Posts

Showing posts from August, 2011

Fellowship (of Presbyterians et al.) in the Kingdom God

Image
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you wi…

Living Sacrifice

Image
Romans 12:1-8
On Friday I was driving down 35W, and on the 35th street overpass a man was standing, looking down at the cars below, with a dog sitting beside him.He was holding an enormous American flag in one hand, which was billowing in the wind, and with the other hand he was pressing a handmade sign against the fence, the words barely legible to the passing cars, it read, “Thank you Nick for your sacrifice. We will miss you forever.” Here was this person, demanding to be seen in his grief, seeking to honor someone who had died, I assume, in service to his country. And this man’s need to share it, to be seen and heard, was so great, and had so little outlet, that he had to silently shout it to strangers in their cars on their way to work.  I couldn’t see the man’s face, but in the narrative I constructed, it was streaming with tears, defiant and proud and lonely tears, and, (just to make it all the more heart-breaking), I imagined that the dog beside him was this Nick’s dog and the …

Happy Sabbath Anniversary

Image
This week I spent a day at Sabbath House, a home in the middle of the city, where some Sisters of St. Francis open up garden, bedrooms, library and lovely, airy porch to people in need of a respite.  I napped, read, listened to peaceful music while the breeze made the wind chimes ring outside the window, and ate a delicious meal with fresh garden goodies from their CSA.  I felt tucked away and hidden from the world, right in the middle of it, and it gave me a chance to reflect on the two years our church has spent intentionally practicing Sabbath.

It was here, at Sabbath House, that half our congregation gathered over two one-day retreats to learn about Sabbath from these Sisters, to experience a day of it and worship together in the context of Sabbath.  It was here that our dream of practicing Sabbath as a congregation began to grow real live roots and leaves, and become something we could nurture and grow and live into.  We had explored how, for us, worship went far beyond sitting in…

Sabbath: A Weekly Journey from Slavery to Freedom

I've written an article on Sabbath for Clayfire Curator.

Telling Time or Living Time

Image
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 14-15
Matthew 14:22-33



There is a time to mourn and a time to celebrate, and so often in life, these times are one and the same.This is the third occasion this weekend on which this passage has been featured – first at Doug Johnson’s funeral, where we celebrated his ordinary and remarkable life and the love that poured from it, and we mourned his passing and grieved losing him, and we did both of these things at the same time, even while recognizing that Doug is held in God’s eternal time.
Then yesterday this passage came up again at my Dad’s wedding, where two people with broken pasts and broken hearts who have found each other started over together. And it was, for them, truly a time to celebrate as they joined their lives into one and the future opened up before them. But for me, sitting there, as a living part of the time that was in my Dad’s past, it was painful. I am thrilled for him, but I grieve over the brokenness of my family that can never be recovered, and…