Posts in the Messages from Chris Category

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Remember the Mountain to Live in the Valley

This coming Sunday we will celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration. The Feast commemorates the moment when Christ took Peter, James, and John up a mountain and was transfigured before their very eyes. In that blessed moment, the end of the story broke into the middle of the story...Read More

Who cares about the Trinity anyway?

Often when we encounter something that we don’t initially understand, there is a tendency to brush it away as irrelevant. “If it truly mattered,” we think, “then I would see its value immediately.” Call this a consequence of a technological and consumer society where immediacy and personal benefit are seemingly synonymous, or call it a quirk of human nature...Read More

Why Pair Beer with Theology?

We believe God made the world and then he gave it to us to cultivate and make. So wheat and barley are good things, but when you put them together with water and yeast, it becomes an even better thing. That’s part of what it means to be human--to take this stuff around us and make something new. I think of theology in that same way...Read More

"Everybody Worships"

Some of you asked for more of the David Foster Wallace quote that I mentioned in last Sunday's sermon. This article provides some context as well as a link to the full text of the address he gave, from which the quote was taken. Hope you enjoy!...Read More

The Experience of Being Christ's Body

Membership is important because we believe that we experience the universal reality of Christ's body, the church, through a local worshiping community. But what does membership at All Saints Dallas mean? In membership class you will hear us talk about the mission of All Saints and about who we sense God has called us to be as a local expression of the body of Christ...Read More

Paying Attention to the (Extra)Ordinary

As it is with most beloved things, my relationship with the book is complicated. I care for it deeply, but it also confuses and frustrates me. At the points where I disagree with it, the book challenges me to rethink fundamental things, things essential to the spiritual life, like the question of our place in the creation and the question of the wildness and violence of that creation. But mostly the book fills me with wonder and awe, the exact sort of things I find happen when you pray things like “Teach me thy ways Lord.”...Read More

Hearts Enlightened to See the Unseen

Beginning this Sunday we will begin to consider Paul’s great letter to the Ephesians. One of Paul’s primary themes in this letter is the identity and role of the church, and as part of this series we will be considering the place of the church in the larger culture. Culture for us, like water for a fish, is the total environment that we find ourselves in. This is something that the Apostle Paul understood all too well...Read More

Clear Eyes and Keen Ears

In the classic pairing of virtues with their corresponding vice, kindness is the flip side of envy. Which is true to a certain extent. It is difficult, after all, to be kind to those we envy. If we begrudge the good that happens to others, it would be pretty hard to turn around in the next moment and ask them how they are with any sincerity. But there are other vices that are the flip side of kindness...Read More

The Earthquake Within

Most people think envy is the same thing as jealousy, but within the theological reflection of the church, they are two distinct things. Whereas jealousy is the inordinate desire to possess those things others have which we do not, envy is the ill-feeling towards those who have what we do not. As Aquinas succinctly put it, envy is “sorrow for another’s good.” By the same token, envy can also be joy for another’s sorrow...Read More

The Greenhouse of Grace

On Ash Wednesday we began our Lenten journey toward Easter. Over the next 40 days, we all have the chance to engage in some self-reflection, some introspection, and as a community, to confess and repent of all those things done and left undone. But this can seem like a scary thing, because self-knowledge often is a scary thing. When you start digging into yourself, who knows what you might find....Read More

Remember Your Baptism

Last year, around this time, I had the privilege of standing with my family and watching my daughter Eleanor be baptized. It was a sacred moment, not only for her, and not only for me and my family, but for everyone there. We all witnessed God’s grace poured out on her and were reminded of the grace God has extended to all of us. We also all stood together and rehearsed our baptismal covenant...Read More

The Journey to Epiphany

For many the beginning of a new year is a time for reflection, a time to take stock of our lives, and to think about the things we might like to change about our ourselves or our circumstances. What many of us hope for, what I hope for at least, is a sudden insight or revelation. I want all the pieces to fit together and for life to make more sense. What I am hoping for is an epiphany...Read More

Advent as Holy Hunger

I used to think I would get to a place in my life where I wasn't waiting for the next thing. I used to believe I would reach some stage, call it adulthood, where I had all the things I hoped for and could just enjoy where I was. After getting married, after having a child, after starting a career in ministry, after buying a house—"whatever the marker, whatever the after, I thought there was stasis on the other side of somewhere...Read More

Filled and Formed: The Goodness of Creation

At creation's height is the mystery of humanity. As image bearers we survey along with God all that he has made and say with him that it is very good. We, as part of the world, are able at one and the same time to be part of creation and to survey, experience, and in some ways understand creation. This is one of the many wonders of our humanity...Read More

The Nature of Desire: A Primer on Christopher West

Over the next few weeks you will hear a lot about the Christopher West conference we are having this Saturday, Oct. 4. You will hear about things like the body and desire and the appetite of the human heart for God. Christopher West's life's work has been to take John Paul II's theology of the body and make it accessible and immediate to the church at large. West believes that this theology of the body offers both a radical and hopeful alternative to prevailing notions about desire in our culture...Read More

Why Morning Prayer Matters

There is a Latin phrase used in the early church that helps us understand some of the importance of Morning Prayer—Lex orandi, lex credendi. It means something like the law of praying is the law of believing, and it describes the reality that there is an intimate relationship between what we pray and what we believe...Read More

Struggle Reframed: Flesh vs. Spirit

In Romans 8:1-11 Paul describes life in the Spirit and describes a different kind of struggle. A struggle nonetheless, but a struggle for those who are no longer condemned (8:1) because they are no longer bound by the “law of sin and death”—"the struggle of those who are now set free by “the law of the Spirit of life” (8:2)...Read More

Community and Providence

I had a chance encounter this week that speaks to the power of community and to the ways in which God can show up in ordinary moments. During our Dinners for 9 meal on Sunday, I had the pleasure to meet Jeff and Melissa Johnson. I didn’t know the Johnsons before Sunday, even though they only lived a few blocks away. But we got to know them over dinner, enjoying the brisket and ribs Jeff had smoked in his Big Green Egg...Read More

Fruitfulness - The Third Thing

Have you ever been in or known someone in a truly dysfunctional relationship? Such relationships can be distorting and disorienting, bending the world in on itself so that the reality of the relationship becomes the only reality there is. Such relationships can be coercive and abusive, leading to the diminishment of the self. In Romans, Paul sees our relationship with sin in such terms...Read More

The Unwavering Faith of Abraham

For Paul, James, the writer of Hebrews, and even Jesus, Abraham is an exemplar of faith. Indeed, Paul calls him the father of all who have faith. This is an amazing legacy, but when we read Abraham’s story in Genesis, and when we encounter him in the midst of his everyday, I don’t imagine that Abraham often felt like he was an exemplar of faith...Read More

Pentecost and the Power of Story

This Sunday, we will remember and celebrate one of the most significant events in the story of the Church and the history of the world—the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. This act of remembering is important. It reminds us of all the ways in which God has fulfilled his promises. God had told his prophets, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, and others, that there would be a day when he would pour out his spirit on all flesh...Read More

Reflections on Becoming a Priest

Even though I have been a Christian most of my life and have been pulled toward ministry for quite awhile, I didn’t grow up Anglican. In fact, even starting seminary about five years ago the thought of Anglican priesthood wasn’t even in my mind. That may seem surprising considering that I was ordained an Anglican priest this past Saturday...Read More