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We turned our face. We despised him. We esteemed him stricken by God and afflicted. And it wasn’t the truth.

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Our culture does not do well with sad.

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I am not sure my faith is as big as Victor Lee Austin, Leonard Cohen, the author of the “Book of Job,” the prophet Jeremiah, the apostle Paul, Jean Pierre de Caussade, or even Terrence Malick.

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On Wednesday 21 September Leonard Cohen turned 82.

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In the beautiful sermon based on the Book of Job that Terrence Malick places at the heart of his brilliant film “The Tree of Life” the preacher wrestles with the reality of the tragic brokenness we all experience in life and in the end affirms the presence and power of love. 

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Fear is the ground in which anger, bitterness, resentment, and the destruction of human community fester, producing a plant which seldom bears life-giving fruit.

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What makes people generous?

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Language gets us into trouble when we fail to understand that all words are symbolic. The richness of symbols is that they deal in nuance and multiple meanings; they are not precise and seldom command universally shared understanding.

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There is a lovely irony to the fact that no one really understands how the English language got the word “understand.”

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In case you are weary of my ramblings on “The Tree of Life”, at least skip to the bottom of this post where you will find a transcript of Malick’s stirring sermon from the film.


Terrence Malick writes great sermons; at least he wrote a great sermon for “The Tree of Life.” The Job sermon to which the O’Brien family listen in church on a Sunday morning, is a profound piece of theology, a beautiful piece of poetry, and a deep well of spiritual wisdom and insight.
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You have set my feet in a spacious place ~ Psalm 31:8

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