Faith-Full

Luke 7:1-10 Amazed. Julian was amazed at people’s faithfulness and the depth of the commitment made by people who were confirmed at her church. (Confirmation being the process by which people in other denominations say, “Yes I am choosing to follow Jesus.”) The enormity of such a decision awed 12-year old Julian, who was herself preparing for the confirmation process.  […]

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Favorite Poems on: Trust

As I dive into the lectionary passage (Luke 7:1-10), I am struck by the way Marcus Borg talks about the historical definition of faith as trust. Borg depicts the opposite of faith as worry and anxiety. What strikes me about the centurion in this week’s story is his lack of anxiety, which is indeed worthy of Jesus’ amazement. Thus, this week I have been reflecting on these poems that speak to the call to be faithful, trusting, and to not be consumed by our anxieties and fears.  I Worried by Mary Oliver I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers flow in the right direction, will the earth turn as it was taught, and if not how shall I correct it? Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven, can I do better? Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows can do it and I am, well, hopeless. Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it, am I going to get rheumatism, lockjaw, dementia? Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing. And gave it up.  And took my old body and went out into the morning, and sang. The Last Good Days By Lynn Ungar What will you do with the last good days? Before the seas rise and the skies close in, before the terrible bill for all our thoughtless wanting finally comes due? What will you do […]

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Location, Location, Location

Acts 2:1-21 Do you ever get lost? After two years of living in Connecticut, I still lose my way.  Just the other week, it took me over 40 minutes to go somewhere in Old Lyme and most of that time was spent wandering back roads in the wrong direction.  The other day, before I ventured out to make a visit, someone gave me detailed directions, narrating each turn and then telling me: you will know that you’ve arrived in the right place if there is a flag pole and cemetery across the street.  I followed the directions carefully and then, as I prepared to do my multiple back-and-forth, do-you-think-that-is-it, am-I-really-on-the-right-road locating technique, I stumbled upon the flag pole and the cemetery and I immediately knew: I was in the right place. I found myself thinking of this experience this week because, in our spiritual life, it is also easy to get lost.  Do you ever stray off-course?  Do you ever find yourself driving down streets again and again, unsure how to locate the precise place that you set out to find?   Do you find yourself hungry to deepen your relationship with God but lost on how to precisely start on that task when the New Revised Standard Bible is approximately a 780,000 word book?  Or perhaps you find yourself setting out for one location, like healing, but finding yourself arriving at another, like resentment, despite your best intentions to arrive […]

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Pentecost Year C Musings

Acts 2:1-21 Theme: You are in the right place if … In the book Tattoos of the Heart by Father Greg Boyle, Boyle notes that some Scripture scholars posit that the original language of the Beatitudes should not be rendered as “Blessed are the single-hearted” or “Blessed are the peacemakers.”  Rather, greater precision in translation would say, “You’re in the right place if … you are singled-hearted or work for peace.”  In those words, Jesus teaches us that the Beatitudes are not a spirituality but rather a geography that tells us where to stand. Similarly the Scripture this week, the Holy Spirit teaches us that faith is a geography.  In the text, the Spirit comes whooshing through the disciples’ gathering, calling them out of the Upper Room where they were holed up, safe and comfortable, into the cacophony of different languages and people. The Holy Spirit calls us forth into the world, teaching us that we are in the right place if everyone doesn’t look like us or talk like us, or if we have to pause to learn to speak in other people’s languages. In the words of Jan Richardson, we are in the right place if “everyone does not look like you or think like you…. they do not believe precisely as you believe … their thoughts and ideas gestures are not exact echos of your own.” Location, location, location.  Faith is about location.  Where are you standing?  Are you standing […]

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That They May Be One

Texts: Acts 16:9-15 ,  John 17:20-26 As Paul walks on the stone-paved pathway onto the threshold of Philippi, a city in Macedonia, a region in Greece, he immediately starts looking around.  He’s not really sure what he is looking for. Paul is here because he had a vision, a dream really, of a man who said to him, “C’mon over to Macedonia […]

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Easter 7C Musings

Texts: Acts 16:9-15 (from Easter 6C) John 17:20-26 This text draws from Jesus’s final prayer before he is betrayed by his friend and crucified on the cross. It follows the Farewell Discourse, which we read last week, which emphasized peace and the presence of the Holy Spirit.  This week, the text emphasizes unity, love and God’s presence with us. I have been pondering this week: […]

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