Author: Jennifer Woodruff Tait

Jennifer Woodruff Tait (PhD, Duke University) is the editor of and frequent contributor to Life for Leaders. She is also the managing editor of Christian History magazine and web editor for the Theology of Work Project, and a priest in the Episcopal Church. She has written a book of poetry, Histories of Us. Jennifer lives in Berea, Kentucky, with her husband, Edwin, and their two daughters.

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Beautifully painted eggs on a blue glass plate

Yes, Virginia, There is a Sunday After Easter

Even as we are recovering from Holy Week’s liturgy marathon—even as we are trying to bring the message of Easter to our daily life and work—even as we doubt and wonder and pray and look for continued transformation—Jesus is with us.

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A circular stained glass window with Jesus in the middle and light streaming from him

The Light of the World

When faced with hunger, blindness, death, fear, and confusion—of our own making or outside of our control, in our individual lives or in the life of the world—we have a Savior who is our mighty help.

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A stained glass window featuring a chalice, host, cross, crown of thorns, and Latin inscription

The Lent-iest Lent I Have Ever Lented

It is the Lord who restores our soul, who walks through the valley with us, who spreads a table before us.

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A man sitting on top of an observation deck on top of Sugarloaf Mountain

The Holy Mountain, Part 2

It is good for us to see Christ manifest in all his glory. It is good for us to worship and to know the eternal stakes of our present moment. It is also good for us to go back down from the mountaintop experience and see what comes next.

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Snowy mountain peaks in the Alps seen from inside Eismeer train station

The Holy Mountain, Part 1

Lead holy lives, be at peace, grow in grace and knowledge, and above all wait for the coming of Christ, the age to come “when righteousness is at home” (2 Peter 3:13). Really, that’s not a bad to-do list as we strive to follow and fulfill the call of Christ.

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A bike chained to an old bridge in Amsterdam that is covered with colorful flowers

Something Old, Something New

As you look for manifestations of God’s glory during the weeks after Epiphany, remember that some of them may surprise you because you would never have thought to look for God in a new place—and some of them may surprise you because you never would have thought to look for God in an old place.

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A crucifix on a bunch of lilacs

The Foolishness of the Cross

If we place Christ at the center, everything else will fall into place.

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A nativity scene with Joseph, Mary, and a wise man bending over the Baby Jesus

Patris Æterni Verbum Caro Factum

May the Word of the Eternal Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, be made flesh for you this Christmas.

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A Christmas tree seen in close-up with a golden ball hanging on it and stockings hung by the fireplace behind it

Where is This Stupendous Stranger?

How could the God who created heaven and earth be the God who lies in a manger? How could our Redeemer be a tiny baby? In fact, how could his being a tiny baby—experiencing everything in life that we experience, yet without sin—be part of what makes him our Redeemer? No matter how many words I say about this marvelous fact, they all fall short of explaining it.

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A round stained glass window showing Jesus with outstretched arms

The One Who is to Come

Despite what John the Baptist could see from his prison cell, and what we can see as we look out at a war-torn, plague-weary world, Jesus assures us that the present evil age is, in fact, over. He knows it is over because he inaugurated the age to come himself.

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A river running through a rocky area with a green forest behind

The Age to Come

It is true that a mighty judgment is coming. It is also true that a mighty beautiful new world has been promised us in its place.

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A church with the words "Jesus Saves" on its bell tower

Be Ready (Part 2)

We cannot control the timing of Christ’s Second Advent, nor can we control the movements of the Holy Spirit. What we can control is our own behavior: our own readiness, our own desire to be a disciple, our own prayer life, our own daily practices. We can use this Advent to grow closer to Christ.

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A woman standing on the seashore looking into a sunrise

Be Ready (Part 1)

Wake from sleep, be ready, and live honorably, Paul writes to the Romans—and to us—because you never know when the day of Christ’s coming, so near for so long, will finally arrive.

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A man on a street corner with a sign that says "The Beginning is Near"

The Beginning is Near

Jesus came once, and he is coming again. In the midst of the darkness our Lord offers us hope. Not escape, but hope. The beginning is near.

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A man looking in the window of an expensive bakery

Jesus is Coming; Look Busy!

I don’t know if, as you’re reading these words, you are poor or rich, tired or energetic, flourishing or beaten down. I do know that I serve a Christ who offers grace and who does not want me to look busy in order to love me.

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