I was warned about this. The sudden, unexpected empty feeling in the pit of the stomach. The numb grief. The self-doubt and regret. I was warned about all of it. When we started a small nursing home ministry almost two years ago, our priest, Fr. John, warned us. And, on each new occurrence, he's been … Continue reading Hope beyond the empty room
Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. 1 Corinthians 2:12 In Roman mythology, Janus was the two-faced god of duality: beginnings and endings, peace and war. Where Romans guessed at this dual nature, … Continue reading The life of Janus: Which spirit will you choose?
This is the third of three devotionals submitted for consideration to "Forward Day by Day," a daily devotional publication of The Episcopal Church. The full month of daily devotionals will be published next January. Revelation 1:10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet. Our … Continue reading Finding silence in the noise
This is the second of three devotionals submitted for consideration to "Forward Day by Day," a daily devotional publication of The Episcopal Church. The full month of daily devotionals will be published next January. Psalm 139:21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? The greatest enemy to … Continue reading Love and hate in the mirror
I recently was selected to write a month of devotionals for "Forward Day by Day," a print and online daily devotional published by The Episcopal Church for more than 500,000 readers. My entries will be published in January, 2020. This is the first of three samples I submitted to be submitted as a "Forward Day … Continue reading The path of the cross
“'Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10 Ancient peoples often attributed natural disasters, including earthquakes, to the power of angry gods. Anger the gods, the … Continue reading Grace that won’t be shaken
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." Matthew 24:35 We often think of living in two planes: earth in this life; heaven in the next. Jesus calls our attention away from this dichotomy, away from the linear progression from earth to heaven. Jesus calls us to an eternal message that spans … Continue reading All will pass, except The Word
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Psalm 119:103-104 “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!” That quote from the 1958 film “Auntie Mame” could apply to the state of Christianity today. Faith … Continue reading A taste sweeter than honey
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3-4 This passage comes shortly after Jesus twice reveals He will die, and to follow Him we must take … Continue reading Becoming like little children
I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Romans 16:17-18 … Continue reading Clearing our obstacles
Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Psalm 105:1-4 Sometimes it’s easier than others to … Continue reading Singing praises in the tough times
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ … stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.” Philippians 1:27-28 We must strive to live up to the gospel. But, we sin. In ways great and … Continue reading Stay in the fight
“’Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” Matthew … Continue reading Finding grace in the vineyard
As Christians, there’s very little we could do with our time that is more important than prayer. At some point we must get off our knees and enact that which we find in our conversations with God. But, without that prayerful guidance, the work of our hands, hearts and tongues can be aimless, even counterproductive … Continue reading Who’s supposed to build the kingdom?
Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. Psalm 130:1-4 Jews of the Old Testament lived constantly … Continue reading Climbing out of Sheol