Posts By This Author

Palmed, Passionate Drama

by Colin Mathewson 03-30-2012
Palm Cross on Bible, Cheryl Casey/

Palm Cross on Bible, Cheryl Casey/

The Bible is steeped in drama.  Consider Jesus’ bold reading of Isaiah in the synagogue (Lk. 4:18-19), or Solomon’s liturgy climaxing in the LORD’s glory filling the temple (1 Ki. 8).  Paul may have directed a performance of Jesus’ death: “It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly exhibited as crucified!” (Gal. 3:1c). Dramatic structure serves to sharpen our focus and draws us into narrative as imagined and experienced co-conspirators.

Within the Episcopal Church’s liturgical corpus no service may be more deeply involving than that of Palm Sunday.  To begin, the congregation gathers outside the church.  Palm fronds are distributed.  Then the priest reads the opening prayer: “Assist us mercifully with your help, O Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy upon the contemplation of those mighty acts, whereby you have given us life and immortality.”  But perhaps “upon the contemplation on” ought to be replaced with “by our participation in.”  We’ll soon see why.

The Bookends of Life

by Colin Mathewson 07-26-2011

There's something special about the bookends of our lifetimes. I became a first-time father seven months ago and a hospice chaplain just one month past. Growing up and growing old, especially the first and last months of our lives, can be surprisingly similar experiences.

I fed my daughter sweet potatoes for the first time last night. Introducing her to solid foods has been a treat. While we're trying our best to teach her the sign language words for "food", "more", and " all done", Robin still finds closed-mouth grumble-whines to be the best way to let us know she thinks sweet potatoes aren't all that hot. Another subtly nuanced whine might instead wonder, "You don't happen to have any more mashed banana or applesauce around, would you?" My attempt to turn the filled spoon into an acrobatic and roaring airplane met with scant success.

Another World is Possible

by Colin Mathewson 09-01-2007
Learning from the grassroots at the U.S. Social Forum.

Faith and the Social Forum

by Colin Mathewson 09-01-2007

More than 10,000 labor, environmental, and social justice activists from across the country converged on Atlanta in late June for the first U.S. Social Forum.

A Calm, Hopeful Fire

by Colin Mathewson 06-01-2007

No one person, and yet seemingly every person in on the planning of this event, was in charge.