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Showing posts from February, 2016

A Terrifying Darkness (Lent Poem)

“Count the stars,”
he told me. “This land will be yours,” he said. Outrageous! I thought. “How will I know?” I asked.
I brought the sacrifice, slaughtered the animals, sat down, and waited.
He didn’t warn me that after the promises, the obedience, and the waiting, the darkness would come.

From Genesis 15, the Old Testament lectionary reading for today.

This is one of several passages in which God makes a covenant with Abram. What struck me in this particular instance is the strange, unsettling way in which God reiterates the covenant. What was Abram expecting; how did he think God would respond to his request for a sign or guarantee of the promise? Why did God put Abram to sleep and send a "terrifying darkness" after making these massive and intimate promises? And what does either of these questions have to do with us today?

Lent & Wilderness

This morning, I led a hospital ecumenical service, and gave a short message on Luke 4:1-13 and its significance for those of us who are observing Lent. 

I decided to post it here because I'm planning on sharing some Lenten poetry in the next few weeks, and I know that many of my readers are from Christian traditions that don't observe Lent, or from traditions that aren't exclusively Christian. I hope this helps set Lent into a specific context and a narrative - and I'm always happy to hear what doesn't make sense, or dialogue around any of the content. If you're unfamiliar with the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, click on the link above so you can see what story I'm referencing!

For many Christians around the world, we are now in the season of Lent.

And when Christians talk about Lent, there are a few other words that are very often heard:

Each of these words is present in the Scripture story we just read, and…

A Poem for Ash Wednesday

Ashes and dust, we all fall down.
These bodies of ours will fade away
Til nothing is left but a smudge.
The smallest trace of life.

All our dreams and doings,
Our hopes and hollering.
One dirty smear for the eye to see
And the invisible effects
Of how we lived:

The slaves we loosed
The meals we shared
The time we gave
And the fullness of our grace.