Classic and contemporary excerpts.

Unending gift

In the night when his people betrayed him—the night of intensest enmity—the dear Lord Jesus said, “This is my blood of the covenant, poured out for many.” Then! Can we comprehend the joining of two such extremes, the good and the evil together? In the night of gravest human treachery he gave the gift of himself. And the giving has never ceased. The holy communion continues today.

Walter Wangerin, Jr., in

Reliving the Passion

Sin’s opposite

We live under the illusion that if we can acquire complete control, we can understand God, or we can write the great American novel. But the only way we can brush against the hem of the Lord, or hope to be part of the creative process, is to have the courage, the faith, to abandon control.

For the opposite of sin is faith, and never virtue, and we live in a world which believes that self-control can make us virtuous. But that’s not how it works.

—Madeleine L’Engle in

Walking on Water

Nothing more to do

There are only two kinds of religion in the world.… You can list every “ism,” every cult, every religion in southern California under one category. They all say, “Do, do, do.” Only Christianity says, “Done.” Christ has done it all.

J. Vernon McGee, from

The Best of J. Vernon McGee

Imprisoned by money

One sees what happens when the hearts of individuals, and of societies, become seduced by money. It is an ugly, but also a completely pathetic sight. Is it sane that one’s happiness should depend on the strength of the dollar, or the price of gold, or the mystic number of the Dow Jones index?… If money is our god, and money worries are allowed to be dominant in our lives, we shall always be the prisoner of our treasure.

A. N. Wilson in

How Can We Know?

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