In the Bible, wells are meeting places. And at a time of fear and uncertainty, the need to remain connected is even more important. Being in together in relationship is what will get us through this public health crisis. But when we are restricted from gathering together, where are our wells? Where are our meeting places? How do we function as community of faith?
What do Andy DuFresne and St. Paul have in common? Both men were in prison. Both men chose a hopeful way to live within a new social order. Redemption comes from choosing to live with hope and choosing to participate in the transformative power of love. Redemption comes from choosing to live in the hope of the risen Christ and choosing to participate in the transformative power of love. Continue reading “Andy DuFresne and St. Paul: Prison Perspectives”
The reading from Jeremiah is an invitation to stop listening to the stories we tell about ourselves and start listening to the stories God has to say about us. You are not “less than.” You are “more than.” The God who created you is close by. The God who formed you is still forming you. The God who called you by name, still calls.
Jeremiah bought a field and sealed up the deeds in clay jars and my great-grandmother boarded a ship bound for New York carrying a hand-cranked sewing machine. These prophetic acts were declarations of hope at a time of uncertainty. Both Jeremiah and my great-grandmother trusted that God was not done with them yet; they had a future.
Three years ago last week, I sat on the deck of our rented cabin, looking at the early morning sun break over the Smoky Mountains. My husband and son were asleep in their beds and I was looking forward to the solitude of a cup of coffee with a view that felt like a prayer.
Then I opened Jennifer’s email.
“I have been diagnosed with what the doctors believed to be Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as ALS. Clearly this is not the diagnosis anyone would ever want.”
Three years ago, I sent my daughter off to college. A parishioner at the church where I worked was also sending her daughter off to college. “You must be so upset and worried!” she exclaimed. Umm… no. Not really. I guess I had a very different viewpoint on the experience.
Four years ago, I sent my son off to war. July 14, 2011. My worst day.
Shaun White is kind of a jerk, right? A Washington Post reporter discovers the problem of labeling people. “Never be too sure of where you’re going because you might just end up someplace else, crying on a mountaintop with a mother whose child’s cancer is thankfully in remission, with a rich and famous action sports star who delivered the Olympic moment of his life on the day he failed to win a medal.”
Jesus’ request crosses religious, ethnic and gender boundaries. The woman is somehow tainted, immoral. Removing the stigma of immorality, not our derision, but our compassion. This woman at the well also deserves our admiration.
Continue reading “From to Adulteress to Apostle: Re-interpreting the Woman at the Well”
Each of us has control over our own words and our own actions. We can do and say hurtful things that wound other people. Or… we can do and say kind things that help people heal.
Continue reading “Words of Healing and the Broken Cheeseburger”