Category Ruminations

Questions

Answers in life matter less than answering. The process of responding to questions, of responding to life itself, is more important than any particular response. As an old railroad song puts it – if you’ve taken a trip on an old railroad, steam-powered locomotive and all, you’ll know this – “Isn’t it the going and […]

Don’t be alarmed

“Do not be alarmed.” Usually the first words we hear in the Easter liturgy are, “Christ is risen! Alleluia!” – welcome words of exuberance after six long weeks of Lent, the deepening darkness of Holy Week, and the utter emptiness of Holy Saturday. But those words don’t appear in the first resurrection experience (Mark 16:1-8). […]

Telling the story

Today I’m wondering how many of us find in Maundy Thursday an experience like E.B. White described in an old issue of The New Yorker. He described a cowboy who commuted by plane between New York and Chicago. His job was to throw steers in the rodeos of both cities. The steers didn’t need to […]

To go the distance

Lent takes us not to Easter but to Palm Sunday. Easter is in God’s hands; Palm Sunday is in ours. In Easter, we celebrate what God has done; on Palm Sunday we must choose what we will do. Will we commit to taking the last decisive step to fulfill our part of the covenant God […]

Let your heart sing

One of my gifts to the church, I sometimes joke, is that I don’t sing, but it’s not true. I sing frequently – a hymn or gospel song, a folk song or a song popular in my youth, something from a musical – sometimes aloud, sometimes only in my head. Most of the songs have […]

Amazing grace

There are a few stand-out passages in our scriptures that sum up the cornerstone of Christian faith, and one of them is in the letter to the Ephesians: “But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us […]

Covenant in a new light

If God provides everything in a covenant with us and wants only our gratitude and love in return, why are there so many commandments? It started with ten given to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exod. 20:1-17), and before you can say “your will be done,” those ten begat 603 more. Six hundred thirteen commands to […]

Renewing the covenant

“He discovered his re-set button early on & there were not many things that bothered him all the rest of his days just because of that.” That recent comment by a site called StoryPeople made me think that pushing our reset button is a good way to think about approaching Lent and renewing the covenant […]

An everlasting covenant

We are made for relationship. The desire for relationship is woven into us at creation, and figuring out how to live in authentic relationship with God, with others, and with all of creation is the task of our lifetimes. Our first and deepest desire is for relationship with God. Seventeenth-century French mathematician and theologian Blaise […]

A thin place

The wrapping paper I bought for Christmas three years ago left traces I’m still cleaning up. It was dazzling paper, red with lots of glitter, and it made a beautiful package. It also left glitter everywhere, sparkling crimson flecks I’m not sure will ever go away completely, to remind me of that dazzling Christmas package. […]