The best words have no translation

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 4:7, NRSV … Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of […]

Those who wrestle

God gave a name to God’s covenant-people: Israel. The same name God added to Jacob, who wrestled on the banks of the Jordan with “a man” and demanded a blessing from that one. Isra-El, Wrestler-of-God. I don’t know anything more than this. I expect that to know would be another of those large research projects […]

Enjoy him forever

Picking out my outfit for worship, I decided the top was a leetle too much…the neckline cut away, and needed a strapless bra. And the necklace I’d been thinking of, Italian glass in brilliant colors, seemed more for evening than a sunny morning.  I went with something a little less fab.  As it is, I […]

Let me be had

It wasn’t an engaging instance of the genre called “sermon.” My Sweetie turned to me afterwards and said, “That was a lot like a philosophy lecture.” Well, yes, even at the outset he warned us of what was to come–Dr. Greenaway is, after all, a professor of philosophical theology. My father once inscribed on a […]

Unvarnished

I have been trudging uphill this week–thighs straining, calves protesting, asking myself, “Do I actually need to keep going?” and muttering to myself, “I’m much better at swimming.” Metaphorically speaking, that is. (Except for the swimming part; I am much better at swimming than other physical activities.) In the absence of other input, I’m telling […]

Ambitious discernment

In the past week I’ve taken some pockets of time for that most American of pastimes, goal-setting. I’ve noted down what I’ve done and what I’ve accomplished in 2016, compared it to a list from 2015, sketched a list for 2017. They are mostly similar. I realized that the list, for the most part, contains […]

Brokenness aside

My new pastor blogs. Just as you see my words pop up each morning (if you signed up for that), I read his thoughts as I eat breakfast and review my email. Today he looked at his family’s Christmas village, battered in their move last week, and looked at himself, and pointed out how God’s […]

The one precious thing 

Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.’ —Luke 15:31 “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” —Luke 10:41-42 I […]

How come nobody ever says they were Joe Schmo?

Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one object for special use and another for ordinary use? —Romans 9:21 Common Prayer, Pocket Edition handed me the above today. At the same time, I remembered the character Crash Davis saying, “How come, in former lifetimes, everyone is someone […]

Difficult grace

For it is clear that [Christ] did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect […]. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. –Hebrews 2:16-18 I wasn’t expecting […]