Breathing the Spirit

Pentecost

 

 

Ezekiel 37:1-14

Acts 2:1-21

John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15

We are feeling skeletal these days. The art of dealing out death and ruin has gained such prominence in our minds that we can hardly imagine anything else. We feel like bones, rattling during earthquakes and cracking under the high-noon sun. Read more

It is Still Very Dark

Fifth Sunday after Epiphany

 

Isaiah 40:21-31

Mark 1:29-39

it is still very dark: a poem

I have not known,
nor have I heard,
and if I ever did,
I have forgotten in this
travailing dark.
I have not known starlight
for many weeks,
I have not heard shouts of good news
for many months,
but I am searching for it.
Searching for things restored,
for things to be again
in all their strength.
Searching for
that memory once forgotten,
that news once heard—
knowing well I will remember
and the sparrows will sing good news—
knowing well I will forget again
and will get up and search again,
but that is well
for there is time to search again
because it is still very dark. Read more

For She Keeps Shouting After Us

Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost

Matthew 15:10-28

This gospel passage takes us into uncomfortable territory. We travel from a land of Pharisees and parables to one of Canaanites and demon possession. The words of Jesus to the Pharisees are harsh, the words of the woman to Jesus are insubordinate. It does not sound like the comforting gospel hope we crave in the midst of this chaotic year.

It begins simply enough with the usual characters—Jesus, a crowd, Pharisees, disciples. Jesus tells the crowd that their words have meaning and significance enough to defile them. It is what they say, and not what they eat, that makes them unclean. This brings about the anger we expect from the religious leaders, and then, of course, the parable, the confusion, and the explanation. Everything is shaping up for this to be a standard gospel tale. Read more