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Showing posts from January, 2014

Something Essential is Happening

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Matthew 4:12-23
O God, says the poet Ted Loder,* let something essential happen to me, something more than interesting or entertaining or thoughtful.
O God, let something essential happen to me, something awesome, something real. Speak to my condition, Lord, and change me somewhere inside where it matters, a change that will burn and tremble and heal and explode me into tears or laughter or love that throbs or screams or keeps a terrible, cleansing silence and dares dangerous deeds.
Let something happen in me that is my real self, God.
O God, let something essential and passionate happen in me now. Strip me of my illusions and self-sufficiency, of my proud sophistications, of my inflated assumptions of knowledge and leave me shivering as Adam or Eve before the miracle of the natural – the miracle of this earth that nurtures me as a mother and delights me as a lover;
the miracle of my body that breathes and moves, hungers and digests, sees and hears; that is creased and wrinkled and sexual, shrinks in hurt, and swells…

See for yourself

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John 1:29-42
Have you ever had a moment, when, out of nowhere, you suddenly feel absolutely seen? Things are just going on as usual, you’re doing your ordinary thing, bumping around your ordinary life, and then suddenly someone looks into your eyes, except really into your soul, someone says something that touches exactly on what you mean but couldn’t find words for, or gives you just precisely the encouragement you needed, just exactly what you needed to hear, or gets you a gift that you didn’t even know you wanted but turns out to be astonishingly perfect for you? Have you ever had someone sit with you in silence that was so profoundly right that for a moment you felt completely safe and utterly known?
Have you ever seen someone?Really seen them? Suddenly the joking falls away, or the moment shifts and for a split second you are so aware of them, and they are so utterly beautiful in their themness, like no one else, unselfconsciously shining in their sheer self, with no clue of their ma…

Thank you, Lake Nokomis Church

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Every year I struggle to write my "annual report" for church.  This year, it suddenly stopped being hard when I realized I just really wanted to say "Thank you"...


Dear LNPC,

2013 marked my fifth year of sharing life and ministry with Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church.What a gift it has been to be on this journey together!Stepping away for a three-month sabbatical gave me a chance to see you anew.As I reflect on our year, I would like to share some observations and gratitude I have about you.
I am thankful for your bravery. It’s quite something for a small congregation to send their pastor on a sabbatical and do most everything in-house.You are a strong and wildly gifted bunch of folks, and a community that isn’t afraid to take risks.You’re also brave in sharing real life with each other, in dreaming and in trying new things. I can’t tell you how many times this year, upon hearing about the way we live out worship, hospitality and Sabbath, people have commented to me, w…

This One is Mine

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Isaiah 42:1-9 Matthew 3:13-17
Two weeks ago I was invited to preside over a baptism at a nearby congregation. My friend Tricia adopted a little girl from Haiti. She had gone down there several times a year for several years, to volunteer in an orphanage, and when she adopted Saraphina as a baby, it took over a year for the red tape to allow her to bring her home. We gathered around the font, Tricia, her parents, siblings, aunt and uncle, and nephews and nearly two year old Saraphina, toddling happily between them. Before the baptism, I prayed a blessing on Tricia; I anointed her and called her mother, and Saraphina, daughter. We were witnesses to God’s blessing of this little family on that day.As Jesus himself was adopted into the family and line of David his adopted father, Joseph, I said, today we remember our own adoption as we are brought into the family of God.And today, in her baptism surrounded by a community of love making promises to her, Saraphina’s adoption is made complete…