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The Context of Our Lives

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Ephesians 1:15-23 This is a hard week, friends -- Thanksgiving without most of what we think of Thanksgiving as being, in the midst of a frightening surge of covid and tightening of restrictions. More loss. More hard conversations. More boundary-setting. More disappointment. More loneliness. More grief. More frustration.  More unknown.   We are weary. That weariness is real and everyone is feeling it. Nobody is doing fine.  None of us is feeling great.   But when we we come together, like this, over zoom, when the body of Christ gathers, we are putting ourselves in back in context.  We are again being whose and who we are.  We are placing ourselves to receive the blessings God always has for us.    We come here with our hearts open – our broken hearts and our weary hearts and our grateful hearts and our determined hearts—and the prayers of those gone before are prayed over us even now.  In the timelessness of God, Paul and all the saints, including those we’ve personally known and lo

True Story

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  Psalm 78:1-7 Life is more than just our experiences, it’s the stories we tell – to ourselves and to others – about our experiences. Story is how we understand them and the meaning we make of them.   We are in the middle of a big experience right now.  A new president has been elected.  A new chapter is opening up for our country.  But what you think that means depends on the stories you are listening to, and the ones you are telling yourself.  The future in front of us is either terribly hopeful or horribly terrifying.  Same set of facts, different stories. How we face the world, the choices we believe we have, the choices we will choose to make, depend on the story we are telling about this moment.  We are part of this story. This is part of our story. Absolutely.  It shapes who we are as Americans; it will impact the experiences we have with each other in the coming months and years. But this is not the whole story.   There is a bigger story. A longer trajectory. A deeper narrative

I don't accept the results of the election

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 I am grieved and sobered. But I don’t accept the results of the election. I don't accept that we are against each other and unable to find common ground.   I reject the assertion that we are hopelessly polarized and divided.  I don’t agree to see us as on opposite teams with opposite viewpoints and concerns. I will not concede that some people don’t care about basic human needs, their own or others'.  We all need food and home and belonging and love.  We all want a stable economy filled with opportunity. Nobody want dirty air or water, or to pass on an uninhabitable earth to the next generation. We all want to be safe, to live in safe neighborhoods and a safe country.  We all want to be seen and heard, and to know our lives are valuable and our contributions matter.  We all want to trust we will be well cared for when we’re sick or injured, and we want to know our futures are secure.  All of us want and believe in justice and liberty for all.  Working for these things is not u

Blessings for Election Day

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Sometimes Election Day falls on my birthday, and I feel the sense of connection and celebration as we head to the polls together as Americans.  It's different this year -  I voted weeks ago, and have held my breath as the day has approached, waffling between extremes, as Jimmy Kimmel said last night, "  it’s somewhere between Christmas Eve and the night before a liver transplant.” God,  I long for competence,  compassion, and cooperation in our leadership and our country. God, I pray for calm and peace in our nation in the coming days. After weeks tension and worry, today I feel stilled, quieted, and I am seeking to stay connected to the bigger picture. As we said on Sunday,   This moment is significant, and historical, and it is fraught. But beloved children of God, we live in a deeper reality, deeper than any moment, and with a further horizon beyond all the significant historical moments gone before and all those to come, and we know this world belongs to God, and every one

In on the Miracle

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  Matthew 5:1-12 Right now feels like we are poised on the edge of a significant, history-making moment.  Friday a friend on the phone with someone in Washington DC said this person was watching out her window as the city was being boarded up. The National guard is standing by, ready to be deployed. Nobody knows what is going to happen next, or how we all will respond to what happens next.    Of course, it’s already history-making, we’re in a global pandemic and all.  But it suddenly really  feels  significant and history-making.  Our country feels fragile, things are charged and divided, we are raw about racism and doing hard introspective work about the changes needed in our nation. Our mental health is affected by our limited our ability to be together, the loss of our normal routine with jobs and school, with no way to imagine the future or timeline for when this might be over.  We’re struggling to hang on when the ground feels so unstable. So we are coming into this significant hi

What is God's

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  Devotion for Being Apart - October 18 I will share new devotions from time to time, and invite you to browse through devotions that have been posted on this blog. Our text today was  Matthew 22:15-22   Jesus was no stranger to the drama of politics.  In this scene we encounter Jesus in the hot seat during a multi-day town hall. He was camped out in the temple fielding questions from various people, both genuine and smarmy, those curious and wondering, and those playing “stump the rabbi.”    When the scene opens, these two opposing groups, (imagine Team Pelosi and Team McConnell, for example), no fans of each other by any stretch of the imagination, but allied in their mutual contempt for Jesus, dreamed up between themselves the perfect question to entrap Jesus by his own words.  They’d offer up a lose-lose scenario, a question with two possible answers, neither one good.  There’s no way to answer without pissing someone off or getting into trouble. Jesus would be trapped.  It would b