Category Ruminations

The word in your heart

“The word is near you,” Paul writes, “on your lips and in your heart” (Rom. 10:8). It’s a stunning, breath-taking idea – the word is in your heart – and the more I sit with it, the more powerful it becomes for me. Paul is writing about the word of faith he proclaims, and he’s […]

Satisfying hungry hearts

We’re hungry. I am, and I think you are, too. It’s not a hunger that can be satisfied by a piece of the strawberry-rhubarb pie Sheryl made last week. We’re hungry because we’re dissatisfied with life and want something more. Polling by the Gallup organization consistently shows that in the United States we’re less satisfied […]

The nose on your face

“It’s as plain as the nose on your face,” my grandmother would say when she was trying to get me to see something she could see plainly but I seemed to miss entirely. She was usually trying to help me see not an object but a meaning, an implication, what was (to her) the obvious […]

Weeds and wheat together

If you want to see a living parable of the kingdom of God, you need only visit the lawn around my house. It’s a lawn our neighbors probably consider embarrassing. Unlike lawns treated liberally with chemicals, the kind of lawns pictured in Home & Garden, the kind advertisers have taught us to think of as […]

Down by the river

There are blessings that accrue and appreciate only as one’s years accrue. As the time remaining in life decreases, experience increases, and so does, one hopes, wisdom. Perspective lengthens, and in the longest perspective all of life’s experiences – diverse and contradictory as they seem – may be viewed in their proper places, as integral […]

Love’s yoke

It may be time to reread your Christian discipleship agreement. When you do, pay attention to the fine print. The invitation says something about an easy yoke and a light burden (Matt. 11:25-30), and if you’re feeling weary and heavy laden you might stop there. Keep reading, and you’ll find a model for effective prayer […]

When night has ended

Jesus erases differences so completely, he leaves me dumbfounded. For example, “Whoever welcomes you,” he says to his disciples, “welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me” (Matt. 10:40-42). For anyone who welcomes you, you are not merely someone who holds certain beliefs or belongs to a specific faith tradition. You […]

On becoming who you are

In early summer, I look for good commencement speeches. I look for speeches that offer sound advice for living, insights that help me wear my life better, timeless truth dressed in fresh language. Most of what I find offer little more than ordinary boilerplate, quickly and easily forgotten. A few rise above the ordinary and […]

And this is such a time

When will we see the harassed and helpless crowds (Matt. 9:35-38), really see them? When will the concerns of those who’ve been beaten down in life become our concerns, enough to liberate our compassion, enough to break our hearts, enough for their suffering to become our suffering? When will we see the harassed and helpless, […]

Once in a while

Today is Trinity Sunday, a day given to the attempt to explain the unexplainable. Long ago, tradition created a package for God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and preachers and theologians have been trying to explain it ever since. When I was a newly minted pastor, Trinity Sunday was my opportunity to explain […]