The Power of Gathering Together

It was more than enough. What seemed like so little was more than enough. The brief outdoor graveside service was enough. The eulogy, the words read from scripture, the recorded songs we heard, the brief homily I shared, the prayers we offered up, the rose petals dropped into the grave…it was enough and actually more than enough. A beautiful hawk flew in just as we began the memorial service and sat on the edge of the mausoleum wall. Those who were grieving gathered together. Before this week I had not ever thought of the miracle of the feeding of the 5000 to be similar to a wake- the context of this miracle sets the stage for it. When Jesus heard this… when the crowds heard this… Matthew

A Labor of Love - a breath at a time

First breath. Last breath. Every breath in between. As I drove to a hospice visit I spoke with another pastor on the phone. She shared how she learned to take deep breaths when she was with those whose labored breathing was indicating the closeness of their death. We spoke of the breathing exercises one learns as expectant parents. Training in breathing not only for the one giving birth also for those who are in the room. Labored breath. So I took many deep breaths as I approached the entry to the care facility. Beloved child of God, deep breath, you are marked with the cross of Christ, deep breath, and sealed with the Holy Spirit forever. Deep breaths as I made the sign of the cross on her

Here Comes the Judge...

Here comes the judge, here comes the judge….Sometimes laughing can help remind me to take off the robe and put down the gavel. Maybe you also remember from the days of “Laugh In” Sammy Davis Jr’s routine. It came to mind this week. Stop weeding. That is another message that we can take from this week’s gospel in Matthew 13. Now this isn’t about me or you not keeping up on the physical weeds in our backyards. It’s about staying out of the business of being the judge of others. Another way to understand this comes from a phrase I have used for a couple decades. “Take off the black robe and put down the gavel”. This is one of my code phrases to stop judging, to stop judging myself and to stop j

Seeds, Soil, Scripture in the Summer of the Spirit

Every year we talk about getting an early start to our garden by planting seeds indoors in the early Spring. Every year we go and buy tomato plants because we didn’t get any seeds started. Seeds take a different type of tending and time line. This year we did amend the soil in our little tomato garden plot with some of our own compost. Every year we hear Jesus speak in parables. Every week we feast on God’s word and get opportunities to grow. For the next several weeks we hear Jesus speak in the parables of seeds, soil and sowers, wheat and weeds, yeast and mustard seeds. To fertilize the soil of our minds as we listen to and learn from parables I share with you what Dr. Karoline Lewis write

Keeping it simple and taking it easy

Pausing to watch the birds as I drink a cup of tea. Taking in a deep breath when I am uncertain and it feels like fear is welling up within me. Hearing the wind chime and letting it be a message of peace as the wind blows. This week my intention is to “keep it simple”. The words from Matthew 11:28-30 we will hear this Sunday as we have a simple, single Sunday worship service at 9:30am on July 5, have walked with me for many years. Here is the translation from The Message: 28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforce

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