Showing posts from 2016

Psalmistry, Week 2: Psalm 32

Psalm 32   (ICEL) (1) Of David, A maskil. (2) Happy the pardoned,      whose sin is canceled,      in whom God finds      no evil, no deceit. (3)  While I hid my sin,      my bones grew weak      from endless groaning. (4) Day and night,      under the weight of your hand,      my strength withered      as in a summer drought. Selah 1 (5) Then I stopped hiding my sin      and spoke out,     "God, I confess my wrong."      And you pardoned me. Selah 1 (6) No wonder the faithful      pray to you in danger!      Even a sudden flood      will never touch them. (7) You, my shelter,      you save me from ruin.      You encircle me      with songs of freedom. Selah 1                *** (8) "I show you the path to walk.       As your teacher,       I watch out for you. (9) "Do not be a stubborn mule,       needing bridle and bit       to be tamed." (10) Evil brings grief;       trusting in God brings love.    


Today, I stood in my shower in utter despair. I ceased to believe in the possibility of change. Amidst the horrors of humanity implied by these election results, I couldn't imagine a world in which anyone's heart could be moved. My hope was gone, my call to ministry shattered. Why bother? And then I remembered. I remembered  a People who had faced this despair. Who were brought out of bondage only to be left wandering in the wilderness. Who were conquered again and again but held fast somehow to the knowledge of Who they Are. Who in exile clung all the tighter to the markers of their identity, lest they forget to whom they belong. Who knew Justice had come to set them free again and who rallied and fought for a better world. They truly believed it was happening before their eyes and under their hands. And then they watched that hope be crucified. What was left for then that evening but despair? And so, though I've been feeling my way back into the intentional fo

Psalmistry, Week 1: Psalm 129

Psalm 129   (ICEL) (1)     A song of ascents.       Let Israel say it:      "They often oppressed me, (2)    oppressed me from my youth,       but they never crushed me." (3)    They plowed into my back,       cutting deep furrows, (4)    but God has proved just       and broke their wicked chains. (5)    Let those who hate Zion       be ashamed and retreat! (6)    Let the east wind dry them up       like weeds on a rooftop. (7)    Reapers cannot cut a handful,       nor harvesters gather enough to hold. (8)    No passer-by will say,      "The Lord's blessing upon you.       We bless you in God's name!" Day 1: Relationship Israel:Enemy (those who hate Zion) The psalmist encourages Israel not to keep silent, but to speak about their experience. Israel sings joyously of their not only having gained freedom from their oppressors, but in remaining unbroken during the period of their subjugation. Now, they curse the enemy. They want

Broken Wholeness

What's broken is never going to be whole again. It cannot be mended-- entire pieces are missing, and I can't even say where they've gone, how big they were, or what shape. And even if, by some unlikely coincidence, some strange miracle, you were handed back the pieces that broke away, they wouldn't fit together again. Too much time has passed-- so much rough scrubbing and cold washing-- and the edges that were once sharp and clearly defined have softened, smoothed. The broken place hasn't gone away, hasn't been filled with gold. But it won't cut your fingers now; if you touch that edge, you won't bleed anymore. The edge is full of character, interesting to look at, pleasant to touch. And what's broken is OBVIOUSLY broken, but it is also, now, after all of this time, whole.

Religious Education for a Changing World

In January, I attended a weeklong intensive at Leadville Lombard Theological School, for a class called, “RE for a Changing World.” What does that even mean? Well, RE is an easy one: religious education. But what does it mean to learn about religious education for a changing world? Changing how? And what do we even mean when we say “religious education?” During the course of the week, we actually used the phrases “faith formation” and “faith development” in place of “religious education,” and that is pretty indicative of the entire point of the class. The world is changing, growing, shifting, and so are its needs and the needs of people secular and religious alike. Classroom-style “religious education” is maybe no longer the best way to meet the needs of our youth and young people, nor our adults who are, in the best of worlds, still learning! Religious Education isn’t a thing kids do for one hour in a classroom on Sunday morning while their parents are in worship. Or at least, Rel

On Staying Woke

Rumi implores me, "Don't go back to sleep." But I'm so tired now After these long years clawing my way to consciousness I didn't know what would happen when i took the red pill ate the apple opened my eyes The world is full of mess and now I know it I can't turn around without facing another reason to despair Is it better to have a free mind in a cold world-- or to remain asleep, blissfully ignorant to my own oppression? But there was always a world outside the garden Always those kept from freedom and from sleep Now I know something of their suffering and something of my own I am awake Oh, but I'm tired I want so much to let my eyes drift closed again But I can see now the corruption of the soul of God wrought in every moment of slumber I won't go back to sleep Instead, I'll wake you up And you'll hate me for luring you into my exile We'll mark the hours together, then And instead of despairing and