Post-Pandemic Resilience

These are more than just “tough days.” Ever since emerging from the pandemic, it seems we’ve been ripping away at our own social fabric, with take-no-prisoners politics, arbitrary violence, and Armageddon thinking. If there was ever a time requiring resilience, we could say it is now. “Resilience” is actually something scientists have been studying. They…

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This Week In Between

Reign of Christ Sunday is hardly a household phrase, much less its earlier designation (begun in the 1920s), “Christ the King Sunday.” This is a special worship day – the end and climax of the entire Liturgical Year – that points to an important head-and-heart experience for a follower of Jesus. It celebrates the sovereignty…

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No Chicken Little

I’ve never been the Chicken Little type of person to cry, “The sky is falling!” But I do believe in taking a sober look around when necessary to reassess the situation, in order to search for some genuinely good news. That’s why now is an essential time to reassess our need for a stronger foundation…

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Pentecost Prayer

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that…

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Resurrection and Wild Waves

Okay, I admit it: ever since COVID and writing my book Tossed in Time, I’ve been partial to Matthew’s story of Jesus walking on the stormy water – and Peter’s crazy request to walk on the wild waves with him! (Matthew 14: 22-33) A fisherman by trade, Peter clearly knew those nighttime storms could mean…

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Not for Wimps

Let’s say we believe deeply in God, as many of us do. More than that, at some time we might have prayed for God’s guidance, have experienced God’s presence, and/or have felt and responded to God’s love. What then? How can we stay in love with God?1 In 18th Century England, Christian reformer John Wesley…

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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2023

I didn’t grow up celebrating a bunch of special Christian days, but I’m finding some of the basics reassuring in these uncertain times. One of those is a hundred-year-old tradition called the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It lasts for eight days, usually Jan. 18-25. That’s this week. Even the phrase “Christian unity” may…

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The Map or the Boat?

Author Mark Nepo tells the story of a troubled man who asked for help from a sage.1 The wise man offered him a choice. “Do you want a map or a boat?” The supplicant looked at the many other suffering people around him and answered, “I want the boat.” So the monk told him, “Go,…

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Advent: Time Limits

“The unforced rhythms of grace” – that’s a lovely phrase in The Message version of the Bible for Matthew 11:30. Here are the verses that lead up to it: 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…

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Transforming Time

“You can’t go home again,” says the old adage, and most of us would agree. When we return to the old, familiar places, something has changed. We are different now from who we were back then, and the actual place of “home” is different now, as well: people there have changed from their experiences while…

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Sunday: Why Weekly Worship?

Why do people worship together as a community? Granted, many people have a personal life of devotion, but what is it about communal worship that can help steer our days through life’s uncertainties, traumas, and storms? Whether shared in person or through live streaming, Sunday worship has given me a framework for time lived during…

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Day-by-Day Mysteries

Think of us in this way: as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries. (1 Corinthians 4:1) Paul was in trouble – again. This time it was with some members of the congregations he helped because of that pack of holier-than-thou “super-apostles.” They were going around stirring up doubts about his leadership, saying that…

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Epiphany: The Light of Christ

The worship season of Epiphany begins on January 6, just after the twelve days of Christmas. In the Western world, these are the darkest days of the year, a natural time to celebrate light. The name “Epiphany” comes from the Greek verb “to bring to light” or “to cause to appear.” Light is the main…

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Worship in Pandemic Times

We’ve all been hit with unprecedented challenges in the pandemic isolation these past two years. What has it been like for those who lead our common worship, seeking to hold us together as worshiping communities? What have they learned from their experiences? “We Are Not Alone” is an excellent article that seeks to answer these…

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Family Activities for Lent

Of all the worship seasons in the Christian Year, the forty days of Lent, just before Easter, can be the hardest to understand, especially for young children. Adults can have a tough time with it, too. Most often it’s explained as a time of confession, self-denial, and preparation for receiving Jesus’ gift of his life…

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