Lord of the Waves

You walked all night to meet your friendsas the waves washed the soles of your feetThey saw you far off; they screamed in fright“Is it real? It’s a ghost that we see!” Take courage my friends, it is I, don’t be afraidTake courage my friends, it is I, Lord of the waves” Lord, if it’s you, then ask me to cometo you now on the waves,” Peter said.You bid him to come; he left the boat;and he walked till he noticed the wind. Take courage my friend, it is I, don’t be afraidTake courage my friend, it is I, you can walk on the waves “Master, save me!” Peter criedas the waves pulled him into the deep.You reached out at once to hold him upas the waves washed the soles of your feet. Take courage my friend, it is I, don’t be afraidTake courage my friend, it is I, you […]

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Mary and Mary

Mary and Mary cried through that long, hellish nightAt last day was dawning, the grey dissolved in the lightThey ran to the grave. …where they were shocked by an angelwho shook the ground with his newsHis face sparked like lightning, flashing & blindingHe said, Don’t be afraid: Jesus lives, he lives – let his life spark life in youLet what is cold in you be warmed anewHe lives, he lives. Mary and Mary, still seeing spots from that lightTheir grief in crazy disorder – could that angel be right?He said, Don’t be afraid: Jesus lives, he lives – let his life spark life in youLet what is cold in you be warmed anewHe lives, he lives. So Mary and Mary, their blood still rushing with frightLooked in the tomb and saw nothing – could the dead rise to life?They ran back to town – And who had walked out to […]

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God’s will

When someone is sick, people start talking about God’s will. Thy will be done. What does it mean? I’ve heard it used several ways: “Thy will be done” as a magical prayer. It’s easy to fall into the belief that if I say this special prayer before a frightening, uncertain event, then the outcome is God’s will—even if the outcome is terrible. I knew a woman who broke her neck in an accident. Just before the accident she had prayed for God’s will to be done, and so she believed that it was God’s will for her to break her neck. She lost her faith over it. This interpretation of “Thy will be done” imagines us having a lot more power than we do. If I say the magic words, then everything will happen exactly according to God’s will? No. My words and thoughts do not control the universe. “Thy […]

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The easiest, hardest thing

Matt. 26:38b Then he said to them, “….Stay here and keep watch with me.” My friend Sue Ann works as a chaplain with SpiritCare Ministry to Seniors. She conducts lovely, gentle worship services at long-term care centers, plus she does visitation and pastoral counseling. SpiritCare recruits volunteers to do things like play the piano, help with communion, and spend time with residents. I’ve helped Sue Ann at three homes now, and helping turned out to be simpler and less scary than I’d feared. I can help just by singing loudly, or just by slowing down to really look at and see the beauty of the person I am speaking to. These things don’t cost me much—in fact, they bring me joy. I’m grateful for the structure that Sue Ann’s ministry provides, because it makes it easy and possible for me to do what would otherwise be too much for me. […]

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Only God’s money

Matthew 25:16 Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. This morning at St. Cuthbert’s, Pamela offered each household a fifty dollar bill from the church’s discretionary fund. Is she insane? Instructions: This is God’s fifty dollars. Use it to invest in God’s kingdom. In ninety days, tell the church what you made of it. This is a poor church. A small church. But that fifty-dollar bill began to enrich and enlarge my ideas about God the moment I touched it. My first thought was an earnest desire to make something of it and come back next week with a hundred-dollar bill to put in the offering plate. So far so good. I left church and drove downtown to the YMCA. I packed my wallet in my gym bag to take into the building with me, where I planned to spend a quarter to store […]

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Still Epiphany

Matthew 2:1–12 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. (NRSV) Sometimes the Epiphany holds still, and we can catch up with it.

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