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.

(5) Then I stopped hiding my sin
     and spoke out,
    "God, I confess my wrong."
     And you pardoned me.

(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.


(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.


      Rejoice in the Lord.
      Be glad and sing,
      you fa…


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 following of …

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 to see the enemy retreat in shame, with nothing to…

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,

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
The edge is
full of character,
interesting to look at,
pleasant to touch.

And what's broken is
but it is also, now,
after all of this time,

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, Religi…

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 wishing for sleep
we will work toward a …