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Showing posts from February, 2020

From fear: Hope

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A Reflection for Ash Wednesday For 1500 years, Christians have heard these words spoken over them as the sign is made: “From dust you came, and to dust you shall return.”   Ash Wednesday puts us in context – as human beings, frail and faulty. But it traces over the sign of the cross made at our baptism – which says, “Beloved, child of God.”     It says both, “Your life is fleeting- and you will die,” and also, “You are part of a much bigger story – both the Christian story, and the story of the love of God without end.” And so for a few moments we see on our very faces and on each other the paradox of our life – both our temporary identity, and also our permanent one. Our Lenten symbol this year- hope infinity. Here on bracelets FROM FEAR: HOPE All around us, there are plenty of reasons to be afraid:  Coronavirus, government and politics, the Climate Crisis, the stock market, our own aging bodies and fading minds, that outstanding test result or bill, the looming de

To keep listening and obeying

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1 Samuel 16:1-13 Samuel His whole entire life has been for one purpose – shepherding the people of Israel. Samuel is the prophet who speaks for God. Year after year he moves from tribe to tribe, arbitrating conflict, giving instruction from God, returning home occasionally to Ramah to judge the people, and this is how his life has gone, since he was quite young.  God told Samuel to find Saul and make him King, so Samuel did. He counseled him and led him. And Saul – who was, by the way, the tallest and handsomest guy in all Israel, real king material – unites the tribes to fight against their enemies and they start winning some battles.   Then Samuel, by now very old, figures his work here is done and throws himself a retirement party.  He gives a big speech, “I’ve led you since my youth and you begged for a king and now you have one. Hurrah. Is there anything I’ve done that I need to make right?”  No, Samuel, you’ve been great.  “OK, now remember who God is – and y