Proper 22C

A central theme in Luke’s gospel is the economy of God’s kingdom. 


Throughout the gospel, Jesus teaches us how the kingdom changes our relationship with wealth and with our possessions. Jesus calls upon us to tap into our joy and gratitude, so we may give freely and abundantly in the service of our neighbors.

Proper 12C

One of the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Lord, teach us to pray.”


The disciples watched Jesus praying, and in their longing to be more like him, they want to be able to pray as he does. 


The disciples have also heard that John taught his followers to pray, so a little bit of jealousy might be a contributing factor in their request. 

Easter 5C

In a reflection entitled, “Writing our Lives as a Love Story,” The Rev. Becca Stevens says, “our call is to go out there and love the world. Don’t try to change it. Love it and be willing to change so we can love it better. The world needs brave lovers.” 


When I read these lines this week, her insight sparked something in me. I simultaneously felt a sigh of relief, and a call to consider my own motives. 

Easter 4C

Have you ever wondered why we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday every year?


Scripture presents a variety of gorgeous, deeply compelling images for God. Any number of them might have provided us with the occasion to celebrate the nature and essence of God’s being and relationship to us.

For instance, the crafters of the church calendar might have given us a day for celebrating God as the divine potter who shapes our lives.

They might have proscribed a day to celebrate Christ the holy mother hen, whose wings enfold her chicks in love and longing. 

They might have gathered a set of readings to honor breath as the manifestation of peace and divine presence in the Holy Spirit. 


There are plenty of other images too—images of God as light and wisdom. Images of God as the still small voice. Images of God our “strong rock, the castle that keeps us safe.” (paraphrase of Psalm 31).


But, out of their plentiful options, the makers of the lectionary chose to lift up Good Shepherd Sunday.

Easter 3C

The Ignatian Examen

Step 1: Place yourself in the presence of our loving God: ask the Spirit to inspire your reflections. Please speak, your beloved is listening.


Step 2: Review the day in thanksgiving. Linger in gratitude. 


Step 3: Review what you felt during the day- all of it, especially the feelings you might have tried to suppress.


Step 4: Talk to God about your feelings. Imagine Jesus by your side. What do you want or need to say to him?


Step 5: Look to tomorrow in hope. What wisdom do you take with you into the new day? What intention do you place before God, with trust in the guidance of the Holy Spirit?

Lent 5C

My admiration for Mary of Bethany runs oh so very deep.


I feel a strong sense of connection to her because she reflects the person I want to be more, and more so.


Mary does not care what anyone in the house may think of her. She sees a need, and she meets it with a full and open heart.

Ash Wednesday 2019

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”


Without our trust in God’s healing, life-giving power, this statement may sound grim and depressing, rather than liberating or hopeful.

But, I truly believe it’s a powerful affirmation of faith in the divine love that creates and sustains our lives.

Epiphany 7C

The dictionary definition of nice is “pleasant, pleasing, agreeable.”


I’m coming to think of niceness as a veil of politeness that keeps us from authentic, loving relationship.


When we choose nice over compassion, our conversations stay at the surface. We don’t share our true selves; we hold back. We don’t get to know our neighbors in a soul-full way because resist going down deep to get to the place where healing happens. 

Feast of the Presentation

The European goldfinch is a stunning bird with a brown back and black and white wings flanked with gold stripes. The feathers between its eyes and below its beak form a circle of red, giving the impression that this beautiful creature has dipped its face in red paint.


According to one legend, a goldfinch was present at the crucifixion of Jesus, and she mercifully plucked a thorn from the crown pressed into his forehead. 

epiphany 3c

The voice of love calls out to us from scripture. 


At times the voice of love is astonishingly clear, as it was for the people in the book of Nehemiah, who began to weep at the realization of how far they had strayed from God. 


Their weeping is a sign of repentance, and it becomes an opening for them to receive God’s healing—the healing which leads to communities of mutual care, where all are included and those with little are honored and served. (see Nehemiah 8:10)

Advent 3c

This week my goddaughter went caroling with her classmates, and my best friend and I began to reminisce about our experiences of Christmas caroling with our youth groups when we were in high school.

 

We look back at those memories with fondness, remembering the joy and sense of community we felt. And yet, as we make our way through Advent, the feelings of delight and cozy Christmas spirit we now cherish may seem completely out of sync with the wilderness message of John the Baptizer. At least at first glance.

Advent 2C

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul writes, “This is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best.” (Philippians 1:11)

 

This line is tender and affectionate, and I’ve found myself drawn to it, while also wondering, how does this fit with Advent?

All Saints' Day

When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt down at his feet and said to him, “Lord if you have been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:32)

 

In today’s gospel, Mary of Bethany gives voice to a grief that unites the Beloved of God through time and space.

 

We don’t process or feel our losses in the same way, but grief is a universal reality. So, her pain and longing speaks to and honors our pain and longing. We might relate to Mary’s experience during the times that we pray, “Lord, where are you? Why didn’t you stop this? What will it take for you to intervene?”