Advent: Joseph

Annunciation to Joseph Steady, old boy. You can believe your eyes. Admit it. This is not unfamiliar, this mystic hope that shimmered in the shadows that day as the sawdust settled under your restless feet. You can believe what her ears heard, what she told you, how the messenger revealed the mystery’s shape hidden within her innate devotion. You can do this. The raw material … Continue reading Advent: Joseph

Grace for a Scary Season

I’m not fond of this season. The yard displays, the masks, the gore, so much creepiness on TV. Think of what it is teaching our children. I’m not talking about Halloween. It’s mid-term election season. These days elections seem to bring out the worst in human behavior. And it’s not just “those people.” I find myself arguing with campaign commercials, or making snap judgments about … Continue reading Grace for a Scary Season

Saved on the Road

            I have a spiritual practice that helps me internalize the Scriptures and the ways of God. I imagine being one of the characters or a bystander in a biblical story, and I spin out the story as I see it. It doesn’t have to be theologically “correct,” although I try to keep it plausible.  I simply spend time wondering what it was like to … Continue reading Saved on the Road

Lace

When I unwrap the holiday ornaments the stiff snowflakes pause a moment in my hand, fashioned, starched in precise geometry by my mother, who stitched frugal threads into transcendence. Once I presented her with a bedspread from my husband’s family not quite finished, a long-forgotten interruption. She studied the pattern, dyed the thread to match someone else’s story, not unlike her dutiful life as pastor’s … Continue reading Lace

Life-Giving Sabbath

The word “Sabbath” calls up lots of ideas and feelings for different people.  As I grew up, we were expected to observe it strictly, with no unnecessary work and no homework done on Sundays. We could not patronize a swimming pool or a restaurant, because that would require other people to violate the Sabbath as they served us.  This was not altogether a negative thing. … Continue reading Life-Giving Sabbath