Posts under 'Sermonish'

Grid::Blog::Via Crucis 2007 - Yes, With the Help of the Lord


Presider: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
Assembly: I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary…

See, already I’m having trouble.

Two years ago I started only sometimes believing Jesus was actually God. I don’t know if my rational post-enlightenment self can really hang on to the literal interpretation that Jesus was God, a deity. (Oh my poor in-laws are having such heart attacks right now. Try not to panic my loves. It comes and goes — sort of like mono.)

It all started when one of the pre-school moms’ discovered that I was … {read more…}


Rebecca’s bath tray is beautiful – a deep dark-stained wood covered with mysteries. There is a large bottle of oil with a stopper. A small hand-blown vial with a twisted lid in the colors of fire. A squat round jar with a lid of woven silver holds pale blue salts. A candle burns in the middle, the same soft shade of buttery yellow as the lotion bar molded into the shape of the smiling moon.

“I like your bath tray.” I say, as she carries it through the warm afternoon light of the dining room.

“I don’t take a bath,” says Rebecca, “I have a ritual.”

I love rituals. They mark holy time, holy space. I have so many of them … {read more…}

Ah Ha! - Epiphany Message for Thursday Night

A week or so ago I wrote an off-the-top-of-my-head post about the organized church, and my current relationship to it. As is usual with the case of my shitty first drafts (SFD) it wasn’t worded especially careful. And as is usual of my most propheticish moments, it raised some hackles. I don’t intentionally raise hackles, at least not most of the time, but I really don’t mind when they get raised, and I mostly stay out of the fray. There was quite a bit of back-and-forth on the blog…15 or 16 comments, if I remember rightly. Folks do do do love to theologize. I don’t really enjoy that much myself, the theologizing. I like orthodoxy as much as the … {read more…}

A Reflection for Christmastide

Recently I watched Kingdom of Heaven. There were three things that struck me about the film. The first was that prior to Christianity’s occupation of Jerusalem, the city was relatively open. Though Muslim controlled, Jews and Christians alike were allowed to come and worship. It was only after the crusades that the city became closed to one faith or the other. Second, I was struck by the way each side of the Muslim-Christian conflict would claim that God had issued their marching orders. This wasn’t news to me – we’ve obviously been doing throughout humankind’s long history. But there was something about seeing the various generals crying out “God wills it!” or “Allah wills it!” that brought the reality home … {read more…}

Embrace & Alternate: My Big Beef About Christmas

So last weekend I went to a lecture on the history of Christmas as a national American holiday. The speaker was a professor of comparative religion at the University of Washington, and it was very interesting and offered some new-to-me information. The lecture was a at a church, presented to a room full of mainline liberals mostly in their 40’s – 60’s. The general response was one typical of most Christians I know which is “Yes! Isn’t it awful how “they” have hijacked Christmas!”

I’m sick of that particular outrage.

According to the professor, Christmas has basically equaled time with family + commercialism since the 1800’s. The 1800’s people! How long are we going to complain about it being hijacked?! Isn’t … {read more…}

Sukkot/Feast of Booths


The big message of Sukkot is “God provides.” God provided manna from heaven, meat from the skies as ravens landed, sweet water from a dry rock in a dry land.

“God provides.” This is a hard message for me to swallow. God does provide in ways that I notice and feel, in ways that meet a felt need—sometimes, even often. But nearly as often (or at least, so it seems) my needs go unmet, my hurts unhealed, my bankbook unreconciled, my relationships unmended.

I suppose it can be said that God meets all of my needs in some sort of eschatological, end-of-life sort of way. Such as, “well, God will meet all … {read more…}


Last night was our annual Fall Equinox Chili Fest. I shopped, cooked, and hosted for 14 hours …and loved every minute of it! We had about thirty folks or so — monkfishy folks, neighbors, friends from school. The house was full and happy and the trampoline was well occupied by “kids” of all ages. It’s always so satisfying to see my worlds cross pollinate. I loved watching Katie and Miss on the smoking porch, talking travels and tattoos with Rebecca and Paul. We stayed up late visiting with our new-ish neighbor Helene, my aforementioned friend Katie (also a neighbor) and Lindell — who’s always the last monk to make it out the door. (Thank goodness! He and Paul … {read more…}

If You Were With Me Tonight: In lieu of lectio divina, a sermonette for Monkfish Abbey and the Season of Light

saw a great light
Mama God, Papa God
Stefan Czernecki, illustrator

If you were with me at eight o’clock tonight, the sun would still be with us. This is the miracle of living on the Northern curve of the globe. And if you were with me tonight, when the sun yet shone, I would ask you to think about light. I would bid you to just sit still for a moment with a candle cradled in your hand –or with the sun still streaming through the window, warming a spot on the floor. I would try to work up the courage to chant, “Breath in. Breathe out….In the hand of God, I rest.” I … {read more…}

I’ve Got a Little Article…

over at the IdealLab. Check it out here.

P.s. Jim keeps laughing at my head shot. What do y’all think?

In Praise of Simple Things

Here’s some quick notes from some musings I had while reading Luke 24. I shared them at ThPM/Monkfish last week. Not sure it went over that well. But I was just trying to go “hey look what’s in my head.” …. I think folks still feel like anytime I speak I’m suddenly this creater called “the pastor” and I’m trying to convince them of something. When really, I’m just trying to talk like the next guy, just trying to be human.

Anyway, here it is for safe keeping. It’s not edited.


And they knew him in the breaking of the bread.

Luke 24

The same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out … {read more…}