An Open Table where Love knows no borders

Sermons by Debie Thomas

I’m the author of Into the Mess and Other Jesus Stories: Reflections on the Life of Christ, a collection of essays that explore the life and teachings of Jesus. I’m a columnist and contributing editor for The Christian Century, and from 2014 to 2022, I was a staff writer for Journey with Jesus: A Weekly Webzine for the Global Church. I studied English Literature at Wellesley College and Brown University, and earned an MFA in Creative Writing at Ohio State University. Currently, I serve as the Minister for Lifelong Formation at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Palo Alto, CA.

My husband, Alex, our two “all grown up” children, and our labradoodle, Ruby, love living in sunny California. I was born in Kerala, South India, and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. Like many children of immigrants, I grew up juggling a complicated and often confusing mix of identities: South Asian, New England suburban, evangelical, and feminist. In the murky “in-betweenness” of those identities, I learned that life is far more varied and messy than it is neat or certain, and that faith is not about finding once-and-for-all answers, but about delving deeper and deeper into mystery.

I was a preacher’s kid and a church nerd, but also the annoying little brat who asked all the “wrong” questions about God, faith, doubt, life, and the Bible. I started writing as soon as I learned to read and spell. I was lucky to have a mom who introduced me early to the treasures of language and literature, and writing soon became my way of processing my world. Whenever I felt awed, bewildered, frightened, or joyful, I turned to pen and paper for refuge and grounding, and found that the “Word made flesh” is closer and more loving than I can ever imagine. I suppose not much has changed!

I’m not quite as conflicted as I used to be, but I remain a seeker, an explorer, a believer, and a doubter. I write about faith because faith is both hard and life-giving, both beautiful and bizarre. I write because I don’t know, and because God somehow meets me in that unknowing. I find solace in wrestling and seeking blessing on the page, and I hope that my journey gives others permission to wrestle, too.