Religion Today

Exploring Hope: ‘In God We Trust’

Psalm 20:7 says, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Now, for people in the modern world, trusting in chariots and horses may sound like a pleasant metaphor. But remember, these were prime examples of human power and might in the ancient world. Therefore, I wonder how David would have written this verse in 2020: ...

 
 

Rabbinic Reflections: New habits

I am a creature of habit. Even my adoption of new technology is habitual. At work, every time we plan something, I ask how we can do it better. Then again, I load and unload the dishwasher just so. I am brand-loyal in my consumerism, and I rely on tried-and-true recipes to get through the week’s meal preparation. My comfort with habits is why I have been drawn to ...

 

Exploring Hope: No good apart from God 

The church I pastor, Hope Presbyterian, is currently praying through the book of Psalms as a response to COVID-19. And as I read Psalm 16, I was struck by these words: "Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you” (Psalms 16:1-2). What does it mean to “have no good” apart from God? Well, imagine a ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Spring transformation

Let me begin by wishing those who celebrate it a Happy Easter. I am guessing, though, that just as Jews had to adjust their expectations and experiences of the Passover seder, Christians will be adjusting to an Easter unlike any that have experienced before. Virtual community, video conference celebrations, and private home ceremonies all lack something important to ...

 

Exploring Hope: In the wake of corona

My monthly article in Chadds Ford Life is all about exploring hope: this is important in our time as we consider the spread of COVID-19 and economic uncertainty. How should we respond to this international crisis? First, we should be smart and proactive, but we don't need to be afraid: God is in control. He loves the world. He gave his Son to redeem the world, and we ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: The Jewish Halloween

How does one explain Purim, the Jewish holiday based on the Book of Esther? My son told me that he told his friends at school that it was the Jewish Halloween, but instead of getting candy, you give it. I started to respond with the ways in which his explanation was off, and then I realized that he was onto something. Especially for people who do not know the ...

 

Exploring Hope: Good news or bad news

If you went out to the street in America and ask people what they think Christianity is all about, you would get a lot of different answers. Some might say that Christianity is about rules and regulations. Others might say that Christianity is about church buildings, robes, and ceremonies. Others might say that Christianity is about bigotry and holding on to outdated ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Mystery and majesty

“It is like spring, but I could do without the rain,” he said. I responded, “April showers bring May flowers.” He quickly retorted, “Yeah, but it is February!” Indeed, the weather has been unseasonably warm, and for all the wet, it has left us bereft of snow. Birds and plants seem to be returning despite the calendar. It is supposed to be winter here, how can nature ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: #JewishandProud

More than 90,000 Jews on New Year’s Day gathered in MetLife Stadium and 20,000-plus last Sunday in a Solidarity March against Anti-Semitism crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. What do these gatherings have in common? They both exemplify deeply Jewish attitudes about Jewish life in a world where hatred of the Jews is all too real. One the one hand, the first gathering ...

 

Exploring Hope: Don’t mock the carols

You sit in Starbucks while Christmas carols play in the background. You go to the grocery store and hear “Joy to the World” humming softly through bad speakers. Carols are ubiquitous at this time of year. And for some, this is great. You love Christmas carols and want to start playing them before Thanksgiving (something that was anathema in my family growing up). But ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Light in our hands

I count myself lucky that I was not further north for my Thanksgiving road trip; 1,500 miles was quite enough with three kids and no snow. While they were watching the Star Wars movies in order in anticipation of episode IX later this month, I was attuned to how little daylight we had for them to even see something out the window. Add a rainy day and there was even ...