Posts

How to live a good life

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James 3:13 - 4:3, 7-8a What is a good life?  We have ideas of what a good life is or should be. Right now especially it seems to have something to do with being on the correct side of the issue, whatever the issue may be. And just as important as being correct is being seen as being correct.  It can be about vaccines, or policing in our cities, or climate change, or racism, or it can be about how your lawn looks, and what you’re putting into your body, and how well-behaved your kids are, and what kind of effort you put into maintaining friendships.  What it looks like to others is at least as important as what it actually is.   Modern life is primarily a performative exercise.   But, James asks, what’s going on in your heart?  Is this so-called good life being lived with envy, resentment, self-centeredness, bragging, or bending the truth?  If so, then there will be disorder and wickedness of every kind.  If so, it’s not a very good life.   What is a good life, then, and how do we know

Hedgehog Blessing (for Back to School)

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  Psalm 116: 5-7  " Gracious is the  Lord , and righteous;  our God is merciful.   The  Lord  protects the simple;  when I was brought low, he saved me.   Return, O my soul, to your rest,  for the  Lord  has dealt bountifully with you.  BACK TO SCHOOL BLESSING FOR CHILDREN & TEACHERS AKA. HEDGEHOG BLESSING By Kara K. Root   (Prior to the blessing,  anoint children and teachers with the sign of the cross, “ Name , You are a Beloved Child of God”)   Children and Teachers – God made the sun and the moon, the night and the day, the oceans and the land, the sky and the animals; God made the hedgehog and God made you.   So to send you back to school this year, we are giving you a special ‘Hedgehog Blessing.’   Beloved Children of God: As hedgehogs roam far and wide and investigate the world, may you have room to discover and grow, may you be filled with curiosity and wonder, may your body move, your heart thrill and your mind explore.   For Discovery, Curiosity, Wonder, Movement and

What I can and cannot do

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  Ephesians 4:1-16 I have close family members who are refusing to be vaccinated. I have weathered lots of disagreements before and still find a way to stay connected, but for whatever reason, this vaccination thing is a biggie for me.  I went the direct approach and talked about it with them and it created a huge rift between us and they asked me to stop bringing it up.  So now I sit with this rift and have a really hard time ignoring it, which is my preferred method of moving on.  I am angry. I feel trapped in anger. I am captive to anger.    But here’s my modern advanced human being mistake: We think unity means ideological agreement. We think being united, connected, belonging to each other, means thinking, or knowing, or believing the same things.  Especially when our beliefs have real consequences in action – and we’re literally pulling in opposite directions.    We also think unity is up to us. It’s our job to get each other to agree with us, then we will have unity. Then we wil

Every Part of Life, and the God We Don't Control

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  2 Samuel 6:1-19 There is something in us that wants to edit life. We would take out the hard parts and make it seem easy, only sunny and happy. Case in point:  King David was moving to unify the kingdom, he had consolidated the center of power and government and now he was bringing the Ark into Jerusalem, the new capital.  The first run at it was ecstatic, thousands of troops, musicians with every imaginable instrument, dancing and revelry.  But in the middle of the journey, this guy Uzzah, who is helping drive the oxcart, sees that suddenly the oxen’s misstep has made the Ark wobble, so reaches out his hand to steady it, and when he touches it he is struck dead. The lectionary cuts this part of the story out. It wants us to hear about the great parade of moving the Ark, the leaping and dancing for joy, and more joy and more dancing and then the settling of the Ark in the center of the Israelites’ life.  Hooray and amen!  But this is part of the story too. And it is confusing, and en

Faithing Together

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  Mark 6:1-13 Sometimes I have faith. I feel settled and grateful and connected and even sure.  And sometimes I am amazed at my unbelief. That is to say, I have a shocked moment when I realize I have been swamped by fear and I am just treading water in it as thought this is all there is. Or I caught in anger and breathing it in and letting it fill me and feed me.  Or I am cut off from anything beyond myself, my worries, my projects, my interpretations of things, and I am just existing as though this is all there is, completely forgetting there is someone that holds me and this whole world. I can go on this way for days.  Detatched from my deepest self, from God, from others. And then suddenly I wake up and remember - or am re-membered -  to my belonging, invited back into trust, feeling my heart open back up to transcendence, widen back out toward God.  And I am “faithing” again.   What does it mean to have faith? To be a person of faith? Is it to attend religious services regularly? O

Both Now and Forever

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2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1 My daughter and I went camping last weekend.  It was beautiful and at night it was cold. I had not slept in a tent in a long time.  It kept out the wind, and the spiders that crawled over the outside of it but could not get in. It kept out the moisture and the dew. It did a little bit to block the cold, but not much. It did not keep out sound. I could hear the train across the lake when it passed by, and the slow crunch of the Park Ranger’s truck tires as she rolled by in the darkness every hour to check that all was well.  All through the night giant splashes erupted in the lake next to us that jolted me awake, and I had a front row seat for the cacophony of morning birds that started their music at 4 am.  And while the tent kept me from seeing the sunrise, it did not keep out the light. So I was up stumbling into the chilly morning fog not long after those birds.  A tent is not a home. It’s a temporary place to lie our head, not meant to keep us from the grace