Stewardship in Worship

Rhythms of Worship, Part 2

Many of us may be familiar with the terms “Vespers” and “Compline,” used for special evening worship services. But these are actually just two of seven prayer times, or “offices,” that help us remember the events in Jesus’ life and ministry in worshipful observance throughout any given twenty-four-hour period. This daily rhythm is called canonical…

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Rhythms of Worship, Part 1

I was in my twenties, out of college and in seminary, before I learned about the seasons of the “Christian Year.” Like many Protestants, I experienced Sunday as the Bible’s “first day of the week,” the worship anchor for each week of the year. But it was easy to see each Sunday as a one-shot…

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A Radiant Grace

I often picture God’s grace as a multifaceted jewel, reflecting God’s Light from different angles, each in a different way from the vantage point of a person’s unique life and circumstance. Just think of all the facets, all the rays of light, for all of us human beings! It may shine amethyst in a person’s…

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Winter Stewards

Being God’s stewards of the land is a year-round enterprise, even if we don’t have to be useful, making a profit on crops or livestock. There’s a lot to trimming off dead limbs from trees, for example, especially ten-story oaks. Whether oaks or pines, trees depend upon their interlaced roots, and can fall on their…

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White Gifts Sunday

Communion Sunday always inspires me, as I try to pray for everyone who comes forward to receive the host: parents with children mostly in hand, senior singles, teens in their social bunches, and the less mobile waiting to be served in their seats. But yesterday was also Epiphany Sunday, celebrating the Magi coming to the…

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Christmas Being

            Being. Focusing on being versus compulsive doing. That’s what prompted me several years ago to start writing my book, Growing Generous Souls. I had experienced dozens of years of well-meaning doing in the church, dotted with periodic moments sensing our being in the presence of the Living God. My study of the spiritual disciplines…

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Being in Advent

This far into the pre-Christmas period, many of us may be up to our chins in busyness, whether from shopping, community holiday events, or gatherings of family and friends. And did I mention shopping? So how can we re-focus ourselves on being instead of frenetic doing? On the birth of Christ in our hearts and…

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The Spirit of Advent

“Counting the Days to Christmas” is the title of a Christian devotion-and-activity book I started some years ago for children and their parents or grandparents. Maybe someday I’ll finish it. It’s hard to believe that we’re counting those days to Christmas already this year. Advent calendars start counting on December first. They’re a favorite tradition…

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Reign of Christ Sunday

Yesterday millions of Christians celebrated “Reign of Christ Sunday,” the last Sunday of the Christian worship Year. At first blush, it’s odd to have one Sunday named that, since the Reign, or Kingdom, of God is a big deal in Christian faith. But it turns out that it came about in 1920s Italy, as the…

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Saints and the Search for Moral Presence

Today is All Saints Day, so it’s appropriate to think about the saints in our lives and world. These days, every day seems to be the opposite of saintly: national brink-of-war tactics, political partisan diatribes, hate crimes, and horrendous violence. So maybe All Saints Day is really important right now, whether we ascribe to official…

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