Showing posts from July, 2012

Faith back home and abroad

This weekend we explored the scriptures through conversation and discussion. Breaking the text in half, two groups dove into each part of this text from Mark 6:1-13.  The following is closing reflections on the two halves of the text. Mark 6:1-6 He left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. On the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offence at him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honor, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’ And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed

Aurora, Earthquakes and Emotional Paralysis

The shooting in Aurora has brought up feelings of grief, sadness, horror, and wondering how to respond when such terrible things happen to people far away.  This post was written in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and nuclear disaster.  I am reposting because, while we add anger, politicizing about guns, and a single person to blame to the mix, in many respects, this post deals with the same feelings and questions that arise in every distant tragedy. My sister had to take a break from Facebook. She was feeling so overwhelmed by the situation in Japan, the conflict in Libya, the high school friend whose daughter died, that she was finding herself only half-present with her own kids, only partly engaged in her own life.    The horror can be paralyzing.    And yet we cannot turn away.    Turning away would feel like abandoning them – not that we are actually WITH them anyway. We’re just watching their nightmare from afar, glued to every news story, every image

Anatomy of a Miracle

Psalm 24  &  John 6:2-14 Have you ever experienced a miracle?   How do we know if something is a miracle? Six months wages wouldn’t buy enough for all these people to have even a little,  they said. What are five loaves among so many people? If we really hear this story – which chances are, many of us don’t because if we’ve heard it before we heard it in Sunday school and so instead of listening to it we are mostly just remembering it – but if we really hear this story, it messes with us a little. Because the most interesting part, the part we might fixate on- or at least I am, is HOW this thing happens.    Did the bread just multiply? Did Jesus keep ripping and ripping and it never got smaller?   Did people decide when it got to them to reach into their own pockets and bags and add to the stash?   How? But the story doesn’t get into the details of how it happened, that is not important, I guess. You’ll just have to wonder.   Most miracles, it tur


Psalm 130:1-7 Mark 5:21-43   Idealistically, perhaps, Jeanne and I were imagining that we’d find a way to focus our worship this summer each week on the theme of love. This was to be the Summer of Love. But once we began reading the stories in Mark that the lectionary has lined up for us, we quickly realized, with a little disappointment, that there is another theme emerging in different forms, week after week. And so instead, we are in the Summer of Faith. But as we’ve gotten into it, I’ve been kind of amazed about how faith doesn’t really mean exactly what I thought it meant, and that it comes out in people’s lives in all sorts of interesting ways. Last week, when we watched Jesus still the storm we heard the disciple’s question, Wait, who then is THIS? And we explored the idea that faith might be that point when, whether because of God’s tangible presence or noticeable absence, you are drawn to ask the question, Who is this God? This week we se