Goodbye, I Love You

Goodbye, I Love You

It’s a new church year in a new church. But even though the year officially started with the First Sunday of Advent, for me it started on October 31st when I celebrated Reformation Sunday for the very first time.  It was a beautiful and bittersweet milestone in my life that I never expected would happen. There was a brass ensemble calling us to worship; the choir (which I joined even before filing my new member registration) sang two perfect hymns,…

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Finding Favor Isn’t Easy

Finding Favor Isn’t Easy

What does it mean to find favor with God? Do you feel that you have found favor with God? Sometimes, it is easy to believe that God favors us.  Usually that is when life is going well, when our troubles are few and our blessings are many. But what do we think when life is hard, when troubles are many? This year, it’s often been hard to believe that we have found favor with God, because life has been more than…

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When Words Fail

When Words Fail

I’ve been trying to write for three months now. But the words just wouldn’t come. Plenty of things have popped into my head, whispering, “Write about this . . . or this,” but when I sat down and tried to write, I couldn’t string together more than a sentence or two. For a while, I told myself that I was just “in transition,” “trying to adjust,” and as soon as things “settled down,” I would find my voice. So I…

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A Plague, Locusts . . . Murder Hornets?

A Plague, Locusts . . . Murder Hornets?

A couple of weeks ago, my family was seated around the kitchen table, looking at the newspaper.  “Can you believe the story about the murder hornets?” my husband asked. He can never read the paper without making it into a conversation starter. “Oh no,” my daughter said. “First the plague, then murder hornets.  What’s next, locusts?” “Oh, we’ve already got those too,” I piped up, having read the story about Africa’s problems with locusts earlier in the month. “Double oh…

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Practicing Hope, Choosing Joy

Practicing Hope, Choosing Joy

I see the Easter Season in a whole new way this year. In the past, I’ve focused entirely on the joy of the resurrection. Easter signaled the end of sorrow and fear, the end of deprivation and limits. It was a time to celebrate, to gather with family, to spend a lot of time in church.  Alleluia–He is Risen! This year, with the coronavirus pandemic, there was no end to sorrow and fear, no end to deprivation and limits, little…

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Tribalism Won’t Save Us

Tribalism Won’t Save Us

Sometimes you have a conversation that sticks with you, uncomfortably.  About a month ago, I was talking with a bright, animated young college student about what was going on in politics since his major was political science. He was volunteering for Bernie Sanders during his winter break from school, so I decided to press him a bit about why he thought Bernie was the best candidate for President.  “At a time like this, when the country has been so divided, don’t you…

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Getting Rid of Boxes

Getting Rid of Boxes

It’s the time for New Year’s resolutions, and while there are many I should be making (concerning exercise, especially), I’m going to limit myself to one, far reaching as it is: get rid of the boxes. On one level, it is a practical resolution. We’ve lived in our new home for a little more than a year now, and it’s more than time to finish unpacking some of the boxes that got stashed away for “later.” Most are lining the unused guest…

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The Already and Not Yet

The Already and Not Yet

When you get a glimpse of heaven, it’s wonderful and sad, all mixed up together. I had two such glimpses in the past month. They are with me every day now, coloring my horizon with a mixture of hope and despair, desire and depression. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of them. The last glimpse came a few weeks ago at my home church. It was during a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the ordination of Fr….

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On The Road

On The Road

“That very day, the first day of the week, two of Jesus’ disciples were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast. . . .” Luke 24:13-17…

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Who is my neighbor?

Who is my neighbor?

We’ll be celebrating the Irish at the end of this week with parades, green beer and green rivers.  Although only about 10.5 percent of Americans truly have Irish heritage, far more than that will claim a drop of Irish blood on St. Patrick’s Day, and people who forget (or refuse) to wear green will be chided (or “affectionately” pinched, according to a Wikipedia article). But it wasn’t that long ago in our history that most Americans hated and feared the…

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