Ordinary Wednesday: I am not a calm blue ocean

Something I have been thinking about a lot this year is how to be what rabbi and psychologist Edwin Friedman called a “non-anxious presence”. Friedman observed that tight-knit communities like families and churches often had such complex networks of relationships and emotional histories that addressing one relational issue was often difficult because of all theContinue reading “Ordinary Wednesday: I am not a calm blue ocean”

Peace and the Thorn

“Mellow out,” they say. If I only could. Adolescent patient quoted by Dr Michael Piechowski Three times, the Apostle, says he cried,yet three times denied:within his side the unnamed thorn remained.To fester? To infect? No, to be the site of grace,for only this reply came: My grace is sufficient; in your weakness will my powerContinue reading “Peace and the Thorn”

Lost Things

In a house wheredaily I lose, misplace or breakwhat really, in eternity’s view,means little, yethas power to make or break my day,I understandthe urge to ask Saint Anthony wheremy keys are, or my glasses, orany other easily hidden thing.God in heaven is surelytoo busy with the business of soulsand perhaps too quick to point outContinue reading “Lost Things”

Christmas Day: Let all the earth rejoice

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.This will be for the Lord’s renown, for anContinue reading “Christmas Day: Let all the earth rejoice”

Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Christmas Eve

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat,the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them…They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters coverContinue reading “Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Christmas Eve”

Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 25

But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tellContinue reading “Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 25”

Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 19

Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Jonah 4:5 Jonah, like me, has no answer to God for his anger. He can give the reason for it, butContinue reading “Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 19”

Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 16

But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. Jonah 4:1 It’s all too easy to judge Jonah. Easy also to declare that, because all anger is at its heart a desire to be in the place of God, it should simply respond to a biblical rebuke and go away. Seeing anger thisContinue reading “Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 16”

Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 12

The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. Jonah 3:5 Advent may not seem to be a time for sackcloth. For those who know the church calendar, it might seem more logical to think about repentance in Lent. But historically Advent andContinue reading “Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 12”

Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 11

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began by going a day’s journey intoContinue reading “Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 11”