Category Ruminations

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 […]

What are you waiting for?

Advent, the long annual wait for Christmas, has begun. Thursday we received our first Christmas card. A few days before that the tree went up, bare now except for strings of small white lights. In our neighborhood, a few other Christmas trees have appeared, some fully decorated. We know how to wait for Christmas here. […]

Incarnation happens

Advent is a season of waiting, but I’m not sure we’re in the mood to wait. It’s a season of expectant waiting as we prepare for both the Feast of Christ at Christmas and the return of Christ at the so-called Second Coming. But the Feast of Christ is a memorial, and we’ve been waiting […]

Give thanks in everything

“No matter what happens,” St. Paul wrote, “always be thankful” (1 Thess. 5:18 NLT). “Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything” (Eph. 5:19-20 NIV). On Thursday, most of us in the United States will pause for a national Thanksgiving, like we do every year. […]

Waiting faithfully

Waiting is part of life. We wait for election results, for Christmas, for summer vacation, for a loved one to return home, for a phone call bringing the results of a medical test or a job interview, for the birth of a child. We wait for the storm to pass and the sky to clear. […]

Celebrating the saints

Most of the church observes today as All Saints Day, when we remember and celebrate how God was present in the saints who lived and died before us, but I think if we stop there, we miss the point. Of course we should celebrate the lives of those who have gone before us in this […]

On the will of God

We’re constantly making choices about how we spend our time. We’re also living with the consequences of those choices. Of course, how we choose to spend our days is how we end up spending our lives.1 All the big and little choices we make every day make us who we are and determine the quality […]

The wisdom of the woodsorrel

When the teacher makes the same point again and again, you can be sure it will be on the test. In the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matt. 20:1-16), Jesus said, “the last will be first, and the first will be last.” At the end of the previous chapter he said, “many who […]

On forgiveness

Abundant life, life in all its fullness, a life rich and satisfying, more and better life than you ever dreamed of – these are some of the ways to describe the aim of the way of life Jesus invites us to follow (John 10:10 NRSV, GNT, NLT, MSG). And he starts by assuring us that […]

If we’re to be whole

Sometimes what Jesus does not say is more important than what he does say. For example, take his instructions for how to respond to someone who sins against you (Matt. 18:15-17). At first, it seems a simple process, and it can be very effective at restoring a strained or broken relationship. But it turns out […]