Prayer for How We Use the Name of Jesus

In June, I wrote about possibly having lunch with a woman from my church to talk over our political differences. I didn’t have illusions about changing her mind, but I hoped I would come to understand a little about why we hold such divergent views. Thus far, we have...

Prayer for The Communion of Saints

I am writing this on a Sunday afternoon in Virginia as I sit in the local church yard, which is to say the cemetery of the church I attend, with about eighty other people. Friends and neighbors, fellow parishioners and strangers, we are scattered in small groups among...

Prayer for Theological Conversations Via Text Messages

One of my granddaughters, who in recent days has turned thirteen, finds herself in the midst of a theological crisis. I learned this text messaging with her. I should note that “theological crisis” is my way of naming the situation, not hers. Also, while I do not...

Crucial Conversations with a Small ‘c’

I knew it was going to be a crucial conversation—for me at least. It was 65 days since e-filing, and our state income tax refund still had not been deposited in our checking account. I knew I had better call and talk with an official person even though it had been...

Prayer for the Possibility of a Conversation

Last Sunday was my church’s annual picnic, a day when worship leans toward the casual. Often on picnic Sundays, rather than preach a sermon themselves, our clergy suggest a topic and invite anyone present to say a few relevant words. This year the congregation was...

Prayer for What’s Under Our Feet

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads. When Henry David Thoreau penned those words in Walden, he had just dug through a foot of snow and cut through another foot of ice in search of fresh water. Kneeling to drink from the pond below, he looked “down into...

The Lessons of Amazing Azaleas

Yes, my child, go out into the world; walk slow And silent, comprehending all, and by and by Your soul, the Universe, will know Itself: the Eternal I. ― Jane Goodall, Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey This spring is the first one we’ve enjoyed here at our home in...

Prayer for the Easter Season

In Easter light, the risen Christ is moving among us. How brightly the meadowlark sings its song of the season. Alleluia! How gently the Easter light lifts the face of a lily. Christ is risen! Let Christ be rising now in our lives and our prayers as we open our hands...

Prayer for Taking Another Look

I play in a hand bell choir, an activity I love, even though I am not all that good at it. Often I bring bells home between rehearsals. Many publishers of hand bell music generously include a “listen” option on their web pages with recordings of their music. When I...

A Meditation on Ashes and Love

This year Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day. This happens every so many years, the next time in 2024. This juxtaposition of ceremonial days seems to have oxymoronic overtones of contradiction like loving ashes or ash-filled love. Using a Tina Turner song, “What’s...