April 6, 2020

XXIII. THE CENTER IS EVERYWHERE (4/6) “Cleave the Wood and I am There” (Gospel of Thomas, 77) One of my favorite sayings comes from various sources including Bonaventure and Nicolas of Cusa: “God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” This wisdom reminds us that we are in the center of God’s care. The practical meaning of divine omnipresence is that God is everywhere and one of those “everywheres” is my life. God’s energy gives… Read more

April 5, 2020

XXII. PALM SUNDAY (4/5) “Hosanna, blessed is the one who comes in the name of God” (Matthew 21:9) Holy Week begins with celebration. Waving palms and shouts of joy, the crowd welcomes Jesus. For a moment, all is well with the world. For a moment, the way of Christ is triumphant. Trouble is on the horizon, but for this moment, the crowds need to sing and shout and imagine a better world. Singing and dancing can be gifts in a… Read more

April 4, 2020

XXI. SABBATH TIME (4/4) We are the children of Jesus and his companions. While Jesus on occasion challenged legalistic understandings of the Sabbath, he took Sabbath-keeping seriously. Many of us are experiencing an unexpected Sabbath these days. On Saturdays or Sundays, we can’t go out as usual, we aren’t shopping, or going to games. There aren’t any games to see! Life has slowed down for me, as my physical world has shrunk to my home, Craigville, Covell’s, and Dowse’s beaches,… Read more

April 3, 2020

XXI. THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE (4-3) You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Let your light shine. (Matthew 5:14-16) Growing up, I learned the simple song, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.” The verses that went with it… Read more

April 2, 2020

This year Holy Week seems only too real. There is no faux suffering or abandonment to conjure up. No experiences of conflict to imagine. No encounters with religious and political powers and principalities we need to simulate. We are in the center of a maelstrom of uncertainty. The Pandemic has put everything in doubt. We have fled to our catacombs, sheltering in place, to avoid danger. Our churches are shuttered and worship services are virtual, and our re-opening days have… Read more

April 2, 2020

VOCATION IN A TIME OF PANDEMIC Can this time of pandemic be a call to deepen our sense of vocation? In this time of sheltering in place, can we discern God’s call in our lives? I believe that every moment is a vocational moment. Every situation is a call from God where our gifts and unique personality can be gifts to those around us. I believe that God gives us long-term as well as moment by moment visions and callings,… Read more

April 2, 2020

XX. A RABBI’S WISDOM If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel) These words from Rabbi Hillel (110 BCE-10 CE) speak to the interplay of self-care and care for others. This older contemporary of Jesus, reminded us that our ability to help others depends on our personal self-affirmation. As the flight attendants say, “put on your oxygen mask first before helping… Read more

April 1, 2020

The Adventurous Lectionary – Easter Sunday – April 12, 2020 Acts 10:34-43 Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 Colossians 3:1-4 John 20:1-18 Matthew 28:1-10 Just the other day, a fellow pastor noted, “I just can’t get into the Easter spirit this year. We’ve canceled everything public from our sunrise service to the sanctuary services and the Easter egg hunt. Online worship just doesn’t cut it for me.” I am sure that this pastor’s feelings are echoed by scores of other pastors and thousands… Read more

April 1, 2020

XIX. PRAYERS INSPIRED BY A STEEPLE “Pray without ceasing.” (I Thessalonians 5:17) Each morning as I take my walk on the Centerville beaches, I spend a moment praying for the congregation I pastor as I gaze at the church’s steeple. I pray that we be a healing force in the community, that we reach out to the world around us, that we are safe, and in our safety that we serve others. This ritual has become central to my prayer… Read more

March 31, 2020

XVIII. HOW I GOT OVER? Over and over Over and over My soul looks back And wonders how I got over. (Gospel Hymn) My soul looks back and wonders how I got over! So goes a gospel hymn based on the experience of finding freedom from the chains that bind. Freedom from slavery and bondage. The experience of surviving a challenging situation, where hope was at risk. In a similar spirit, those of us who are sheltering in place yearn… Read more

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