Prayer for Holy Week

Toward the end of March, a friend and I went about replacing a dogwood that had died. The plan was to locate the new tree about two feet from where we had cut down the old one—this to avoid dealing with the dead stump and roots. When we started digging, however, we...

Prayer for the Singing

There is a rookery of crows in the woods across the street from my house. I love the raucous, exuberant cries of the birds leaving their nests in the morning and returning in the evening. Get a good-sized “murder” of crows vocalizing together and you’ve got quite a...

Prayer for the Valentines

Last Tuesday I drove to Richmond to visit district offices of my two U. S. Senators. (Conveniently, their offices are in the same downtown building, three floors apart.) Frankly, I was on a scouting mission for several groups in my area that want to participate more...

Prayer from the First Monday of 2017

A steady soaking rain was falling this dark morning. The clouds were so thick and full that there was hardly any knowing when the sun rose. What a great day to sleep in! But it was also the first Monday in this New Year, and I’d promised to unlock the parish hall door...

Christmas: The Birth of God – Presence

Isaiah 9:6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. We know Jesus in a variety of ways. In the familiar birth stories of Matthew and...

Advent Week 4: A Sign from God – Blessing

Isaiah 7:14. Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. Several years ago, a friend commissioned a local artist to create a Black Madonna. The result is a 30” tall dark wooden...

Advent Week 3: The Promise of God – Joy

Isaiah 35:4, 10. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong; do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.”… And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing;...

Advent Week 2: The Spirit of God – Energy

Isaiah 11:1–2. A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the...

Advent Week 1: The Mountain of God – Invitation

Isaiah 2:3. Many peoples shall come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of...

Prayer for the Saints – And All the Rest of Us

As I write this, the world outside my window is dark, and the room where I am working is only dimly lit with the light from my computer screen and a flickering candle. It is early on the morning of All Saints’ Day, one week before our national election day. Like many...