Palm Sunday–the gateway to Holy Week. Which is not only deeply sacred and important and full of all the meaning and all the feelings… but also the busiest week of the year for church folks. Dust the corners, print extra bulletins, shine the brass, eat your Wheaties, and for sure print extra bulletins. Gather early in the narthex and line up all the kids, and start the madness with a parade. We’ve been here before. Which is to say, I’ve… Read more

Wrote this a few weeks ago as a guest post for my friend Sarah, aka Bluegrass Redhead.  Let’s play “I Never.” No, I’m not about to take us down memory lane to a junior high slumber party. I’m talking about examining those things we said we’d “NEVER” do when WE had kids… and then laughing out loud at how naïve/idealistic/very well-rested we were before we became parents. Ha ha. We were adorable. The church I used to serve shared space with a… Read more

No, it wasn’t an Onion article. You read that right. A cathedral in San Francisco—where most people pay more in monthly rent than the working poor make in a year—has installed overhead sprinkler devices in their alcoves. Not for fire safety. But to prevent the homeless from sleeping on their porch. And with no neighborly warning, either.  Like, “Hey, guys, sorry, but we now water the porch every 30 minutes or so, because you’re dirty and gross; so if you… Read more

For Lent, I was going write about Lent. Well and often. And then, I found that I didn’t have much time to write. Which is ironic/telling/poetic–because my Lent sermon series is ABOUT time. How much we have, how much we waste; the blessing and burden of it; the things that hijack our sense of it… Time is complicated and beautiful and holds within its grasp the expanse of human experience and all of creation. We can totally cover that in… Read more

There was a “Kindness Assembly” at my daughter’s school today. One kid from each class was chosen to read an essay about something kind that they did, or a time when someone showed kindness to them. My 6-year-old was chosen from her class. She marched up to that mic like a pro and read her (4-sentence) story. While her friends waved like mad from the Kindergarten section. Don’t get me wrong—I was proud. It is no small thing to stand… Read more

“Really,” he said, “I’m not one for sunflower and birdsong. It’s just too precious, too easy. Gray skies are poetry. Frozen earth is pure scripture. A good blizzard is benediction, with all that black crystal slicing the air… That’s a living color portrait of the soul. It’s all ice and razors in there, you know.” Then Winter shuddered in his thin coat, and drifted off his lonely way. The shadow of himself hovered above the ground, hesitated, and followed after.   The… Read more

“There is a part of the soul that stirs at night, in the dark and soundless times of day, when our defenses are down and our daylight distractions no longer serve to protect us from ourselves. What we suppress in the light emerges clearly in the dusk. It’s then, in the still of life, when we least expect it, that questions emerge from the damp murkiness of our inner underworld.”  –Joan Chittister, Between the Dark and the Daylight. The damp… Read more

Christians love a conversion story. American Christians especially. Kelli Gissendaner’s is a good one. Faith leaders and Christians from across the country have raised an outcry to stay her execution, because of the dramatic transformation she has experienced while behind bars. During her prison stay, she has studied theology; made friends with well-known theologian Jurgen Moltmann; and ministered to fellow inmates, sharing the gospel and her own faith story generously. The pleas go something like this: Since she has come to… Read more

Why did the llamas cross the road? a) To get farther away from Kansas; b) they saw Arpaio coming and they didn’t have their papers; c) they wanted to know what color the dress was REALLY… Listen, Kansas. I know it takes some doing, a real concerted group effort, to be the most backward, most ignorant, most intentionally obtuse state in the union right now, but I’m telling you—IT’S NOT A CONTEST. At least, it’s not one we want to… Read more

The Lord is my shepherd,      whether I like it or not. I shall not want.      Except for a bigger house, a nicer car, a slimmer waistline;      a newer device, a little more power;      and to always, always, every day, be right about everything. He makes me lie down in green pastures      as the world grays with concrete      and browns with toxic fumes           and bleeds with… Read more

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