Friday, December 31, 2021

People of Promise, Hope, Light

Birthed in a stable, 
the mark of humility. 

Revealed first to shepherds, 
no hint of hierarchy. 

Yet extraordinary! 

God comes before us 
as an infant, 
that we would be 
people of promise, 
people of hope. 

Born beneath a star 
that we would be 
His wayfinders, 
God’s people of light. 

In a New Year
as our world groans 
for God’s restoration, 
how will this wayfinder 
humbly carry the promise, 
the hope, the light? 


Artwork credits: top, middle, bottom

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Peace, Good Will Toward Men

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” 
(Luke 2:14 KJV) 

Can I help to transform that proclamation of Jesus’ birth into reality? How can I live it? Isaiah 2 was in my Advent reading with this most famous prophecy about peace on earth: 

They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.

Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore. 

Again, how do we make that our reality? How do we live that? We pray! 

Lord Christ, 

Isaiah is disturbing my holiday card Advent with God’s ideal, God’s path. It’s jarring, challenging.

Something to ponder about the last days, where Jesus leads us. 

It will be universal, inclusive: All nations. Many peoples. 

It will be free of coercion and conflict: Swords are converted to plows, spears become pruning tools, repurposed for cultivation and growth. 

Today, I declare a cease fire in the culture war. I pledge to disarm my social media. And I pray that we will lay down our weapons - figuratively, literally. 

Let us walk in the light of the Lord. 


Friday, October 29, 2021

About Job

Job has made several lectionary appearances in October. His is an epic story of many layers…with an epic message.

All Knowing, 

All Mighty God,

This is my take on Job…

Am I off the rails?

He loses children, health and wealth. 

The tragedy is never adequately explained. It’s the classic “why do bad things happen to good people?” It’s further complicated by a Divine foreknowledge. And the wounding continues as Job’s (supposed) friends offer gratuitous, misguided consolation. 

In lament, in despair, Job finds himself in Your presence.  

God is not distant. 

God is available. 

And that Holy presence is enough. 

In Your presence, Job is restored. 

It’s not about understanding God’s plans or God’s ways. That’s beyond our comprehension. 

It’s about knowing Your presence. That is within our reach. 

For some it comes like lightning. For me, much cultivation has been necessary.

And like Job, Your loving presence heals and restores, guides and empowers. Your presence saves. Amen. 

Artwork credit

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Belief = Love

Love God. 
Love neighbor. 
The twin tenets of our faith. 

Sublimely simple, 
but “easier said than done.” 

We complicate 
with catechisms, 
books of discipline,
statements of belief. 

These good intentions 
often accommodate 
our fears and prejudice. 

Loving God 
is circumscribed. 
The definition 
of neighbor narrows. 

The Spirit reminds me 
of Fr. Richard Rohr’s* advice: 

In controversies 
of theology and morality 
always ask… 

What is the loving response? 

Consider a change 
of mind or heart. 
Be prepared 
to set aside 
our rules and regulations 
for love. 


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7) 

Friday, April 16, 2021

Pandemic Prophet

Micah is my favorite prophet. That owes entirely to his venerated admonition on the Lord's behalf:

Do justice, 

Love kindness, 

Walk humbly with your God.

(from Micah 6:8)

It is a challenging and powerful mission statement! 

So, I was thinking...

Public health officials (appropriately) and politicians (often inappropriately) dominate the pandemic discussion. What might a prophet have to say?

Woe to you!

Kingdom of America,

Nation of Contagion.

Fealty to your vaunted economy 

tramples a withered humanity. 

You abuse liberty. 

You pervert the

“pursuit of happiness.”

550,000 pandemic dead. 

Still, you resist masks, 

even vaccinations. 

You applaud reckless re-openings.

The common good takes a back seat 

to red/blue politics 

and your culture war.

You invite Divine cancelation!




...describe your grievances,

and your behavior,

but not your tepid faith. 

Sick and selfish souls 

are the real pandemic.

Are you so dull, so dim?

What part of this command 

eludes your comprehension?

Love your neighbor as yourself.

(Mark 12:31)

This scolding

brings no pleasure.

Let my harsh tone convict.

Mend your ways!

Our God stands ready

to forgive, heal and restore.


The prophet, for whom negativity is an occupational hazard, asked me to acknowledge the “love your neighbor” care and concern of essential workers, from nurses to grocery store cashiers. And for the mask wearers, the social distancers and the vaccinated.

Artwork credit

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Easter Distilled

I found myself making notes during Holy Week about the basics of Easter. Given the the layers of meaning and the resurrection miracle itself, it might be a misguided effort. There is no “Easter for Dummies.” It’s too grand and complex. Still, denominations, theologians, politicians, you and I are inclined to mold Jesus to suit our tastes, biases and needs. Therefore, I do believe that it’s a useful exercise to extract the essence of Easter.

God sends his Word

in the flesh

a life and lessons

of forgiveness, healing

humility, service


World counters Word

with rebuke, mocking 

betrayal, torture


Word answers

with obedience

with sacrificial love

God replies

with restoration

with covenant, Spirit

with resurrection power

We respond

with belief, repentance

“salt and light” 

with love


Artwork credit

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

a kingdom divided

o lord, i lament

pundits chatter about division

red states, blue states

red counties, blue cities

it’s a political phenomenon

dominating the news

but not our lives

most of us are center-red 

or center-blue

in the middle

we aren’t ranting 

on social media

we’re sharing pix 

of pets and grandkids

In the neighborhood, workplace

in civic and faith pursuits

there’s respect, mutual concern

even solidarity

we are so weary

of chaos and turmoil

in politics and government

we seek order 

in a disorderly world

we long for community

with humility and forgiveness

with love of neighbor

Jesus is the way

Whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 18:4

Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!  Matthew 18:21-22

Love your neighbor as yourself.  Matthew 22:39

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.  Matthew 25:35-36


Sunday, January 31, 2021

Rebooting Noah

Gracious God!

I’m rethinking Noah’s Ark,

and meaning in the myth.

False prophets, grumpy Christians 

can’t resist an angry God.

They savor Noah’s parable,

where wayward humanity

is engulfed by floodwaters.

But they miss the point.

God selects a family to carry on.

God cares about each animal.

God provides detailed survival instructions.

God proffers a covenant with all creation.

This isn’t a tale of God’s wrath.

It’s a love story, 

of personal care and mercy,

of God’s grace.

God of the restart, the do-over, the reboot!

And the story ends with a rainbow, 

with hope!

Thanks be to God, Amen.

Creation Rebooted, Genesis 8, Scripture Union

Artwork credit