Category Ruminations

On getting to know the Sirens

“You are worried and distracted by many things.” The words have dogged me for decades. Jesus addressed them to Martha when she tried to triangulate him into settling her disagreement with Mary about some after-dinner chores (Luke 10:38-42), but they keep hitting their mark in me. So do the ones that followed, “there is need […]

Time for stillness

“Be still,” we’re invited. And the fruit of stillness – genuine stillness, not the interstitial pause between the many agenda that claim our attention – will be an experiential knowledge of the Something Deeper that dwells in stillness, the something we call “God” (Psalm 46:10). Being still requires a lot of slowing down, for me, […]

So I praise what comes

For fifty-two years I’ve been gainfully employed, thirty-six of them as a parish pastor. Now it’s time to stop pushing my particular barn and muck out its stables. On July 1, I will officially retire and start giving better attention to cultivating these few cubic feet of flesh. The years have held their common mix of […]

Brief encounter

Today is Pentecost, a day we sometimes celebrate as the birthday of the church, but the church could have been born on any day, and it still might be. It’s a day in Luke’s account of things when a new incarnation of God appeared, and the Spirit of God that was once alive in the […]

You are witnesses

Last week I wrote of the need for the church to find its voice in the search for value and meaning in public life, of our need to contribute our perspective to our community’s efforts to define and enrich our life together. We are needed as participants in the public dialogue. A world that looks […]

And perhaps grope

So Paul was invited to the great public convocation in the nation’s capital, where the rich and powerful were found, where they and ordinary citizens spoke their minds and hearts and listened to each other. He observed their search for value and meaning in public life, their interest in new ideas that might shape and […]

Like living stones

. . . like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5) The culture around us is celebrating Mothers Day today; the church is celebrating the Festival of the Christian Home. There’s an important difference, […]

The voice of authority

In the battle against fake news, Andreas Vlachos – a computer scientist living in England – is on the front lines. “I’m trying to channel my research,” he said, “into something that is useful for everyone who’s reading the news.”1 Combating fake news, finding a voice of authority we can depend on, is also useful […]

On the road with Christ

Two key questions keep coming up in the gospel readings these first weeks of Easter: Where will the risen Christ appear, and what will the risen Christ look like? The reality of the resurrection is never in question for the evangelists, but there are lots of questions about where and how Christ appears. And they […]

Remembering Thomas

“Unless I see . . . I will not believe.” (John 20:25) The story of Doubting Thomas (John 20:19-31) is not merely a story about a group of disciples who huddled behind locked doors that first Easter evening because they feared the authorities. This may be a story about you, if you have ever experienced […]