Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
(This week's writings are all scheduled to be posted while I'm away on retreat. I ask for your prayers and patience. If you ask a question in your comment, know that I won't be able to respond until I return. Peace!)
Hope is not an easy chair. It is not that pair of comfortable shoes that always feels right. It is not the "There, there" that comes with a pat on the shoulder or a hug. It is not white clouds in the sky or a gentle rain. It is not a guarantee, a promise or certainty. It does not feel like we want contentment to feel. It is not that flower that always appears in the spring.
I wish it was. Life would be so much easier if it was; simpler, too. There may be those who call this hope but they are mistaken. Like cheap grace isn't really grace, this cheap hope isn't really hope. I don't use this next word often but it seems appropriate here: Alas...
Hope is that rickety-scratched-up-no-brakes bike that, surprisingly, makes it through city traffic and potholes. It is that pair of hiking boots that look to be all used up but aren't, quite. It is a shaking finger in the face; a kick in the ass; a push. It is dark storm clouds over a baked desert that's forgotten rain. It is tenuous, a question, and uncomfortably persistent... And fragile. It can feel like something that it is flirting with grief. It is like that weed we have tried to uproot again and again and again and then, every spring, it appears seemingly stronger than before: a green, leafy, viney taunt.
We come to admire it
and love it
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
One: "Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God."
Many: May we not become so comfortable, that we are not able to accept the discomfort that sometimes comes with comforting others.
One: We may sometimes be people we did not expect to be;
Many: Go places we need did not expect to go;
One: Give more than we expected to give.
Many: May we pray through those moments of discomfort;
One: May we trust through those moments;
Many: May we love through those moments;
All: And, ultimately, may we find the deep comfort that can only be found in God's holy gifting of hope. Amen.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
- · We want community and peacefulness so badly that we aren't as honest as we need to be with each other.
- The lack of all kinds of diversity in our churches is not OK. In age diversity, inparticular, we're failing.
- We want to grow but are frequently afraid to do anything that remotely looks like evangelism and seem embarrassed to be people of faith. There is a huge difference between "shoving our beliefs down someone's throat" and, for example, talking about how our faith and church make our lives better; even make us happy.
- There are frequently undercurrents of tension between clergy and lay members of our congregations. In times when the resources of energy and money are diminished – and the status of the church or those related to it is, too – there is an emerging culture of blame and guilt inserting itself in to these relationships.