Daily Devotionals

The following “Daily Devotionals” are provided through the

United Church of Christ Website.

To read the full devotional, please click the Title of the devotional and you will be directed to the UCC website. We only keep the current month listed on this page.


A Taxing Question

Tomorrow many will celebrate independence from empire. Let’s also remember that America has since become an empire. How might Jesus call us to respond?


Outlaw

Whatever makes us belong to one another, whatever binds us so tightly that one of us can’t be hurt without all of us crying out, that is the only law that matters.


Rock-Solid Identity

How does your identity – claimed or not – shape your worldview? How does your identity reflect what is important to you? To what, or whom, do you pledge allegiance?


You Can’t Carry Two Watermelons with One Hand

Sometimes we load too much onto our plates. We carry too many things at once. And then one of them drops. Or they all do. Or we drop ourselves, in exhaustion.


Lying Awake and Sitting Still

God, help me listen, love, listen, learn. Let myself be available. Let myself stay awake because there is a lot of Gethsemane out there, and let me listen.


Covid Conversations

My emotions have been all over the place these days. I’m happy one minute, frustrated and short-tempered the next. Fear and hope seem to take turns leading my emotions.


A Little Yeast

I am like my loaves of bread. The things I incorporate, the spiritual influences and personal contacts and media sources, have the power to leaven me, to transform me.


Not Going Back

We don’t need to go back. We need to go forward. Forward to justice, forward to green, and forward to sanity.


What You Are About to Suffer

Good news isn’t so good when it leaves us unequipped to deal with what’s at hand. We are much better served by people who see the depth of our dilemmas and give us candid notice.


For the Sake of Expediency

It’s a strategy of power that has been taught through the generations: pledge allegiance to many gods (wealth, nation, race, religion) to guard what you believe to be yours.


Children in the Wilderness

There are children in our time who, like Ishmael, have lived their entire lives in the wilderness – in desolate places with names like Poverty or Racism, Sickness or Hunger.


Direction and Division

Alas for us, to be alive at a time when direction has become so unmoored from truth that friends no longer trust each other and loved ones rise up against each other.


Grasshoppers and Giants

In the age of Covid-19, we find ourselves facing new, unfamiliar territory. We wonder if we – and our world – will be crushed like bugs underneath a giant pandemic.


Feet

We’re going to be on our feet a lot in the coming days and months. Outside. Marching. Standing in solidarity. Make ready. Resistance is personal. It is intimate and physical.


Flock of Sheep or Pack of Wolves?

Jesus calls us to be part of unlikely flocks – and if we don’t have one, to form one, and to keep growing it.


One Night

If we understood that we only have one night – this one short life – to share faith’s treasures, to increase each other’s joy, we might happily talk straight through night till dawn.


Grieving Together and Apart

If you are in the grips of grief today, remember the example of Abraham: you can grieve your own way. And as you encounter other people, know that they are all in grief.


Flock of Sheep or Pack of Wolves?

Jesus calls us to be part of unlikely flocks – and if we don’t have one, to form one, and to keep growing it.


One Night

If we understood that we only have one night – this one short life – to share faith’s treasures, to increase each other’s joy, we might happily talk straight through night till dawn.


Grieving Together and Apart

If you are in the grips of grief today, remember the example of Abraham: you can grieve your own way. And as you encounter other people, know that they are all in grief.


Deliver Us from Denial

How much longer until we will open ourselves to the pain, mourn the dead, lament the suffering, and open the way to healing and re-ordering?


The Best Revenge

There’s a very thin line – perhaps no line at all – between sporadically wishing harm happens to someone and being the type of person who finds reason to universally justify harm.


Flouters and Frauds

Church has never closed. It just moved into new and dispersed realms. And you know what? In many ways, this incarnation of Church is better than ever.


The Unknown End

Sometimes I truly believe that if I just knew where things were heading, how things would all end up, I’d be fine. I would know about me and how I fit in with ‘it.’


Still Life Goes On

Our actions bear fruit. In all that we do, we hold a basket of fruit into which we and the others around us make an offering. It is the spiritual food off of which we survive.


Endure

We never grasped, in our bruised white innocence and sentimentality, that harmony is easy – justice is not. We should’ve been praying not for harmony, but for endurance.


In the Storm

God is not above the troubles we experience but is with us in them and beyond. Even in the storm, God’s power gives us the strength we need.


Disruption

The world’s raging tumult may feel like a disruption to our lives – and it is – but it is also a constant in our lives, more predictable than we might prefer to acknowledge.


The Same God

Sometimes it’s hard for us to reconcile the God who shatters the earth in bolts of lightning with the God whose eye is on the sparrow.


My Prayer Closet

I’m no stranger to crying out to God when I’m in crisis, but I’m still learning to pray as a way to be in consistent discernment about my life beyond crisis points.


Surely You Know

It’s comforting to pretend to know. It gives the illusion of control. If I know, maybe it won’t hurt so much. I can be prepared. I won’t have to rely on anyone else.


Me, Myself, and I

The Antichrist is not some mythic being. It’s the fist-pumping conviction that nothing is as sacred or heroic or as worth defending as me, myself, and I.


More Than Enough Spirit

There is more than enough Spirit to go around. Because a people empowered can always do more together than the most gifted leader. We can’t do it all on our own.


How Small the Regard of the Lord?

Does God see and care for the fates of smaller lives as well? Field mice? Worms? Fleas? Does God’s regard extend all the way down to … viruses?


No Justice, No Peace

We may try to limit the Prince of Peace to our conceptions of law and order … but God knows that where there is no justice, there will be no peace.


One Bite

With all due respect to Ecclesiastes, which sees every sensory pleasure as a fleeting vanity, denying oneself can also be vanity.


All Together Now

Zoom church, for all its creativity and flexibility and fun, leaves something to be desired. The ineffable energy exchange of embodied worship happens in a hundred different ways.


I Will Not Leave You Orphaned

Thank you, Jesus, for not leaving any of us orphaned, and for the mothering love we can all share with each other.


What Am I to Do with My Anger?

I don’t need to hear the news for the day. I’m still furious about yesterday. I can’t believe this is happening. Anger spurs my resistance, but faith requires meekness, not fury.


Always Sophia

Perhaps like me, you too need an image reminding us that our waiting on God is not in vain – even as the entire world watches and waits for the end of daily terrors.


Time for Discernment

With so many competing claims, it’s often hard to tell who’s fake and who’s factual. To arrive at truth, we must be prepared to question and investigate what our leaders tell us.


Therefore…

How do we know how to act when everything we counted on seems to be over? First Peter recommends exercising self-control, remaining clear-headed, and serving people in need.


Why Bother?

Sometimes we do too much. Sometimes we do too little. When Covid-19 is but a faint memory, I wonder what story we will tell about ourselves.


A, B, C, D, E, F, G

This is not the moment, if there ever was one, to prove anything to anyone. It’s a time to be real, and to let that be the good thing it is.


God Is Still Sleeping

If rest is so holy and if God has rested since the dawn of Creation, should I worry that God will sleep through my own storms and ignore my pleas for help?


No Good Christians

Christianity has little to do with being a good person. The essence of the Christian faith is this: God loves us not because we are good but because God is good.


Clothed with Power

We need God’s PPE right now. To be clothed with the power of God’s love that overcomes despair. And clothed with the power of God’s peace that calms our anxious spirits.


Exactly

What would the founders of your church say about the living waters God and your pastors are pouring through your screen each week despite the shuttered sanctuary?


The Power of Patience

There are so many times I want God to just hand over my problems and let me figure out a solution. So many of us share the kryptonite of the “just let me do it” spirit.


The Same Boat

Rather than claiming we’re in the same boat, the gospel tells me to find out about my neighbor’s boat. Seek to understand their experience of this storm.


At the Cross

We’re right always to insist on hope. But maybe not so reflexively, maybe not so fast. F Faith isn’t faith if it marches us straight to glory without passing despair.


It’s Going to Be Bad

Friends, it’s bad these days – for a lot of reasons. Many of us feel unprepared. Instability is on public display. Keep holding on to love. Remember that you’re not alone.


Wait…How Long?

The story of deliverance from global devastation is a story of counting days. It’s a story that reminds me I am not the first child of God to feel the way I am feeling.


The Longest Shortest Time

Time does weird things. It drags and flies, expands and contracts. And through it all, God is patient with us.


Keep Crying

If we cry out, and God doesn’t answer, it doesn’t mean we are not worthy of attention. It just means we need to keep crying. Perhaps a little louder.


Belonging

In this Mother’s Day season, I appreciate the tribe of women. The ones that help their daughters survive. The ones that bond around mission. Belonging can be a joy.


He Fell on His Face

Every congregation, every social justice organization, has earth-shattering crises when we fall on our faces in despair, in exhaustion, in shame, in humility, in prayer.


Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

The troubles of our context cannot negate the blessed assurance of our consciousness.


In Your Hands

The suffering of grief, both present and anticipatory, is painful and real, and it will remain as long as we remain divided, as long as power is used to harm rather than heal.


Previously On…

If you, like me, are having days where it feels like the story is coming to an end, remember. All you have been through to get to this point. All the obstacles overcome.


Mud Lake

When I was new to kayaking, I would never have discovered Mud Lake unless someone had told me what it felt like, smelled like, looked like, and had brought me there in person.


Earth’s Joy

While humanity observes a relative degree silence – whether from virus or fatigue, with grief or frustration – all the earth continues to sing God’s praise.


One-Hit Wonder

Karaoke is one of the activities I do when I’m reaching for joy. Belting ‘I Will Survive’ to dancing strangers makes joy seem possible again.


Learn to Weep

In these awful days of virus-related illness and death, whenever we’re asked why these things happen, let’s not be quick to answer.


Suffering is Optional

We can’t get through life without pain. From temporary toothaches to enduring heartbreaks, pain is part of the human condition.


Manna and Meat

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needsYou can need meat and be grateful for manna at the same time. So thank God for the basics, and thank God, too, for those things essential for full—not just minimal—life.


The Feast at the Feeder

We are accustomed to finding purpose in doing and busyness, but stay-at-home orders prevent much of that. Meanwhile, the flowers of the field still grow.


The Goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living

Waiting on the Lord does not put our dreams on indefinite hold. Waiting on the Lord places our dreams on an immediate process of unfolding. Faith is not just eternal but imminent.


Be Careful What You Ask For

It seems to me that we’ve been ‘social distancing’ as Americans for quite some time now. Polarization, breaking into camps and tribes. Leaders sowing division to hold onto power.


The Potter’s Wheel

A lot matters about how we choose to connect to the so-called least of these. Be careful of the Messiah complex, but not of relationship with the Messiah.


An Amen for the Night Help

In Psalm 134, the blessings of the Most High are called down upon all those who labor behind the scenes. We have the responsibility of helping to realize those blessings.


A Time to De-Clutter

This crisis is reminding me that I have to work just as hard to protect myself, from the inside out, so as not to cause harm. Perhaps I am not the only one.


The Better Part

Something is happening. Which is not to say that this moment is an opportunity or – God forbid! – a gift. But we might do well to live differently, even just for the moment.


A Time to De-Clutter

This crisis is reminding me that I have to work just as hard to protect myself, from the inside out, so as not to cause harm. Perhaps I am not the only one.


A Good Cry

How hard this season is – for God and for us! When we give in and have a good cry, we are never alone in it. For this, I am grateful.


Turning the Corner

We may experience isolation, but we are not alone. We may feel that we are at an end, but we are only at a beginning. This is the promise of faith, of resurrection.


With the Voice of Thanksgiving

There is no telling what mess and depths you or me or this world might be in today. Wherever we are, may we remember God is still with us and still hears our cries.


Time Out

Holy One, we pray to you from the belly of a pandemic. We don’t know how we will come out of this, but we pray we too will be converted.


So Much Leaven

We all go a little reptile-brained once in a while, especially these days. It’s OK. It’s also never too late to hitch your thinking back up into the ole prefrontal cortex.


Doubting Thomas

Perhaps our calling in this moment isn’t to point fingers at skeptics but to create a world where truth and love are ever-present.


He Called My Name

There’s a difference between resurrection as a doctrine, and resurrection as a word with our name on it. It is often amid grief and confusion that resurrection becomes personal.


Last of All, Also to Me

Nobody loves being last. But Paul wasn’t ashamed of being the last and the least admirable. We too are latecomers, yet even to us, Christ appears.


Sufficient

One lot – one life – is no more and no less than what God promises. Just one – not two or three or five or all. Just one. And these limits are good. These limits are godly.


Much More

The days that followed the Boston Marathon bombing on this date in 2013 were the first time I heard the phrase ‘shelter in place.’ Afterward we wondered: would it ever be the same?


What’s in Your Closet?

All this physical distancing makes this a good time to go through my literal and metaphorical closets to make sure they reflect who and whose I know myself to be.


This is Not the End

The original Easter story has still never ended. It goes on, in endless song, above earth’s lamentations.


Be a Witness

This is one of the challenges of the Easter promise. The world can be seemingly falling apart, and we’re called to believe that salvation is still possible.


Nothing, Everything

‘Take nothing with you,’ Jesus once said. Today the dead Jesus lies in a grave not his own. And today we wait to see if he was right to live so dispossessed.


You Didn’t Have to Do That

Here’s a heretical opinion: it didn’t need to be the cross. Jesus could have died in his sleep, and it would have meant as much. The redemptive thing is that God showed up.

To Do

The little red number on the email icon tells me just how many things people ask me to do. Look at your icons. What reminds you to follow Jesus in your tasks for today?


You Will Betray Me

What makes this week holy is not our pretensions to innocence. What makes this week holy is the invitation to confess our betrayals and be forgiven.


An Ancient Ordinary Thing

Sometimes what makes us whole are the same old things our grandmothers recommended, the remedies our ancestors believed in, the ancient ordinary things.


With His Own Blood

But despite the apprehensions many of us have around the very thought of blood, blood is life, and blood adequately reflects the gravity and severity of God’s love for us.


Grounded

Someone wise said that walking is just controlled falling. When we put one foot in front of the other, we control our falling every time we move. We make a decision to move on.


Radical Rest-Taking

The gifts of sabbath are radically subversive and exceedingly compassionate. In a society that values constant achievement and over-functioning, sabbath keeps us intact.


The Relief of Facts

Maybe it was a miracle. Maybe it was magic. Or maybe it was this: maybe Moses just forced them to truly examine at what they were dealing with: not vampires, but snakes.


Honest to God

I wonder if Jesus prayed the psalms in the days before going to Jerusalem. I wonder if it gave him comfort that he could be that honest with God about his terror and grief.


Noah’s Advice

I miss the future. All I can see is a different future: the end of the office, the end of school, the end of church. The end. We are on this journey without a map, without guides.


The Hard Stuff

We’re not terribly interested in the hard stuff of life, are we? Fortunately, it is the nature of God to go straight into and through the hardest stuff, so we know we are not alone.


Everything Is Changing

The pandemic is revealing, once again, what really matters, and what the good gifts of life are that don’t arrive by two-day shipping.


Provoking Love

During this Lenten season, I commit to inserting joy and laughter into my daily fight for justice and peace. I commit to saying ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry.’


Sometimes Too Much is Just Right

While Martha served dinner, Mary sat on the floor and poured fragrant perfume over Jesus’ feet. To some, her behavior seemed over-the-top. But sometimes too much is just right.


In This Economy?

There is enough wealth to care for the sick and the poor, the hospital and the small business, the grandparent and the grandchild. Not if we continue with business as usual.


The Last Duet

Grandma was the first person who taught me about the power of agape love, and I believe the legacy of her agape love and persistent joy is still saving my life every day.


Watered by Tears

God, you do not cause us to suffer. Instead, you take the suffering we are given and plant it in the soil of your transforming grace and mercy. May we rejoice in the harvest.


A Jar of Oil

Let’s not pretend with one another that loving God means you will never be broke. Because I’m not the only person of faith who ignores the 1-800 numbers of creditors calling.


In Every Respect

Being tested turned Jesus tender. As we struggle every day, driven by fears, distracted by shiny objects, overcrowded with longings, doing the best we can, Jesus sympathizes.


Thought, Word, and Deed

What thoughts floating around your head cause you to sink into a kind of low-grade, chronic hell? And keep you from being somewhat less than a living sacrifice to God?


The Parable of Dirty Underwear

It’s awkward to imagine the Holy One in underwear. But like tighty-whities, the Lenten journey is mostly a journey of subtraction, paring down, and clinging to nothing but God.


Grace Made Plain

I imagine God speaking plainly: ‘I could walk out right now and leave you cringing in your corner. But I am going to surprise you. I am going to give you another chance.’


Those Stones

Traveling light is a young person’s game. Everything seems disposable when you’ve got time to replace it.


Investigation Incomplete

Any evaluation of a person without regard for that person’s core values is incomplete. Incomplete assessments of who people are, beyond what they possess, leads us into battles.


Holy Venting

Honestly? Sometimes I wonder if the whole Lenten self-examination thing doesn’t spur us (read: me) toward endless naval gazing and even greater self-centeredness.


Cursing and Coaxing

Whatever it takes to wake me, Holy One, I will give you thanks. By coax or by curse, lead me once more to the trouble and beauty of being fully alive in your justice and joy.


The Burden of Hatred

Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. – Ephesians 4:26-27


Fearful Empathy

No matter how much you know, or how often you wash, don’t you feel foreboding? So summon empathy from that quavering place where we all feel afraid and just be kind.


My Soul Desire

Lent is about both emptying ourselves and offering ourselves as empty vessels. Lent is an opportunity to God to fill up our longing for love, justice, and shalom.


My Biggest Bucket

The divine presence with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, could have easily put the fire out, but instead, they walked in the fire with them. And that was enough to save them.


Chocolate and Other Habits

Two weeks into Lent, how are those Lenten practices you planned to observe faithfully? Still going strong? No shame if they’re not. But also, no kudos if they are.


Unfinished

Your belief that you’re supposed to accomplish it all—end racism, fix the environment, overcome all your issues, whatever—before you die? It’s not going to work out.


Intercessory Prayer and Boundaries

In intercessory prayer, we are placing those we care about in God’s hands—and relaxing our own grip.


‘Tis of Thee

Where is our citizenship? To whom do we pledge our first allegiance? What is the color, the face of liberty? Who gets to taste the sweetness of country?


Arrogance v. Confidence

Arrogance converts our fears to venomous hate. Confidence transforms our fears into audacious courage.


God’s Ostrich

How funny of God to create an ostrich with the ability to run like hell and the tendency to bury its head in the sand. Probably we have all tried these two solutions to problems.


For God So Loved the Cosmos

The cosmos is not separate from you or outside of you. You are it. You are God’s love. That’s what Jesus came to reveal, then and now.


Always Contrite

It’d be a good thing to adopt contrition as a way of life, not just an occasional response to a particular sin. The best heart to have would be an always contrite heart.


Burning Like a Fire

Not all anger is poison. Anger can be holy fuel to right the world’s wrongs. But I can’t fool myself: not all my anger is holy. A lot of my anger is poison.


Perfected Distraction

Perfectionism may leave us paralyzed, afraid to do anything for fear of getting it wrong. My tangle with this word, perfected, distracts me from the truth: God is love.


Foreigners Included

There is no valid appreciation of what God has given us, without the inclusion of foreigners: those who are in our neighborhoods and those who are at our borders.


The Burden of Money

Money is a deeply spiritual issue because it has tremendous power over our psyches and well-being. Fear and shame about money do the work of evil just as much as our love of it.


When the Devil Quotes Scripture

Before you tell your sibling that God has a purpose for their suffering, maybe check whether your faith is unnecessarily saddled with the baggage of Scripture-as-litmus-test.


Wings

How much room is there under a God-wing? Enough for me and you, says the psalmist. I guess that’s also nice, but then I’m like, wait, does that mean everybody gets to come in?


Mic Drop

Walk a little longer. Listen a little more intently. Pray a whole lot more. Open your heart just a bit wider and watch what the gracious, merciful, slow-to-anger God can do.


Sorry

Dear God, as we prepare to enter Lent, remind us that bearing the sign of the cross on our forehead is not enough. Guide us toward true acknowledgment and sincere amends.


Meetings

My hunch is that our many meetings might be redeemed, or at least different, if we entertained the notion that our main reason for meeting together is to encounter God.


Blackness

We do not blame the night sky for being night. We rest in it. And that Blackness is beautiful.


Questions that Begin with How

As children of God, we have the opportunity to ask different questions than the rest of the world asks. Questions that help us truly meet one another on holy, even ground.


Beating Up Brother

It’s hard to be obedient to your parent when you’re bent on bashing your brother.


Sketch

Next time you get to church early or the sermon gets boring, look around. Ask yourself: which parts of this building look like heaven? Conversely, which ones fall short?


Still, Though

“I’m looking for a sign,” said my friend.


Somebody’s Watching You

It’s easy to get so consumed in a crisis that you think the crisis is all about you. It’s easy to forget that even in times of stress, our lives are testimonies of the Holy Spirit.


Wait for Each Other

At the world’s table, the wealthy, the privileged, and the strong devour everyone’s share of life. At the Lord’s table, mutual deference is the sacrament’s outward sign.


Trying to Get There

O God, get us to the heavenly feast. And when we arrive, may we meet one stranger after another who welcomes us, as though we truly belonged.


Keeping up with the Phoneses

Cultural messages that I thought were harmless growing up, I now realize were problematic all along. Blessed are those who manage to get it all right! I am working to do better.


Dear John

I love you. There. I said it first. I hope—though the world keeps breaking your heart—that you take it as a sign your heart is actually working as it was intended.


Resistance Training

Everywhere we turn, we are offered opportunities for resistance training. The path of least resistance is also the path of least growth.


Get Angry

Don’t feel like you have to be nice all the time. Don’t feel like you always have to accommodate and compromise and stir in honey. Go ahead, release your inner table-over-turner.


Gobsmacked and Gorgeous

Just when I am tempted to give up on the entire human enterprise, I am gobsmacked all over again by the utterly spectacular resilience of the human-divine spirit.


God Is Not Worried

We tend to project our anxiety onto the Creator. We imagine God’s hands wringing with concern, pondering the next move. Nope. God’s at peace. And God wants the same for us.


Chiasmus

How wondrous to rediscover the language and literary style of Jesus, whose words are forever unveiling themselves in new and ancient forms.


Bent, Not Broken

We’re quick to declare things as broken and ready to discard. The intensity of life’s stressors can diminish our capacity to see God’s unfolding grace within us and around us.


Rising in the Darkness

You don’t have to be a literal morning person to rise in the darkness and cast some light of faith and warmth for the rest of us.


Trial and Error

What has God’s faithfulness done to us, that we reject humility? How has God’s love wearied us, that we neglect mercy? How do we answer for our persistent injustice?


Inoculate Me

Parents sometimes sacrifice children on the altars of our careers. Government sacrifices children on the altar of defense spending. God rejects child sacrifice—Abraham’s and ours.


Needy Jesus

Nobody preaches about Jesus belching. Which is a shame, and maybe a heresy in this world where getting your bodily needs fully met is a privilege reserved for the few.


Love’s Emancipation

Change that is deep and abiding requires a change of heart, and a change of heart is precisely what the love of God is all about.


Unmoved

There are no perfect people, only people who pretend they are. Perfection as a requirement for access to God leads to pinched lips, ruler smacks, and bonfires.


God’s Gentle Partners

Viewing the planet as personal property to be divvied up among the worthy runs counter to the ‘earth-honoring faith’ that we need in our environmentally perilous time.


God-Watching

Just for today, become a God-watcher. Stop frequently in your travels from here to there. Lift up your heart, put your senses on alert, filter through the ordinary for the extraordinary.


Good Meetings

What might make us not give up meeting together? If we don’t learn how to self-govern ourselves in meetings, what will happen to self-governance and democracy?


What Kind of World Did You Wake Up In?

More than fear, more than anger, more than hope, more than anything, what I feel is an eerie sense of coming doom. Yet I remain confident that the promises of God are true.


Can’t Say Nothin’?

The police found a way to make my daughter pay for attempting to have agency and use her voice. But God does not require us to remain silent in the face of injustice.


God’s Preferred Material

Remember choosing teams for this or that, and dreading being chosen last? Last is God’s preferred candidate. The unlikely is God’s idea of a good time.


Can You Keep a Secret?

Secrets are destructive. To families. To congregations. To bodies. They divide us. They drive us to avoid each other. They make understanding impossible.


Organists and Sinners

Jesus caught a lot of criticism from the religious leaders about the company he kept. Those leaders ended up sounding pretty unkind, and a little too sure they were in the right.


A House, A Temple, A Tent, A Shelter

It’s a temptation to believe we will find God only if we build the perfect structure and light the candles lit correctly. But God is ready to live with you wherever you are.


Turn, Turn, Turn

The ancestors are whispering, and just like the breeze they’re about to shout. Turn. Chant a different tune, set a new pace, call forth a shifted order that says: you matter.


Listen Up

What did Isaiah say in troubled times? In a word: reconnect with the One who was both the first and the last, who had laid the foundation of the earth and heavens.


The Finger and The Moon

The Bible that points to God is not God. The theology that points to God is not God. The church that points to God is not God. The pastor who points to God is not God.


On Not Knowing

To be faced with something we don’t know can feel quite shameful. For a lot of us, especially in some circles, not knowing can feel like a crime. Rather than risk it, we nod knowingly.


A Better Me

I get defensive more than I’d like to admit. I look at my flaws and can’t imagine someone would love me. But people who love me don’t shield me from the ways I need to evolve.


Good Morning

Joy comes when we understand that desperate times cannot prevent the fulfillment of God’s promise in our lives. Even in the night, God is moving us toward better days.


Hand and Foot

Be grateful if you’ve been on the receiving end of selflessness, but don’t regard the service of others as their duty and your right.


Welcoming Questions

Things seem so hard right now. Disturbance drives us deep, below the rocks, into our cores. We can welcome disturbance as something pregnant with good.


Bruised, Broken, Smoldering, Snuffed Out

Headlines full of over-the-top violent imagery agitate our inflamed emotions and rub the raw places in our spirits. Be mindful of where they lead, and remember Who you follow.


Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

We sometimes live in a full-sun spirituality that can make our eyes ache. We need the respite of night, the salvific hibernation of a rainy winter day, the relief of tears.


Password Power

Blessed, indeed, are the people who’ve wised up to only having to know one password. That one password relieves the pressure of thinking they can do it on their own.


Watch Your Mouth

I’m not too worried about the kind of bad words my child knows. What I want her to learn is the power of words to build up a person—and the power of words to tear down.


Even Spots Can Be Changed

A leopard can’t change its spots, some say. But humans are not leopards, and hearts are not spots. We all lose when we refuse to acknowledge the holy transformation of others.


Apocalypse Not Now

There is a sense that time is winding up; it’s certain we can’t go on long this way. Paul’s words send me out to live in such a way that all creation will have a few more laps to run.


Skate Expectations

I love ice skating, by which I mean, I love watching other people ice skate on a screen from my couch. So much of what people do in life is much harder than it looks.


Gifts Given

That new, shiny thing? We can delight in it for a time, but it will lose its luster. And then we look for the next hit. God calls us to shape our lives around greater gifts.


Far More

Maybe you have a set of New Year’s resolutions that are beginning to seem more a burden than a blessing. Here’s good news. It’s not all on you, not all up to you. God is able.


Gifts Given

That new, shiny thing? We can delight in it for a time, but it will lose its luster. And then we look for the next hit. God calls us to shape our lives around greater gifts.


Epiphany

The answer is in the sky, not in more effort or more determination or more willpower. Look up, not around. Look deep, not shallow. Look long, not short. Signs are calling your name.


Worthy Is the Leader

The rule of law is not oppressive if that rule is grounded in God’s love for all: advocating for the poor, supporting the weak, taking a stand against destructive violence.


Merry Christmas!

I hope your eggnog hasn’t soured, that you haven’t recycled the tree and moved on to other things. I hope you’re still in Christmas. I hope Christmas is still in you.


From the Farthest Parts of the Earth

Our church is filled at this time of year with processionals of children as angels, shepherds, and magi. The world, too, is full of processions as refugees seek new life and hope.


Eight Days In

A little more than a week after Jesus’ birth, Mary is starting to realize how much work this is really going to take. Are you?


In the Beginning

Our big days and calendars are really of little importance to the God who created us. God existed before time itself, and God is consistently present in every day.