Known.

 

And there shall be with you a man from each tribe, each man being the head of the house of his fathers. And these are the names of the men who shall assist you. . . Numbers 1:4-5

I like to know what’s going on in my life. . . what the days mean, how events fit together, where I am going next, what will happen there. It helps my peace of mind to look across the hours and know their content. I like to think that when I am in charge of time, then I can make good things happen and keep the bad things out.

How about you? Continue reading “Known.”

Great expectations. 

“Some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.’ But others said, ‘How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?’ And there was a division among them.” John 9:16

Jesus and his disciples are in Jerusalem, and as they walk in the streets, they stop near a man who has never been able to see. It is the Sabbath. Lots of questions…Jesus spits in the dirt and smears mud on the man’s eyes . . . tells him to wash it off in the Pool of Siloam. The blind man does so, and he receives the gift of eyesight.

This story is steeped in disbelief, doubt and misunderstanding, and the people in it are riddled with it. They are confused and doubtful, and their actions betray the disorienting fear that episodes like this can create. Their expectations of how life “ought to be” challenge their acceptance of real life before them.

But really, among the people in this story, who are the ones who can’t see? Continue reading “Great expectations. “

A sign for you.

“And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12

When I was a young boy Christmas was, in every sense of the word, magical. The sparkling snow (when we had it), the soul-lifting music, the pine-scented decorations, amazing food, the anticipation, laughter and love of my family were lights in the night getting us ready to hear again the deep message in God’s greatest announcement: Emanuel has come.

But this year, the whole story is brand new. This year among these familiar events, I found something new, and it has changed me. Continue reading “A sign for you.”

Thanksgiving recipe.

“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.” Habakkuk 3:17-19

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in my house, as it is in most others across the land. I love this holiday as we celebrate our nation’s earliest days. I love to think about the brave and grateful pilgrims. I love the Thanksgiving memories of my youth, where my brothers and family would sometimes play football in the snow after eating like kings at noon. I love the family and friends with whom we can share the hours. I love this frosty time of year, with the brightening sun on the spectacularly colored leaves.

In all these things, I am so grateful.

And I love the food. Oh! The food! (See where this is going?) Continue reading “Thanksgiving recipe.”

Matters of life and death. (Part one)

 “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4

Every moment of every day, we are propelled by a silent urging.

Persistent in our minds is the unspoken, prime directive around which we orient our awareness. It is the a priori of our existence, the point of our central orientation, our singular focus.  Continue reading “Matters of life and death. (Part one)”

We are seen.

“And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” Luke 7:13-14

This is such a cool story. I love the way it is told. But there is something missing….

Jesus is approaching the village of Nain, and a funeral procession is coming out of the city. He sees the dead man’s mom weeping, and he has compassion on her….asks her not to cry. Everybody stops. Jesus touches the bier, and brings her son back to life.

What’s missing?  Continue reading “We are seen.”

In or out?

 “But if you say, ‘We will not remain in this land,’ disobeying the voice of the Lord your God and saying, ‘No, we will go to the land of Egypt, where we shall not see war or hear the sound of the trumpet or be hungry for bread, and we will dwell there; then hear the word of the Lord, O remnant of Judah. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: If you set your faces to enter Egypt and go to live there, then the sword that you fear shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine of which you are afraid shall follow close after you to Egypt, and there you shall die.” Jeremiah 42:13-16

When challenges flow strongly into the day, are you “in,” or “out?” Too often, I’m out. Continue reading “In or out?”

Get carried away.

“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.” Psalm 91:14 

The Hebrew language is as high and as wide, as deep and as long, as it is old. That is to our advantage. Many of its words and their varied uses are rich portraits of shade and nuance into which we can gaze wonderingly and get drenched well with meaning. To read it is to walk in a story that unfolds on a pathway of color and ideas that beckons one to join in and explore. It calls one to become an active participant in understanding. It is alive. Continue reading “Get carried away.”