Showing posts from February, 2021

Our Ashes, God's Breath

  Psalm 51:1-12, 17 The ashes we use on Ash Wednesday come from burned palms - palms waved with Hosannas and high hopes at Jesus’s coming, then discarded in confusion and disgust when what came next was death instead of victory and triumph.   There is an honesty and familiarity in the ashes. They’re personal. They represent the incineration of our lost hopes and ruined plans, our decimated dreams and broken relationships. They come from “the debris of good intentions, the residue of our mistakes and failures.” (R.A.) From ashes to ashes, and dust to dust.  One commentator says, “The[se] words do not refer to some universal concept of inanimate matter nor is the dust from an outside source. No, the ashes are us. The dust is the actualities of our lives. Our physical bodies. Our passions, limitations, mistakes and memories. Our families and friends. Our streets and neighbourhoods. The world in which we live. Our embodied journeys in time and place.”  ( Rodney Aist - Wild Goose ) These ar

Where Jesus Is

  Mark 9:2-9 It’s so cold out there that one of our church families froze clothing into statues in their yard, and someone in my facebook feed froze an egg half cracked open, balanced in the air on a frozen puddle of egg white on the sidewalk like a pedestal. It’s so cold you can hammer a nail into wood with a frozen banana, and throw boiling water in the air to make a puff of cloud that doesn't fall back down.  Maybe those are the ways to celebrate what has come to be called The Transfiguration, because words can’t do it justice.   Jesus knew words couldn’t work here. He tells them not to talk about this moment till after he’s risen from the dead, when they’ll recognize that the laws of physics, and life and death, and time and space don’t always apply, and it will be fun to recall that one time on the mountain when Jesus all glowey and the mvps of the faith were back from the dead chatting him up.   Still, they whispered to each other all the way back down the mountain, “What doe

Almighty, Adoring God

  Isaiah 40:21-31 I recently did a google search for “scriptures about fatigue” “bible verse about being tired,” and instead of getting verses from the Psalms like,  my bones are heavy, I can barely lift my head,  I got a big long list of scriptures about how to fix being tired or be careful not to get tired. “Your body is a temple,” “lift your drooping hands” “love not sleep lest you come to poverty; open your eyes and you will have plenty of bread.” And then it also helpfully suggested, “Based on your search, people also ask, ‘Is being tired a sin?’”     But just like there are difficult people in the bible , there is lots of tiredness in the bible.  Because there are humans in the bible. Our Scripture today is addressing people who have been living in exile for 70 years.  They are exhausted. They are faith-worn and weary. They’ve kind of given up hoping. Their answers to ‘what is a good life and how do we live it?’ have had to change. They’ve had to adapt their answers to be things