I recently read a beautiful novel called The Lovely War. On the surface it's a fairly typical story about the strength of love amid the ravages of war. What sets it apart from similar stories is that the chapters are narrated from the varying perspectives of different Greek gods: Aphrodite (Love), Ares (War), Apollo (Creativity … Continue reading Archetypes
One of the great archetypes of world literature is the Quest: one hero given a mission to do something that seems impossible, whether that’s to conquer the unconquerable enemy, or scale the unscalable mountain. It’s such a stirring trope to the human imagination that it forms the basis of the Hero’s Journey, the universal narrative … Continue reading The Great Quest (A Reflection on Deuteronomy 30.11-14)
There’s an old episode of The Simpsons in which Homer, having sold his soul for a donut, is brought to Hell. Specifically, he is taken to Hell’s “Ironic Punishment Division,” where he is force fed donuts for all eternity. Of course, being Homer J. Simpson, the joke is on the demons: he goes on happily … Continue reading By Our Own Words (A reflection on Luke 19.11-28)
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been obsessed. Pretty much every spare moment I’ve had has been spent studying, reading about, and wrestling with a particular story from the Hebrew Bible: Jehu’s rebellion in 2 Kings 9-10. A strange thing for me to be obsessing over, I know. It’s a violent mess of a … Continue reading Stories Matter.
Endings are arbitrary and illusory. “The End” is never really the end. Just think of most of our conventional story endings: the guy gets the girl, the hero saves the day, “they lived happily ever after,” and the underdog comes out on top — none of these are actual endings at all: the guy may … Continue reading Endings (A reflection on Mark 16)