Darkness came over the whole land–and we prefer the darkness

As we repeatedly mend the curtain, as we reinforce the barrier with each stitch, we work to make sure the darkness stays. Everyone has heard that, at the moment of Jesus’ crucifixion, darkness came over the whole land. But few seem to know or understand what follows, “At that moment [the moment of Jesus’ death [Read More…]

Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: When Will They Pray? Good Friday Meditations

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: I have visited a number of churches in the last few years. Often I wonder during the services, “When are they going to pray?” Every year on Good Friday, my mom made us sit still for three hours from noon to three. She reminded us that Jesus was on the cross. Why [Read More…]

Life in Death, What Do You Say When . . .

Last week, I was privileged to be the celebrant at a wedding. The groom was in his 80’s and the bride in her 70’s. Both widowed after long and happy marriages, they had found each other and  clicked immediately. I met them and listen to their love stories and to their faith stories. Two honorable [Read More…]

The Two Way Betrayal

It is Holy or Black Saturday and I’m deep in a place of emotional and spiritual pain. Last night, at Tenebrae, as I was leading the service, I saw again the shock of the disciples. I saw their need to flee, their betrayal, and the aloneness of Jesus when he faced his accusers.  My tears [Read More…]

Easter Conversation with God from a Troubled Pastor

Me:  “OK, God, can’t you see that I’m in the midst of doing all this for You?  Look at all the services we’ve planned!  See how creative they are!  We’re doing such a great job telling that Passion Week and Easter story. So, that being the case, how about you take all this other stuff [Read More…]

Hurricane Sandy and The Search for Meaning

The word “normal” will be a long time returning to those in the path of Superstorm Sandy last week.  Lives were lost, many made homeless, power is slow to be restored in multiple areas, schools disorganized, mud and debris cover formerly lovely neighborhoods.  Hardest hit, as always, are the poor and the disabled.  Cold weather [Read More…]

Easter Dates; Easter Thoughts

On Sunday, one of my church members approached me, saying, “I have a column idea for you.” Always on the lookout for help, I eagerly gave him my attention. “Would you please tell me how the date of Easter is calculated? I always know when Christmas is, but never understand when Easter will fall.” Excellent [Read More…]