Friday, May 31, 2013

Serving Two Masters

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
Luke 16:10-13

In my many travels the past few years, I have often found signs that amuse me and confuse me. I enjoy the play on words and the wonderful turns of phrase. But too often, folks have not really thought through what people might really think about their name or their signs. Voodoo Salon? Really? What kind of hairdo would I be getting, do you suppose? And who would I be cursing when there and when I came out?
We often think we are serving one purpose when we are really serving another. And we are too often serving ourselves and locked in our own sens of reality without a thought of others.

Jesus was wrapping up his parable about the wise yet unfaithful steward. We often are mislead and think that Jesus wants us to be shrewd and worldly from that parable. And yet, there is more to the story. He wants us to be honest and clear about who we serve, both in our words and in our actions. People understand when we are just blowing smoke and only really concerned for ourselves. Hoe much more so is God able to understand who we serve. We might try to hide from ourselves but we will be found out. We are invited to be genuine in all that we do. We are invited by God to be honest in all things. And we are reminded that we cannot use the cloak of invisibility and say we are serving God when we are really out for gain.

Today I ask God to help me be genuine ans transparent in all that I do and say. May we, with God's help, set aside our innate greed and offer all of ourselves to God. May we serve others with no expectation of gain or reward, so that we might clearly know God's love for us in every breath we take.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fret Not

Fret not yourself because of evildoers;

be not envious of wrongdoers!

For they will soon fade like the grass

and wither like the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;

dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.

Delight yourself in the Lord,

and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;

trust in him, and he will act.

He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,

and your justice as the noonday.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;

fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,

over the man who carries out evil devices!

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!

Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.

For the evildoers shall be cut off,

but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;

though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.

But the meek shall inherit the land

and delight themselves in abundant peace.

The wicked plots against the righteous

and gnashes his teeth at him,

but the Lord laughs at the wicked,

for he sees that his day is coming.

The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows

to bring down the poor and needy,

to slay those whose way is upright;

their sword shall enter their own heart,

and their bows shall be broken.

Better is the little that the righteous has

than the abundance of many wicked.

For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,

but the Lord upholds the righteous.

The Lord knows the days of the blameless,

and their heritage will remain forever. Psalm 37

The Psalms have proved comfort to me over and over again. I use them as a tool for prayer, repeating the words over several times as a prayer. It is a reminder to me that we are all hurt and broken by selfish, heartless people. We can be prone to dwelling on the hurt, caught up in wondering why the worst folks seem to get ahead. These ancient words, sing out of our human condition, and bring to light God's faithfulness to us, despite how things might look or seem. God is acting for the meek and the faithful. These slights and pains we suffer are temporary and God is moving on our behalf. We are held lovingly by the Creator, we are sheltered in God's arms and we are forever in God's heart.

Today I ask God to help me remember all the promises we have been given. When deeply hurt by the abuse of others, may we rest in the love of God which is our forever. May we not spend our thoughts in anger but rather put our time to the care of others trusting God with our worries and cares.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Still A Long Way Off

And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

“Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’” Luke 15:11-32

Today I am a long way off from home. I am in Montana to help listen to the Native community in the
Episcopal Church and, together with them, begin to encourage a new ministry here. I always feel the distance when I travel, despite the general ease of air flights. A dislocation, a sense of disorientation and I cannot help but wonder why I left. We all want to explore and wander and likewise we all want a sense of security and belonging.

The story of the father and his two sons comes around quite often in our daily readings. It is an important story, a story of love that has no limits. It is the story of God's love for us no matter how lost we get. And it is our story. The story of our need to take off and wander, thinking we know better and don't need the rules of our parents' homes. It is God's constant reply to our willfulness, selfishness and jealousies. God says to us, "I will love you no matter what and always meet you on the road with open arms." Something we need to hear every day.

Today I ask God to help me be grateful for a home to return to and the joy of exploring new places. May we remember today that no matter hoe far we wander, God is waiting with open arms on the road, running to meet us. And when we know the joy of that divine embrace, may we share the love and shower one another with welcome and peace.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:1-7


I wandered off the main trail
far from home and alone
distracted by a million things
and wanting my own way.

Now my aching bones want nothing
more than the warmth of a fire
tender known arms surrounding me
a scolding even for my foolishness.

Tears and crying have been spent
the night is wrapping like a blanket
the smell of bears and other dangers
keep me awake and ever listening.

I could have stayed with the group
unique and special I thought myself
now a statistic and the police blotter
are all's that is left for me.

I deserve the ugly fate I chose
striking out and knowing better
not listening and turning away
Oh mother Oh father forgive me.

The night is broken by a whistling
a keening voice seeking this fool
the Divine who would seek me alone
and bring me safely to my home.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Being Disciples

Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

“Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Luke 14:25-35

I was talking with a young person recently about their desire to seek ordination to the priesthood. I encouraged them to pray and talk with family and listen to their heart. Afterwards I thought about all the challenges one faces on the road to being ordained, and the challenges that arise there after. To serve God is to follow an uncertain road, with many twists and turns. And blessings in abundance also. There is no soft and constant security in this life, but rather the giving up of self to God and trusting completely for the days ahead.

Jesus was at the height of his popularity. Word had spread how he was healing and feeding people and everyone wanted some. Jesus cautioned them that God's love was free but a life of faith came with a cost. There was no glamor or stardom to be found but rather a daily uncertain road of sacrifice and service. We are inclined to want a comfortable life with little risk and less challenge. God invites us to understand that with great blessings come great challenges and hardships and the life of a disciple is the life of a pilgrim, a seeker - the life of one who leaves everything behind to follow God.

Today I ask God to renew my strength so that I might follow with new enthusiasm and joy. May we who have the privilege to follow be filled with grace and love. May we remember the many showers of blessings and count ourselves rich to be a disciple. May we deny ourselves daily so that God's love might spread through the world.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Trinity Sunday

Jesus said to the disciples, "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you." John 16:12-15

This Sunday is Trinity Sunday, where we celebrate the mystery and the reality of God as one in three, God who is demonstrated and realized through three distinct persons who are knit together yet never consumed or lost to the others. Preachers often struggle to find words for the mystery. Many ignore it entirely or excuse themselves by diverting attention elsewhere. They often use this day to celebrate graduations and the like. But we are invited into the mystery, into the divine related unknowing and it is a privilege to attempt to find ourselves within that holy mystery.

Jesus tells his disciples that there is much more to share with them but it is not the time. They have been through so much and are not strong enough to enter fully into the mystery and power they have experienced. But Jesus does not leave them bereft or incomplete. There is the promise of great power and understanding, and an entrance into the heart of the divine. We are invited into that same complex relationship of understanding, and we are promised that we will understand more and more day by day through God's love for us. And we are invited to hold each other close understanding better the mystery of divine love as we live in the complexity if our unique communities.

Today I ask God to help us all cling to one another as we seek to know more deeply the divine mystery of God's love for us, manifest in the multiplicity of relationships. May we not isolate ourselves from community but rather find a deeper sense of God as we hold fast to one another. May our diversity help us know God more fully day by day.

The Collect

Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

An Invitation

When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’” Luke 14:15-24

An Invitation

All the excuses in the world
yes you are busy and important
but you miss the finest moments
and the tender morsels of joy.

You tell yourself they aren't my kind
or that the food and company will upset
the unfamiliar is not for you
and you ignore the possibility of surprise.

Your home is exactly as you need
everything in its place and familiar
the stranger and beggars kept from your door
you are well armed and under control.

The delight and wonder of youth
you gave it away to order and sense
the excitement and thrill of new people
you sent way for fear's sake alone.

There is room at the table
the banquet is prepared
the strange and familiar all gathered
and God's love in in the midst of them all.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Taking Your Place

One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. And he said to them, “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” And they could not reply to these things.

Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:1-11

My favorite place to sit is in the sand. It molds to one's body and if you are sitting in the sand you are most likely to be next to the water. When summer comes at the shore, people jockey to get the best spots, bringing tons of equipment and entertainment. They hustle their families to rise up early just to get a good spot. There is so much to see and do at the ocean that nothing really has to be brought, but people struggle and jostle to get the best seats.

Jesus was invited to a prominent household for a big event. They were watching him closely hoping to find him wanting in their eyes. Instead he taught them about compassion and humility. We often, as human beings, struggle so much to get things right, to get the best spot, the best job, the right pew - that we forget to see who is around us. We are invited by God to stop worrying about getting it "right" and start being open to the needs around us. What is right will become clear as we soften our hearts and open our arms.

Today I ask God to help me soften my heart and to be open to the needs around me. May we use the gifts we have been given to bring others to a warm and inviting place at the table. May we use our skills and energy for spreading love and inclusion where ever we might be. And may we be humble enough to make room for God.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

How Often

At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.’ O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’” Luke 13:31-35

How Often

The daily bumps and scrapes
cut me to the core and when
you came running home crying
after being teased and chided
I wanted to take them all on.

A gentle and faithful mother
become a growling mama bear
when her offspring are in danger
and when she sees the innocent wounded
she cannot help but rise up.

This kind of love springs forth
from the deepest heart of us all
creation responds as the Creator
wanting the little ones to be safe
and justice raining down for all.

We cannot help but protect our offspring
and our children can't help their wandering
we are wired to thrust off the safety
blindly walking into trouble and danger
learning to fly takes youthful stupidity.

Still the parent adores the child
and the Creator loves all creation
groaning at our exploits crying at the falls
waiting with open arms to hold us
waiting with a tender heart to enfold us.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mustard Seed and Leaven

He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”

And again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.” Luke 13:18-21

There is so much of life that begins with a very small spark. Creative ideas are often very small, but as they are massaged and encouraged a huge piece of art, music or a movement has begun. Not all seeds take, no all ideas flourish and not all yeast is active and living. This time of year, as everyone is frantic to get things planted while the sun is shining, we are reminded of the great potential and capacity available to us.

Jesus continues to explain with images and stories. He desires our understanding. God aches for us to know that there is more potential and capacity as we open ourselves to God's love. The smallest amount of faith can blossom and flourish like a mustard tree. And the smallest pinch of yeast can expand the dough beyond imagining. We are, despite our challenges and limitations, beloved of God and inheritors of every possibility. God wants for us to stretch, grow and dream big.

Today, I ask God to help me dream big and offer the little I have to the power of love. May everything we do today be an investment in tomorrow, planting seeds of faith for the care of others. May we see the potential in everyone, coax the creativity from our little universes and trust God to bring the increase.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Setting Her Free

Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him. Luke 13:10-17

As someone who knows all too well what it is like to have tremendous pain and to be unable to straighten up, I can commiserate with this woman in the temple. And I have often prayed to be set free from the pain and its limitations. I also know that challenges can bring insight and compassion. So, although I have never experienced a true instantaneous healing, I know that I am being set free and unbound, day by day.

Jesus is always getting in trouble with the religious authorities. He can't help himself when he see someone who is in such pain and who is bend over. He touched a woman and made her whole and for this the leaders were angry because it was the sabbath. He was setting her free from real torture but they would rather hold to their rigid principles and let people suffer. God wants us to hear that we are daily being set free, moment by moments our bonds are being loosed. God does not watch a clock or count the days. God moves with compassion through this suffering world.

Today I ask God to help me continue to seek healing and release at all times. May we never forget the needs of those around us and respond when we are called. May today be a day of compassion, where we will not restrict others but instead set them free.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Fig Trees

And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’” Luke 13:6-9

Nothing can last forever. The fig tree that was in our yard when I was young was lost during a storm. It had produced fruit and given us shade for many years. It spread roots widely but could not hold on in gale force winds in sandy soil. It stood its ground and gave us delight for many years. Our fig tree had a great run, produced despite our negligence and is still missed by us all.

Jesus was again talking in parables. Using stories that created pictures in the minds of his listeners helped them understand but also remember. He wanted them to understand the importance of repentance and living a life of faith. God does not want us to dwell on our mistakes but simply ask forgiveness and get about the business of producing fruit. We are invited to do what we can with what we have. We are called to offer the gifts we have been given with the rest of the world, and to offer ourselves for change and growth. For God's love, we are invited to change and grow for the love of the world.

Today I ask God to help me repent of those things which keep me from growing. Help us all to shed the past that we cling to and take on the challenges ahead. May we be faithful day by day, so that others might know the depth of God's love. And may we bear the pruning with grace knowing that God is working with us for the love if all.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Philip said to Jesus, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you."

"I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid." John 14:8-27

When we woke up this morning it was snowing. May 19th and we have a little bit of snow. Living is Southeast Alaska has taken some getting used to and I am surprised from time to time by the weather and the challenges of life on this island. At the same time, the opportunity to experience a radically different environment and to serve with these amazing people has been anything but a challenge. It has changed my whole perspective.

Today we celebrate the feast of Pentecost. The disciples were meeting together regularly in order to pray and find their way through after such devastating loss. They were surprised by the Holy Spirit, given power and strength when before they had only one another. They had remained faithful in new and challenging times and God responding by giving them the strength and power for the ministry ahead. The church was born on that day, and because of their willingness to be faithful in the face of challenges, we have a rich heritage of faith. We also have the power and the strength to serve the world because of their faithfulness.

Today, I ask God to help me be faithful and to trust completely. The little surprises and challenges of today seem small in comparison to God's promises and blessings. May we remain faithful, trusting that we will be given power and strength, not for ourselves alone, but for the healing of our world.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Finger of God

Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,” while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
Luke 11:14-23

The Finger of God

We are forged in the Divine image
crafted by strong unseen hands
molded on the wheel of life
and beckoned to life by spirit.

The shape of our lives holy
the steps we take a dance of love
the heart that beats is infinite
and the flesh is withering away.

Like leaves caught in the wind
we dance and swirl in our time
we are bound together in a crimson pile
all together the Creator's hand.

So we can chose to love divinely
summoning strength and courage
deep from within the heart of God
delight and joy await being born.

The finger of God traces our outlines
signals us to the circle again
taps out a rhythm on the drums
and starts our hearts again with love infused.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Good Portion

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:30-42

I am one of four sisters. Growing up, I can tell you from experience, that girls can be hard on each other, always correcting and criticizing. We also can get tangled in envy and jealousy. We can also be tender, supportive and inspiring all at the same time. I love my sisters deeply and miss my sister Pegi every day since she passed away. The best times we have are when we enjoy each other completely and let go of the worries of the day.

Martha wanted to provide the best for her guests and so worried and needed help. Mary just wanted to absorb every good word that Jesus could offer. Her excitement took her to set aside the worries of the day and learn from Jesus. Martha felt such responsibility that she could not shun her worry and care. We can be Martha and Mary at the same time, wanting to absorb the goodness of the day, while fretting and toiling. We can build resentment and envy, even though God is inviting us to let go and trust in the Creator's goodness and provision. We are encouraged today to set aside our anxiety and worry for a time as we sit with God's blessings in our midst. Today is enough and God is more than gracious to provide for today.

Today I ask God to help me be completely like Mary. May we intentionally set worries aside and revel in the love we have been given. May we see God's face in everyone and see the blessing in every moment. May we set down the lists and pick up the hand of those around us. May today be a gift from God for everyone we meet.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Who is My Neighbor?

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii1 and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” Luke 10:25-37

Living in a small town can have its advantages and its challenges. This town, on our little island has less than fourteen miles of road, to one of the island or the other. There are lots of places to explore and in this small town folks are generous and willing to share their knowledge and expertise. Island living makes us interdependent so that we cooperate with our neighbors and support one another as we can.

A bright well trained young man comes to Jesus. He wants to do everything right and has spent his life trying to accomplish things and do all the right things. Jesus challenges him to do more than do the right things. He challenges him. by telling a story, to live with mercy and love first, loving the enemy and the stranger well. We are all challenged by this story of the Good Samaritan. We want to so right but fear and discomfort keep us from living a generous and merciful life. The good news is every day is a new opportunity to make mercy and service our lives.

Today I ask God to help me set aside fear. May generosity, compassion and mercy replace the anxiety of today. May our lives be reborn in the spirit of love, with our eyes wide open to the needs of our neighbors. And may we no longer be blinded to the needs of others, but rather, be every moment inclined to serve others today.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Revealed to Children

In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” Luke 10:21-24

Revealed to Children (to Mark, on our anniversary)

We were but children when love showed up
a warm early summer day drenched with light
new June strawberries from the Ay-rabs
sweet and tender like we were then.

Love visited in light dancing on the waves
in dark starlight nights when bugs moved in
we turned away from bitterness and bore the stings
for love was ours to nurture and to tend.

Alone in a very adult angry city
torn by poverty, powerlessness and smog
we grew a garden of sweet vegetables
and turned the soil until in could breathe again.

We held our babies close and played their games
we were children together, reaching and laughing
dancing to old albums into the night
watching their beauty shine from their eyes.

We kept out the capacity to be harsh and cruel
though the city and towns alike tried to break us
we danced in the night and ran in the sand
and found that love was with us like a friend.

God seeks the tender, the vulnerable and outcast
brings them a basketful of love constantly replenished
helps build a sheltered arbor of delight and wonder
wishing the whole world was willing to be small.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

Jesus prayed for his disciples, and then he said. "I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

"Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them."John 17:20-26

My mother is one of those people that always wanted to get everyone together and have a "big" time. Nothing fancy in her book, just family and friends gathering around eating and talking. At 90, she will still host her annual bicycle parade that ends on her lawn. The whole town, almost, gathers to eat cookies, drink cool aid and eat water ice. It a big time social event that has been going on for more than forty years. She likes getting people together, loving one another and enjoying God's blessings.

Jesus is praying for his disciples as he anticipates leaving them. He wants them to get along, to be people who enjoy together God's blessing. He wants them and us to be one people together. It is truly easier said than done. We know that the disciples and the early church had painful disagreements and heart rending divisions. They were human as we are too. But God's desire for us is to be one, to get together and have a "big" time together, enjoying God's riches and blessings.

Today as we celebrate Mother's Day, may we be given to honoring those who have loved us first by loving one another. May we set aside our divisions so that we can enjoy God's blessings. May we see how much better we are together than apart. And may we know God's love as we gather as one people together.


O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Receiving as a child

An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.” Luke 9:46-48

The sun has gone back in behind the clouds here in Sitka. We had several straight days of sunshine and I got hoping for summer. The weather was warm-ish for a time and so it was easy to think of those boundless days of running in the waves and playing games even after the sun set, talking into the night in the warm summer sand. The beach and especially the beach in Cape May Point is where summer and being a kids was. And still is. That freedom to run wild and laugh and imagine. And one or two steps into that sand can make me feel like a child again.

Jesus was, as always, in the midst of a controversy. The religious authorities were angry with him and a bit afraid. His words pointed to Jesus taking authority and control away from them. His disciples were also debating among themselves who was first among them. Jesus looked to a child to explain who he was and who would be first in God's kingdom. God invites us to seek our honest selves, our simple selves as we come into relationship with the Divine. Not our high and mighty, self-righteous selves, but the real people who are boundless, compassionate, needy, messy and willing to revel in joy.

Today I ask God to help me seek the Creator more deeply as a child. May we put off all pretense and attitude and openly run to the arms of God. May we take off our shoes and run in the sand, loving and celebrating every breath we have been given. And may we put aside our battles for control and authority as we welcome the children in us everywhere.

Friday, May 10, 2013


Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen. Luke 9:28-36

Our little town has been transformed. In one day we have gone from a sleepy little fishing village to a tourist mecca. The big cruise ship pulls into the harbor, sounds the horn and begins off loading the camera laden travelers. The streets are filled, the shops open, and there is a bazaar like feeling everywhere. It is the same town, but for a time both how it looks and sounds is spectacularly different.

Jesus takes a small group up the mountain to pray. I am sure he did this on some regular basis, setting aside time to pray and calm his spirit. We all need to do this. This time, the disciples witnessed a transformation, an insight into the true being of Jesus, the heart of God. One that had looked like an average guy became his true self - radiant with the love of God and embedded in the family of God from the beginning. The disciples wanted to respond in some spectacular way, but were interrupted by a voice which instructed them to listen to Jesus. This moment was burned in their memories, a picture of their teacher transformed to his true self. And it gives us a moment, a vision, of the true heart of God. One that brings light in our darkness, changing us from tourists to those embedded in the family of God.

Today I ask God to help me hold onto those moments of great light and insight. May we remember these moments when the fog rolls in and our lives are clouded with darkness and pain. May we recall that we are embedded in the heart of God. And may we rejoice in the love we have today despite the weather or the circumstances.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ascension Day

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20

Ascension Day

All that I can see
is where you have been
mortals like us need direction
and we are looking up.

The road ahead is ours
and you will be with us
we will have your love
and the memory of your touch.

Disappearing into the clouds
we weep for our loss
our time over all too soon
the changes are hard to swallow.

The final vision for us
your face alight with joy
the dusty soles of your feet
reminders of the roads together,

We crumble in our loss
feeling abandoned, alone
we were not ready to go on our own
and wanting one more day.

I am with you always you said
as you lifted to the sky
but we are grasping again
for human arms to hold us.

I am with you always
and so we grow in that truth
standing upright with our tears
we will walk forward holding hands.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Consider the Ravens

And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you." Luke 12:22-31

They are everywhere here in Sitka. Ravens are everywhere. They can be quite beautiful in flight and very noisy when resting in the trees. They gather at the docks and chat their heads off, like loud teenagers at a burger joint. Sometimes comical and often picking at the trash, ravens are a part of life in Southeast Alaska, part of the sights and sounds of living here.

Jesus was teaching his disciples how to live a life of faith. They were to trust God for their needs and not to worry. I am sure that even his disciples privately questioned the possibility of never having to worry. We worry. We humans find ourselves up in the middle of the night worrying about the basics, about our families, etc. The list of our worries are endless. And yet, we are offered another vision of God. The silly noisy crows are taken care of, and so does God also take care of us. We are but to ask God for our needs, when worry overwhelms us, and trust God, who has more for us than we can imagine or dream.

Today, I ask God to help me notice the ravens. And with each raven may I be reminded of God's love and tender care for us. When we are overwhelmed with fears and worries, may we turn them to God. May we see our worries as an opportunity to deepen our relationship with God. May we consider the ravens, and trust that God is in the midst of our most troubling situations today.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Giving Good Gifts

And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:5-13

It can be a challenge to admit our needs. Not our needs for things we crave or things we desire but our true deep needs. So many people get to adulthood and forget how to ask and how to pray. We assume we are being weak of we ask. We turn away from asking for help because we want to appear independent. And yet real string men and women know when they need support and help and bravely ask.

Jesus was teaching his disciples to pray. He taught them to go to God on a regular basis, seeking support and strength in all times. He taught them, as he teaches us today that we human parents know how to love and care for our children by the example of our perfect heavenly parent. Our generosity and goodness comes from a perfect source, a loving Divine who wants to be in relationship with us - a holy and good Creator who aches to care for our deepest needs.

Today I ask God to help me be numbered among the brave warriors of faith, who are not afraid to pray constantly, and ask for the needs of the world. May we who know God's love in our lives, share that love with the world. May we be inspired by God's generosity. May we seek God in every struggle we face. And may we all be true brave warriors, willing to get down on our knees for the welfare of the world.

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Good Land

For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.Deuteronomy 8:7-10

A Good Land
Where are we going and when
will we ever get there?
they cry in the night
and from stiff back seats.

Lifted from the familiar
in foreign lands litter with our bones
we wonder if God is forgetting us
and how we find our homes.

God wonders whether we have forgotten
crying out so much and doing so little
we have let go of divine promises
and reneged on obligations.

We are like unformed adults
without spine and muscle
we want to be carried about
and fed at our instant hunger

The Divine breathes in the night
again the sacred promises we crave
but we would not lift a finger
to find our way home.

Ask and it shall be given
seek and you shall find
knock and the door shall be opened
the Creator sings with creation.

We have but a few commandments to follow
love our neighbor as ourselves
forgive and we will be forgiven
and trust in our loving God always.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Waiting to Get in the Pool

After Jesus healed the son of the official in Capernaum, there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids-- blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be made well?" The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me." Jesus said to him, "Stand up, take your mat and walk." At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a sabbath.John 5:1-9

As a swimmer, it can be hard to get in the pool. Sometimes it is from laziness or timing problems. More often it can be the other swimmers. Some people don't share very well, and try their best to make it hard to share a lane. We are competitive beasts, us humans, but when one is just trying to get some exercise, it is hard to deal with a selfish swimmer. I have been scratched and kicked intentionally, and one man told me to get out of his lane. This was at a YWCA of all places.

Today we hear the story of a man waiting for seemingly ever to get into the pool for healing. People would push him out of the way just so they could get there first. Wanting our own way, our own lane, and to be first in line is very human. No our best quality. The man waiting for healing saw Jesus and asked him for help. He didn't get involved in the trite human competition we all seem to be swept up in. Instead he asked for help and was given the strength to get up and walk. Healing from the Divine came from his own heart, willing to ignore the foolishness of others, and seeking God for himself. Right as he was, there lonely in the back of the crowd.

Today, I ask God to help me not worry what others do or think, but rather seek after God's blessing and healing. May we be ready to get up and walk, seeking God first in all things and letting go of our need to control. May we let go so that we can find peace and healing. May we let go so that all may be healed and live.

The Collect

O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Shake Off the Dust

And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.Luke 9:1-6

Shake Off the Dust

Heartless though it may seem
some will not be healed
some will refuse you and love
some would rather just be miserable.

Miserable is familiar friend
fear and loathing a daily visitor
expecting the worst of others
they write their own loneliness song.

Some would rather be alone that joyous
others would rather die than change
many don't believe they need to learn anymore
and most can't admit to their pain.

So we go dancing down the road
singing our choruses and laughing
for we are poor and free
loved and never left alone.

The dust can be their companion
for dust and bile they fed their guests
their derision and taunting their gifts
and we can leave them to it.

We continue on with light steps
we are no burden to one another
the Divine walks with us together
joy will meet us at the next gate.

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Single Touch

As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” Luke 8:42-48

It is amazing how things can change in a moment. A call on the phone can change everything whether it's good news or bad. A life long struggle can begin or end in the blink of the eye. Something as simple as a sweet laugh can change our whole outlook, a single touch can change our mood. Love is both an action and a power source, and the strength that we humans can give by loving does change the world.

Jesus was on his way to help a young parent. In the midst of a dense crowd he felt a single touch. A long suffering woman, bent with pain and exhaustion, had enough faith and love to reach out. And in reaching out, her life was changed in a moment. The divine love, which is never held back and always acting for us, brought her healing and freedom. God's love is so powerful that it can change the course of lives and history. And we can share that love by reaching out in faith also.

Today I ask God to help me reach out in faith. May we never be too discouraged or fearful to reach out in love. May we seek God's love in every moment and may we share the gifts and healing we have been given. There are so many in the crowd aching to be healed, ready to be transformed. God invites us today to act on faith and reach out in love.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Deviled Ham

Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.) Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.

When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him. Luke 8:26-39

Deviled Ham

It's just not right to send them
we were minding our own business
being typical swines grazing
and we didn't deserve to die.

The broken man we heard him cry
every day he broke our quiet
daily he tried to hurt himself
and we would die so he was free.

We knew some of you thought us unclean
we knew you despised us and our young
we were living on the margins keeping quiet
and you came to do us ill.

It just wasn't right we had to die
we knew how to swim but devils do not
we knew how to survive on the scraps
but you would make the whole world whole.

It just wasn't right you had to die
you lived with the outcasts and loved sinners
you stayed with the poor and hurting
leaving everyone better off from your touch.

So we would proceed you in death
and in dying you would make all thins clean
in offering you made the world whole
and gave us all new reason to live.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sharing Light

“No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.” Luke 8:16-18

When organizations are working on change and growth, people often want to share their thoughts and ideas. It can be a wonderful time of creative solutions and team work. It can also be a time when people need and want to vent and complain without presenting any solutions. They like the way it used to be, they like whatever made them comfortable even if it was destructive and unwelcoming to others. Sharing solutions means shedding light on the good and the bad alike and seeing things as they really are.

Jesus continues using common objects as illustrations for his conversations on faith. He talks about faith as something that needs sharing like the light of a lamp. We do not hide a lamp but rather put it in a prominent place and share it with others. The love of God that we have received is not something we can hoard but it must be shared to multiply and grow. To be faithful Christians we must make room in the light for others and we must welcome strangers and those different from us into the light. God invites us to be people who share rather than hoard, people who create solutions, and people who welcome difference and change as the movement of God's spirit.

Today, I ask God to help me be patient with those who resist change and help me God's share light and love with all. May we never shy away from the challenges ahead but rather move boldly, sharing all the gifts, so that God's love might be a beacon for all.