Monday, August 31, 2009

Mark 7:24-37

Pentecost +14 - Year B

Mark 7:24-37

Tyre - home of Jezebel. Jezebel - dispute with Elijah. Remember Elijah’s fear.

Tyre - place of a classic oppressor of the Jews. Jesus was politically correct in not wanting anyone to know he was there, also practically correct in the economic system of the place.

Together these are a source of tension. Jesus seems caught in history and contemporary economic realities as well as the whole male/female role distinctions of his day. No wonder the first word that comes forth from Jesus is “No!”

Hooray for strong women. This unnamed Syrophoenician woman stands firm, gives as well as she takes. Regardless of the unlikeliness of her knowing about Jesus (unless you posit the invisible women deacons around Jesus all the time but only noted by Mark at the end of his tale) we have this remarkable instance of Jesus repenting of his response.

We, too, are called to standing ground-of-care for sick, regardless of their heritage or relationship to us. This may need a repentance from us, but we have a model for that in Jesus. In light of last week’s emphasis upon what come out of a person, rather than what goes in, this raises interesting questions about Jesus’ initial response and reminds us of his brotherliness more than any god-ness.

If we carry this forward to Jesus’ travel further into Gentile territory and passing back through home territory to another Gentile pole we find a deaf mute. Gentile or Jew? What needs to come out of such a person that was not available for release until now? What needs to come forth from you that was not available until now?

For those who experienced such events, they, too, have something pushing to get out. Yes, astonishment and excitement. More, though, it is a sense of being able to do some something “well”, too. When you see everyday miracles, aren’t you encouraged to participate in one or even to initiate such? With new ears open to the need of the world, may you speak clearly, plainly.

Even if an Archie Bunker Jesus tells you to “stifle”, let the Edith Syrophoenician in you gently and strongly stand for a second chance, stand for healing, stand for grace.

[PS - I have just changed my composition software and wonder if that poses any formatting changes to folks on different systems. If so, please let me know what change occurred. Thanks. Wesley]

Friday, August 28, 2009

wash your hands

Pentecost +13 – Year B

wash your hands

you can't be my beloved
your laving sensibilities
can't be loved

and that is just the tip
of the proverbial iceberg
that would sink me

my beloved should affirm
me in all my current me-ness
and keep me forever

to love you as you are
would be too generous a gift
for me to consider

what then would not be beloved
what then could I be angry about
what then should I do with me

here, let me show you how to wash
your hands, your mouth, your mind
your heart, your soul, you're mine

Thursday, August 27, 2009

James 1:17-27

Pentecost +13 – Year B

James 1:17-27

How unfair that my anger is not the driving force for a god to righteously slay our common enemies! Well, at least, my enemies.

To compound the unfairness, I am expected to live contrary to my impulses.
     - listen first
     - speak second
     - anger last

I am called to listen deeply enough to see a good work possible in the midst of this particular set of circumstances. I am called to listen well enough to recognize I really am my beloved's beloved. This deep listening rids us of the power-draining desire to be entitled to more than belovedness. Listening this well returns us to our right mind, our imaginative mind, our creative mind.

From Listening comes Action. As in days of yore when, day-by-day, creation was spoken forth, today brings clarity about letting our lives speak what we have heard. This is Freedom like unto G*D's freedom – a freedom to choose mercy, to choose fire this time, to choose blessing. This freedom is prophetic in nature.

When listening and action are in sync, anger is only a motivator to deeper listening and wider action – it is not a resultant behavior.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9

Pentecost + 13 – Year B

Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9

Somehow a psalm to a king is not up to the standard of a call from a lover.

The movement described here is from our love of righteousness and hate of wickedness to then receiving the anointing or authority of G*D to put such into action.

Consider the difference it would make if that were reversed – that you have already been given the anointing (through creation) and authority (through fruit-eating) needed to be a discerning leader among those you are with. This leadership will clarify and assist making the moral decisions needed in our setting – between good and evil.

At best the lectionary deciders have given us a built-in screen to help us find the real energy of life – lovely lover rather than kingly power.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Song of Songs 2:8-13

Pentecost +13 – Year B

Song of Songs 2:8-13

Imagine "Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God's Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss." [The Message] or "The earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over the water." [JPS]

Do you hear a bird or the wind calling, "Arise, my fair and beautiful lover – come forth!"?

If this is your parental lover, how can you do less than return the call to them?
If this is a vocational lover, how can you not risk following?
If this is a personal lover, how can you stay put?
If this is your larger-self lover, how can you but grow again?
If this is the next eight generations, what could hold you back?
If this is simply a bird and a wind, will you not arise?

May the day be here when you hear your call.
May you be ready tomorrow to hear a new or re-newed call.
May return the favor and call creation forth.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

Pentecost +13 – Year B

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

All or nothing at all! Digital life is a 1 or a 0 and ne'er the twain shall meet. Make a misstep with one rule and you've obliterated them all; there is no slippery-slope here, it's on the cliff or falling to death.

This ancient and still contemporary rule continues to bedevil and defile us to the point of suicide. Who among us can stand? [ - unless, of course, we have resources sufficient to access the "get out of jail free" mechanisms that can reboot us back to some previous set-point, return us to some honorary virginity.]

One of the sections left out, to shorten this reading and keep it uni-focal, is about the way in which our intentions get in the way of our intention. Let's start with an intention to live well. One of the rules for the well-being is my context, my social ecology, is care for parents (literal and figurative) who have gone before, weaken, die, and lead us to prepare for our own work of the day, weakness and death. It is all to easy to claim the resources we would use to care for them as resources we could and should spend on ourselves (forgetting the Russian Nesting Doll image of the generations). This shift from intention to intentions exemplifies a bringing a defilement out of our hearts. It takes no apparent external input to trigger this response.

A question we are left with is whether there is a way around evil intentions.

Here are three conversations with Vivian Paley that give very helpful insights regarding life's larger intention.

The first is a little tricky to get to. First go to episode 27 of This American Life, Cruelty of Children. Click on "Full Episode" and when it has loaded, move the timeline along to minute 46:55. I think you will find the work it takes to get here worth your while as you listen to Vivian talk about the trigger for her book, You Can’t Say You Can’t Play.

The second link is about cheating. Vivian talks with Susan Stamburg

Thirdly, Vivian is on the Diane Rehm Show talking about her book The Kindness of Children.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Pentecost +12 – Year B

Bonus reference: reflecting on the disciples/followers having difficulty with Jesus' comments and perspectives on life in all its fullness, when I heard this quote today from David Rhodes' 2008 novel, Driftless, it seemed to sum up a good bit of the difficulties we have. In this setting the disciples are cows, not sheep, and July [book's protagonist] is Jesus.

"Something had frightened them, and July stood in the opening and searched for an explanation – a pack of dogs, perhaps. But he could see nothing, and indeed it wasn't always possible to identify the reason for a herd's agitation. Like the fear that often seizes a human society, it sometimes had no tangible cause. Given the social nature of animals, an errant yet terrifying idea could flare up in a single limbic system and spread into the surrounding neighborhood, communicated with the speed of a startled flock of birds. Before long, a climate of fear was established, perpetuated through the psyche's network of instinctual rumor."

As you can imagine this take can be applied to any number of issues within religious institutions and the public commonweal. This book comes highly recommended.

unsettled together

Pentecost +12 – Year B

tough teachings
upset our settled thought

is becoming G*D
a tough teaching for you

is being a sinful worm
a tough teaching for you

are images of flesh and blood
tough teachings

how about real spiritual eternal life
a tough teaching

practical politics
teaches toughness

transforming trust
also teaches

preferential healthcare
global economy
global warming
movable wars

may we settle in
to unsettlement
and make the most of our upset

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ephesians 6:10-20

Pentecost +12 – Year B

Ephesians 6:10-20

Remember what benefit sword and spear and armor were to Goliath and Achilles. Come to think of it do your remember feeling secure at some point and then you didn't. All these images of protecting life stumble over themselves.

Paul might also have said you have put the belt of power around your waist – take it off that truth might speak to power. You've covered your heart with money – remove it that you might experience again elemental righteousness. You've shod your feet with other people's moccasins and sweatshop socks – take them off that a peace that passes understanding might run free again. You've created a shield of insurance to return cash for life – put it down that faith again might blossom and grow and hold you in the palm of its hand. You've erected a tinfoil helmet of the latest talking points and memes that bring nothing but cognitive dissonance – lift it off, lighten your thoughts, bask again in decisions that lead to greater long-term wholeness.

Thus stripped of our usual manifestations of entitlement, prayer becomes our bread and breath.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Psalm 84

Pentecost +12 – Year B

Psalm 84

Verse 2 - Lovely, Heb "yedidot," is not just "beautiful" but "beloved." There is almost a mystical quality in the intensity of the psalmist's desire (with his entire being, v.3) to be in God's presence. [Note from The Jewish Study Bible]

On your pilgrimage to the center of your faith/being, what is a beloved person, moment, event, etc. that would be a marker of what you are aiming the rest of your life toward re-membering again and again in each new moment?

To find this kind of loveliness triggers a trust that such is a worthy intention to which we might put our longing, our yearning, from this time forward.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

1 Kings 8: (1, 6, 10-11), 22-30, 41-43

Pentecost +12 – Year B

1 Kings 8: (1, 6, 10-11), 22-30, 41-43

While glad the committee putting the camel of a lectionary together tried to give a bit of context for Solomon's ego-centric prayer beginning at verse 22 (prayed in the presence of all the people), it is revealing that the parts they left in only spoke of the leaders and priests of Israel. Overlooked was verse 2, which begins, "All the people of Israel assembled. . . ." Once again the people are an invisible background against which the history of power and privilege plays.

Even in the midst of a rule-giving prayer there are signs of something larger breaking through. If a foreigner comes and prays, their prayer is to be heard. Ostensibly this shows all the more G*D's glory (that even foreigners will find their way to honoring our god). Deeper than glory is the process of the last coming first and a learning that will be needed all too soon in the annals of history – it is the Israelites who will be strangers in a foreign land and it will be their prayers, as foreigners, that they will pray will be heard.

To hear these little hints ahead of time helps us remember all the people and not just the leaders and priests. They build the groundwork for hearing important information that we will later need. May you remember the presence of the foreigner, know your own foreign-ness, and give direction to G*D as only a foreigner can.

Monday, August 17, 2009

John 6:56-69

Pentecost +12 – Year B

John 6:56-69

G*D and me
G*D and me and you

I ate G*D
Join me in eating G*D

"This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?"

"Offended? [dope slap] I'm talkin' spirit here! A spirit of life, not just existence."


"Offended enough to leave?"

[some/most? wander away]

"Guess not; don't want to go through this coming-to-believe stuff again."

= = = = = = =

So what is keeping you hanging around this spirit-talk and sometimes spirit-living? Too tired to leave? (wonderful song by Louise Taylor) Committed, come-hell-or-high-water, no matter what the cognitive dissonance, to stick to your current beliefs?

Let's drink to one another with our eyes. [spoken] [sung]

Friday, August 14, 2009

Eating, Drinking, Smelling, Breathing

Pentecost +11 – Year B

Imagine a cascade of life-giving substance flowing toward you. In Shikasta, by Doris Lessing, this is called SOWF – Substance-Of-We-Feeling. A question in our life and in her book is how such a Living (Flowing) Gift seems to miss its mark and we feel starved?

Part of a response is our lack of imagination to see more life available than we think or feel we experience. To help with our imagination we need to shift images of eating away from chomping and masticating stuff to finding a larger energy available through and after these technologies.

In the gospel lesson we run into the literal matter of cannibalism. Until we can get around that, we won't catch what is going on with Jesus and better follow the path he opened. (It also means we won't be able to take our place in leading so Jesus and others can draft on us – Do you follow the Tour de France or NASCAR enough to sense that pull and be willing to sometimes be the puller?).

To Eat Jesus (as opposed to Eat at Jesus') is to feed where he feeds to ingest hope and transform it into an energy of love. To Drink Jesus is to be reinvigorated with the electrolytes of life – those little moments of encouragement and glimpses into something larger. Perhaps we need to start with Smelling Jesus in the same way that even before we see the presentation of a sustaining meal, we catch a whiff of something wonderful this way come. (This is related to Breathing Jesus as referenced in this poem by Judyth Hill, Waging Peace.)

This is the bread and drink we need – flesh and hope. Blessings upon your next meal that will feed you beyond simply being fed.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ephesians 5:15-20

Pentecost +11 – Year B

Ephesians 5:15-20

Here is a contrast: Ephesians 5:15-20 and American Health Conflict.

Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get to remember the forgotten single-payer option. These are desperate times as evidenced by the desperation of so many working against their own best long-term interest.

Don't live carelessly, naively, absently in regard to the issues of the day. Make sure you can see a larger picture than the media portrays.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Psalm 111

Pentecost +11 – Year B

Psalm 111

The Process and Faith Lectionary Commentary notes how low the United States falls on scales of happiness and well-being while claiming to be the best in everything. It proceeds to suggest some ways, based on this week's lectionary, in which we might move toward Wisdom, the "Love" (better translation today than "fear") of Life. They write:

"Then, what brings wisdom and the joy that goes with it? While there is no one path to well-being, today’s passages point us in the right direction, and do so in a holistic manner. Today’s preacher might focus on the following wisdom-giving spiritual practices either in her or his sermon or in an adult education opportunity:

"Wisdom emerges from discerning what is important in life, by seeking the “bread of life,” God’s soul food, rather than superficial fast food that only satisfies us briefly. (John 6) Guidance comes when we ask for it; when we take time to reflect on what we truly desire in life and for our communities.

"Wisdom is experienced by listening to God’s presence in dreams and other non-rational experiences – moments of synchronicity, insight, and inspiration emerge when we take seriously the divine wisdom of the unconscious. (1 Kings 3;3-14)

"Wisdom arises from awe at the grandeur of the universe and the guiding, loving presence of God in all things. (Psalm 111)

"Wisdom comes from mindfulness and alertness. (Ephesians 5:18)

"Wisdom comes from “making the most of the time,” that is, living with intentionality, awareness, and openness. (Ephesians 5:16)

"Wisdom comes from living by spiritual affirmations, that is, by practicing “hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to God in your hearts.” (Ephesians 5:19) Spiritual affirmations, such as “Nothing can separate us from the love of God,” “My God will satisfy all my needs,” “I am the light of the world,” or “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” focus our attention on God’s presence in our lives, open us to greater resources for personal and social transformation, and heal negativity, both conscious and unconscious. Our theology is formed as much by what we sing as what we hear or say; accordingly, take time to sing your faith. (For more on the life transforming power of affirmations and hymns, see Bruce Epperly, The Power of Affirmative Faith, Chalice Press and Holy Adventure: 41 Days of Audacious Living, Upper Room)

"Wisdom comes from gratitude, the virtue of interconnectedness that joins us with God and all creation. (Ephesians 5:20) Thanksgiving reminds us that we are all in this together. Just as we have received grace upon grace from others, and prosper as a result of the efforts of others, our calling is to be bountiful in our care for others. God’s abundance calls us to live abundantly in our generosity to others."

= = = = = = =

Now comes the question of your experience/revelation – Would you add another description of the beginning of Wisdom? If you were to lay these seven (plus your additions) out in a row on a sheet of paper and put a scale next to it and rank your participation in journeying with Wisdom through that modality you might find something interesting.

10 |
  9 |
  8 |
  7 |
  6 |
  5 |
  4 |
  3 |
  2 |
  1 |
 0 |__________________________________
         W1   W2   W3   W4   W5   W6   W7   W?   W?

Would this lead you to delve deeper into your current channels of Wisdom or intentionally move into another realm?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

1 Kings 2:10-12, 3:3-14

Pentecost +11 – Year B

1 Kings 2:10-12, 3:3-14

Leaving out verses 2:11-3:2 dramatically changes the nature of this passage. What we miss is all the very practical political consolidation work Solomon did upon becoming King in Israel. Do read these details because the question coming to Solomon about what he desires takes on a different tone than if we just read the high-minded request for wisdom without this important context.

It is evident from the elided material that Solomon is a very accomplished accumulator of power and that takes a kind of wisdom, a conniving. Solomon knows very well how to "go out or come in", to move around the political realities of his time.

Without the historical references, "wisdom" is some ethereal, spiritual, state unconnected to the real world. With them, we see how Solomon plays G*D for a sucker in the same way he does his rivals. There is nothing like sucking-up to G*D or Jesus or Spirit or Nation or Boss or Family or my bad habits to get them off my case.

It won't be long, however, before even sagacious old Solomon comes up against death and G*D and dissolution of power. So read this pericope with a big grain of salt. If you read it as currently cut and pasted, there is real danger that one's preaching will be superficial and one's listeners lied to.

Monday, August 10, 2009

John 6:51-58

Pentecost +11 – Year B

John 6:51-58

Eat me!

In today's world, these five letters and two words are hurled at another to reduce them, to put one's self in a position of power.

In Alice's world they serve a function to expand or reduce one's body, depending on circumstances. Knowing only the outside, we are brought to a kind of magic. Life happens, but we are not one with it – always it takes a magic elixir of dieting or carb loading to see us through our fairytale situation.

In Jesus' world this is high poetry bringing us to a better spot than commonsense would allow. Here is a breaking of barriers that sends new sparks of creation cascading and lighting our dark caughtness. These five loaves and two fish are an enlarging catalyst bringing us to a new perspective. They are the equivalent of "Let it be!".

And so the choice before us:
     - swear, diminish another
     - magic, wait on external solutions
     - create, a new place to stand and state, "I am".

Friday, August 07, 2009

Don't want to die?

Pentecost +10 – Year B

Don't want to die?

There are a few options open. Jesus suggests "eating" his "bread". Obviously there are going to be a number of interpretations of this kind of talk. Of most fun is remembering something else we might eat and thus not die – a tree-of-life that is well-guarded lest we return to sample it.

There is a sense in which that tree is still off limits. It is not for us to grasp, lest we do so for any wrong reason. Even a Living and Expansively Loving G*D seems to not let go of royal prerogatives, something once said is forever said. So how to get a tree-of-life reconnected to our lives without it becoming so common that we lose track of its value (like we do so easily of nature and its otherness)? Esther's story returns – a new vehicle (law) is put in place that essentially preempts a former vehicle (law) without doing away with it.

For G*D so loved, that bread was sent. Jesus brings not Promethean fire but Tree-of-Life seeds. Jesus followers are like Little Red Hens who receive said seed, plant it in the "stuff" of life (you can be more graphic here if you want to), nurture it, harvest a mystery of more seeds, disciplinedly grind it, bake it, and, unlike the hen, share it. In this whole cycle we find life and more life.

This is a long way around for the Tree-of-Life to escape its confine, but Life will out.

On the other hand you may want to investigate:

- Leaving a legacy

- A Live Forever Diet

- Investing in Cryonics

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Ephesians 4:25-5:2

Pentecost +10 – Year B

Ephesians 4:25-5:2

We can be very cruel in what we say to one another and justify such by claiming we are speaking the truth to our neighbor (see verse 25). By the time we get to verse 32 it becomes clear that the ending bracket to this section is a way of defining truth – being kind (gentle), tenderhearted (sensitive), and forgiving. When these actions are present we know we are also in the presence of truth.

This is not a robust, doctrinaire Christianity that is setting out to make the world in its image. This is an extravagantly loving Christianity that imitates Christ imitating G*D. This imitation is the setting loose of a creative word that attempts to see what we might yet do together that will take us beyond where we have come so far. When a time of conflict arises between these forms of Christianity, we might expect that the doctrinaire will have the power and willingness to use it to shape others. This is often true in the short-run. As has been noted, however, the arc of love is long and persistent. Note how often doctrine needs to be restated, this is evidence of its limitation. There is no limit to an expansive love.

Between the bracket of "truth" and that of "kindness, sensitivity, and forgiveness" any number of examples can be used. It may be about thieves or spouses or drunkards or any of the other behavioral examples Paul uses. These are moveable examples in the midst of brackets about larger categories of truth or reverence or strength or . . . .

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Psalm 130

Pentecost +10 – Year B

Psalm 130

Ah, sweet anticipation!

If you read The Neverending Story (the two color print version) or Momo by Michael Ende (and of course you will run right out to do so) an encroaching dark is the depth from which the Psalmist cries.

This dark is offset by a coming to terms with one's own power and an appreciation of time. This is a preemptive forgiveness that brightens one's eye for both the availability of the moment to be significant and a morning brightness to be considered as real, not a false dawn.

When our anticipation meets our power, the redemption available from steadfast love breaks the bounds of the personal and encompasses the communal. Our seemingly small and brave decisions have immense opportunity to affect a whole community. What joy to be able to participate in such a larger redemption.

This may be an equation that is the moral equivalent of e=mc(squared). r=pa(squared) or redemption equals power times the square of anticipation.

Do you think there is a downside to this equation – like, with radiation, an atomic bomb versus a cancer therapy? Imagine a stereotypic TV preacher using this formula for their own aggrandizement. Is there a boundary that would be appropriate to put in place around this formula to both enhance it and lessen an opportunity for misuse? [Might it be an intentional, communal anticipation of a day when such would no longer be needed?]

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

2 Samuel 18:5-33

Pentecost +10 – Year B

2 Samuel 18:5-33

Let's back up a bit to 14:25-26. "No one in all Israel was so admired for his beauty as Absalom; from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head he was without blemish. When he cut his hair – he had to have it cut every year, for it grew too heavy for him – the hair of his head weighed two hundred shekels by the royal weight."

Absalom's outer beauty went to his head. From the time David did not punish Amnon for raping Tamar (Absalom's sister), Absalom plots revenge upon both Amnon and David – "I'll be a real king". Absalom succeeds in killing Amnon but is finally killed in a revolt against David, caught by his own beautiful and bountiful hair.

David would not discipline Amnon and did not grieve with Tamar. Now he weeps for Absalom. Remember when he wept for his dying son (offspring from his adultery with Bathsheba) and then simply went on without weeping when that son actually died?

How is it we are such a mass of contradictions? Do David's genes seem to be in you as well? Privileged by G*D and yet unable to build upon that? May we be given the gift of seeing more of the consequences of our own behavior and engaging in the difficult parts of life regarding them now, rather than mourning them later.

This "we" is both royal-we-speak, meaning individuals, and whole communities. You will have to answer for yourself and together we need to have better conversations as we answer to suicide by environmental degradation and war for fear of terror and other.

Finally, what irony will show up in your obituary? What unexpected source will weep for you? Will any response made to these questions actually lead to a change in community participation?

Monday, August 03, 2009

John 6:35, 41-51

Pentecost +10 – Year B

John 6:35, 41-51

As we read the poetic language of John, it is important to remember Jesus as teacher, mentor, and leader of disciples. This will continue to ground us as we listen in on images of bread, life, eternity, and magnetism.

Jesus, as sage and wise one, has enough teaching to chew on that a follower will always have a next syllabus. To come and live with Jesus will be fulfilling whether or not you buy the "bread" identifier.

As you read this passage it will be helpful to translate "taught" and "come" as "drawn to", "believes" as "lives with", "eternal" as "present", and "raised" as "revealed". Go ahead, mark your bible – cross out words and write in new ones.

As you reflect on the way this passage now reads, there are two additional perspectives to add.

The first is, "I have come from heaven." The next time someone asks where you are from, use this line. Our identified starting place is important and if you don't see G*D (euphemism, "heaven") as part of your start you are likely to settle for coming from Madison or somewhere else and be bound by its limitations, your pedigree. In some sense, our start is what magnetically aligns us with our best intention and allows us to be drawn by it. For John our start is pre-creation.

Secondly, "bread from heaven" is an extension of the creation tale of a by-passed tree-of-life (that one may eat of it and not die) we have been guarded against. Imagine, a walking tree-of-life pursuing us even East of Eden as we are hesitant to glance back at it lest we are tempted to run back only to be sent away. At some point our moving ahead will intersect a tree-of-life and we will better recognize the good and evil we thought so desirable to know and set out on a journey less traveled – presently being drawn by G*D to become our part of G*D - from before creation to right now.

August Report

As promised, this first week of August is report time. I have found me putting my hand back to a lectionary comment plow. This is apparently a helpful tool to me, for me to explore life. Accordingly, I'll pick it back up for a while (though I am finding my schedule of writing isn't yet set and there may be a herky-jerky timing to these postings). Those of you who receive this can decide whether this point of shifting is a good spot for you to remove yourself from the list that sends these postings to you (the info is at the end of each posting) or to let me know you would like off.

If you are up to it, I'd be interested in any reflections you have about the continuity or discontinuity of style and content. I expect that I'll see different things as a retired pastor, but that I may not catch the shift until you mention it.

Peace enough to grow - to you and yours.