Tag Archives: vocation

Take off the mask

If the first words I heard from Jesus were these, I’d probably follow someone else. “If any want to become my followers,” he said, “let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matt 16:24). Another time, I heard him say he came so we might have abundant life, more and better […]

What’s next

This Sunday’s passage from Ezekiel (Ezek. 37:1-14) – the dry bones; the clatter of their coming together; their being clothed in sinew and flesh; the breath entering them; their standing up – has for centuries been one of the favorite and most hopeful passages in the Hebrew Bible. God asks the prophet, “Mortal, can these […]

Only a beginning

“Follow me,” Jesus said, and two young men dropped what they were doing and followed (Matt. 4:12-23). Ever since, he’s been calling, and people have been following. Today we baptized two children, their entry into a church that is both relationship and journey. Two young girls receive their first holy communion, following deeper into the […]

This call is for you

When our celebration of Christmas ends, theologian and poet Howard Thurman tells us that the work of Christmas begins: “To find the lost, / To heal the broken, / To feed the hungry, / To release the prisoner, / To rebuild the nations, / To bring peace among brothers [and sisters], / To make music […]

Important work like sittin’ around fishin’

“Important work like sittin’ around fishin’ remains to be done.” In making this quaint observation, Pogo was not the first to recognize the importance of being alone and idle. The value of solitude has been affirmed throughout history. Early in the nineteenth century, Emerson wrote, “In the morning, — solitude;” said Pythagoras; that Nature may […]

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 […]

The hope of our calling

What do you see when you look at a lump of coal? Do you see merely a lump of coal? Or do you see fire? Steam to drive engines and light cities? Coal is not our best source of energy, but for a long time it was exactly suited to our level of development. Now […]

You are called to be sent

The future is arriving faster than anyone expected. I don’t say that because I’m growing older, although I admit my Medicare card arrived a lot sooner than I expected. People who live and work at the frontier of creativity and technology are saying it, too. “For the first time in history,” one futurist wrote recently, […]

You are called to bless

Rex Ryan changed his tattoo. The new head coach for the Buffalo Bills had been sporting a tattoo of his wife Michelle dressed in a Jets-green jersey. After being fired as head coach of the Jets and coming to work for the Bills, Ryan had the color of his tattoo changed to Bills blue. Ryan […]

This call is for you

After the curtain falls on our celebration of Christmas, Howard Thurman reminded us in his poem, the work of Christmas begins: “To find the lost, / To heal the broken, / To feed the hungry, / To release the prisoner, / To rebuild the nations, / To bring peace among brothers [and sisters], / To […]