Category Ruminations

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. […]

Waiting for God

After Jesus astounded people with his teaching (Mark 1:21-28), he went home with Simon and Andrew and cured Simon’s mother-in-law. Neighbors got wind of it, and soon the whole town showed up, bringing everyone who was ill, and he cured many of them – many, but not all (vv. 29-34). And early the next morning, […]

Connecting authority and heart

Who has authority in your life? Who influences you at your deepest level, influences the way you live? Who has power to transform you, to free your soul, to lead you into more and better life than you ever dreamed of (John 10:10 MSG)? Some authorities have the power or the right to give you […]

Invitation to life

“Ready or not, here I come!” Remember that line from the hide-and-seek you played as a kid? After counting down from ten or twenty, or from 100 if you had the time, the one who was “It” came searching, eyes wide open, and you hoped you had hidden well enough not to be found. Jesus […]

A life of Christian discipleship

What does it really mean to live a life of Christian discipleship? Since its beginning, the church has been at war with itself over the answer to that question. When Paul was losing the churches he founded to the influence of the church in Jerusalem, he wrote to one of his congregations, “You foolish Galatians! […]

When everything becomes new

Now that we’ve had our fun with Christmas, it’s time to face the implications of Incarnation. Today, as we remember the baptism of Jesus (Mark 1:4-11), we change our spiritual menu from Christmas punch and cookies to an austere diet of locusts and wild honey. During Christmas we celebrated the coming of a messiah. Now, […]

It’s not time yet

[Written 7 January 2021] — “It’s not time to worry yet,” Atticus Finch tells his daughter, Scout, in To Kill a Mockingbird, when she starts to grow overly concerned about something that might happen. Things that look dire to Scout leave Atticus, with his longer perspective, unruffled. Last evening, as I watched the violence in […]

At the gate of the year

In the dark, uncertain days of late 1939, shortly after the outbreak of World War II, England’s King George VI wanted to encourage his nation, so in his Christmas message he read from a poem by Minnie Louise Haskins. The poem began: I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year“Give […]

A word we need to hear

At the beginning of John’s gospel, John the baptizer is crying out in the wilderness (John 1:6-8, 19-28). Other gospels tell us people came from far and wide, city and country (Mark 1:5, Matt. 3:5), to receive what John offered. What were they looking for? What hopes and dreams did they come with? Their hopes […]