulbs–“until they all were dark.” Another slow glow as you took another draw–the

Daniel Hyland 0
09 Dec 2016

Adventus

Time dawned and chaos was made order, man came alive within a garden’s border, within the garden’s border man died when he disobeyed God and bowed to pride. Darkness and chaos twined the world ’round, but with the curse a promise was found, up would grow a tender young shoot; A King would rise from Jesse’s root. A King would rise like light in the dark, One unbranded by sin’s cruel mark, to free his

Johanna Byrkett 1
11 Nov 2016

Swallowing Light

i am alive. i am awake. i am aware of what [life] tastes like.1 It tastes like meteors. Like sunshine spilling warmth over me as I lie on a mound of wood chips. Like black currant tea and dark chocolate. Like thought-full and heart-felt conversations. Like fear from a film—and fear of the unknown. Like crisp autumn air, scented by leaves crunched. Like solitude under the moon. Like sorrow piercing my heart. And it tastes

Johanna Byrkett 0
helluniversalism
10 Nov 2016

Round Table: Hell and Universalism

If “God so loved the world” (John 3:16) and “desires that all be saved” (2 Tim 2:4), how are Christians to make sense of hell? Is hell undoubtedly eternal (as passages like Matt 25:41 suggest), or is it possible that God’s Love will eventually conquer even the staunchest of resisting wills? What is the role of doctrine about hell in living the Christian life, in training new Christians, or in proclaiming the Gospel?  Today our

Various 11
28 Oct 2016

Squirrel Life

A pair of squirrels is playing tag in the autumn sun: around the fir, across my porch, over my roof. They flirt their tails and chirrup, they thunder boldly through the day, through life. Perhaps I envy them their simple lives—unworried about elections or the future. Yet, the squirrel can’t think about the fact that it is a squirrel. It can’t wonder what the purpose of its life is or if it matters in the

Johanna Byrkett 0
16 Sep 2016

Unforced Rhythms of Grace

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”1 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out

Johanna Byrkett 4
22 Jul 2016

Through the Cracks

Violence cracks our world, leaves lives black and blue emptier than when day broke, leaves lives numb and days grey   Shadows crawl stealthily, silently blotting the beauty that our eyes can only see by the sun’s bright rays   Darkness is like a shroud, clothing our dying senses too poisoned to see value in life or how gaping death is   Hope seems like a dream in the inky night, intangible, unreal, a delusive

Johanna Byrkett 1
12 Feb 2016

Introit: Entrance

(Lent: Week One) Chill and dank Is my soul —Emotions, mind, will— Closed, under ground; I’m hiding here In my sin Frustrated, and unsure How to escape Holy Doors barred, Soul windows shuttered In many here Sitting on pews Or kneeling down Before the altar In rote movements Receiving the Eucharist Ancient doors: Open! Fling wide all The heart gates And enter in! King of Glory, Illumine what in Me is dark— Be my Liberty

Johanna Byrkett 0
01 Jan 2016

God Is with Us

Christmastide is here. Here. Now. This is Christmas. Though the world is weary and rejoicing to have limped through ‘the holidays’, many traditions have just begun celebrating Christmastide after forty days of darkness and fasting. The season of light has dawned, culminating in a day whose very name means manifest or revelation. Light does that very thing, it shows us what we would have walked right past in the darkness; it reveals the shapes we

Johanna Byrkett 0
04 Dec 2015

Waiting is Not Wasted

Waiting. We do a lot of waiting at this time of year. We queue up to buy gifts—and to mail them. We wait for Amazon orders to arrive in the post. We wait in airports, traffic, and coffee shops. We wait for Christmas break to wrest us from our studies, our work, our loneliness. Sometimes we wait at a tremendous pace, as if filling our days with work or parties or consumer pursuits will make

Johanna Byrkett 1
23 Oct 2015

A Christian Defense of Dark Films

As a filmgoer whose personal tastes run toward the eccentric and the macabre (Guillermo del Toro and Darren Aronofsky are two of my favorite directors), I’ve seen plenty of films that fall into the “horror” or “dark thriller” category. It saddens me that this genre is often written off by persons of faith as crude and crassly exploitative, and I’ve written elsewhere about the fascinating theological implications that lie beneath its grim exterior. Thus, inspired

John Ehrett 2
12 Oct 2015

Become Merciful

“Become merciful (it says in the Greek) even as your Father is merciful.” There is movement and action. The word become implies change and growth and development. God is merciful and loving and He never changes. We are the ones who are changeable. The scary thing is that we have the same potential to become unmerciful as we have to become merciful. We are Orthodox Christians. I am very comfortable with that statement. I am also comfortable with

Fr Gregory Owen 1