Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am NOT good at waking up early in the morning. I could naturally sleep every day until 11 a.m. I suspect. Obviously, that is NOT an option on Sunday mornings. We have a meeting each Sunday at 7:30 a.m. to discuss the liturgies for the day and to make sure all of the clergy are prepared for their specific duties. So, as painful as it is, I actually enjoy being up early on Sunday and driving to church because I really love listening to Krista Tippett’s show, On Being, on NPR. The guests seem to cross the entire spectrum of belief. This past Sunday, she had on an atheist who eventually got around to talking about all of the good things that can come from religion.

The week before, Tippett interviewed a doctor who was studying the map of the brain and how space forms our awareness of spirituality. She spoke specifically about the great Gothic cathedrals of the world and how they stimulate so many of our senses. This same neurologist shared her findings about how the more our senses are stimulated in worship, the more memorable the worship experience becomes. She argued for lots of use of color, of movement, of touching one another, of using incense, and of listening to the sounds made in music. It was a captivating interview.

A little over a month ago, Tippett replayed an interview she did with Nadia Bolz-Weber. I was so engrossed in this interview, that I sat in my car outside of the church, knowing that I would be late for the 7:30 meeting, to try to hear as much of it as possible. Do you know of this woman? She seems to be suddenly popping up everywhere. Her unique approach to Christianity, along with her non-traditional appearance, seem to be bringing new people into the Christian faith. She appeared last night in Washington DC, but unfortunately, the event was sold out just shortly after tickets were made available. I don’t want to try and define her beliefs and approaches, but I encourage you to look her up online. You can view webcasts of some of her church’s worship services. Surprisingly, she loves good liturgy and is always looking for ways to incorporate the ancient practices of the church into her post-modern Denver fellowship of believers. I particularly enjoyed her speaking about how she is now struggling to deal with all of the ‘normal’ people that are flocking to her church. She feels most at home amongst the outcast and marginalized. When white men wearing business suits accompanied by their wives in beautiful floral dresses started showing up at church, Bolz-Weber felt like she must be doing something wrong.

What listening to this radio show has taught me is that marvelous breadth of spirituality, and how people can find the sacred in some of the strangest places. But, it’s also caused me to begin looking in unfamiliar places and thinking of where I see God in this world.