Showing posts from October, 2020

What is God's

  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

The deeper truth

  Devotion for Being Apart - October 4 I will share new devotions from time to time, and invite you to browse through devotions that have been shared on this blog. Psalm 19 This weekend I’ve been cranky and frustrated and weary.  I can feel it when "the insolent have dominion over me."  It churns inside me and I have to let it out by adding to the noise with my own rants of incredulity and horror.  Andy calls it, “The Kara Talks Over the News About the News Podcast.” But I can’t help myself.  The Psalmist, most likely King David, prays, “Keep me back from the insolent, Lord;” I say, “Let me at them!”    Right now there are so many voices, so many words. Shouting over each other to be heard. And we are listening to them all, taking them into ourselves, letting them shape us, make us afraid, anxious and angry, tying us in knots, paralyzing us.   As the decibels get turned up and the rhetoric roars in these next couple of months,  Richard Rohr last week advised  we safeguard our

Safeguarding our Souls

  This was s hared with my congregation, September 21, 2020, and worth returning to…   Some thoughts from Richard Rohr (from a September 21 email entitled, "Some simple but urgent guidance to get us through these next months")   "I awoke on Saturday, September 19, with three sources in my mind for guidance: Etty Hillesum (1914 – 1943), the young Jewish woman who suffered much more injustice in the concentration camp than we are suffering now; Psalm 62, which must have been written in a time of a major oppression of the Jewish people; and the Irish Poet, W.B.Yeats (1965 – 1939), who wrote his “Second Coming” during the horrors of the World War I and the Spanish Flu pandemic.    There is a really deep well inside me. And in it dwells God. Sometimes I am there, too … And that is all we can manage these days and also all that really matters: that we safeguard that little piece of You, God, in ourselves.  —Etty Hillesum, Westerbork transit camp Yeats' The Second Coming Tu

Besieged but not beset

  Devotion for Being Apart - October 2 I will share new devotions from time to time, and invite you to browse through devotions that have been posted on this blog. What a strange and strained time this is.  The world feels chaotic and frightening right now. I went on my mostly-monthly 24 hours retreat this week. My rules for these retreats include turning off my phone and reading no fiction, because I want to be as present as possible.  I broke my rules.  Restless and tense, I walked four miles, some of that on talking my phone.  Then I came back and read a mediocre novel, and then went out and walked four more miles. Then, from a big chair at the picture window overlooking the tall pines, I watched the "presidential debate" on my phone.   Afterwards, I took a deep breath and took stock.  I could feel bad for doing it "wrong," for “wasting” my time.  Or I could have curiosity about my choices.   As NVC tells us - every No is a Yes to something else.  What was I say