Showing posts from February, 2018


As I mentioned in a previous post, I threw out my Ash Wednesday sermon and decided to preach extemporaneously. I've continued that practice on the first and second Sundays in Lent - praying, pondering, thinking about what the readings are saying to me and what I want to lift up in my reflection. It actually takes a lot of work and takes a lot out of me to do this. However, almost everyone is telling me how much they appreciate what I'm saying.

What am I saying? I don't actually remember a lot of what I say. I remember the broad themes but not the word for word.

Lent 1: I reflected on what it means to "observe a Holy Lent' through the lens of "fasting." I don't remember how I started the sermons, which were slightly different between 8am and 10am. I only remember that I considered the various ways one might fast: from food or drink, from being busy, from social media...and then also, from being angry, hostile, fasting is intended to empt…

Rend Your Heart

"...Yet even now, says theLord,
return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
rend your hearts and not your clothing." (Joel 2:12-13)
On Ash Wednesday I offered four services. One was with four year olds from our preschool, kids who are not necessarily Christian or even religious. I aim to teach them a little bit about Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent. I begin by reading Judith Viorst's book, "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." I get the kids to repeat the refrain with me every time it shows up in the story. Then we talk about days when every thing goes wrong and we feel bad, those days when we have to say "sorry" to someone or when we need someone to say "sorry" to us. I talked about how the ashes remind Christians of the importance of saying "I'm sorry" and trying to treat others kindly. I then invite the kids to touch the rough ashes which are the remnants of the …

Nothing is Impossible

Twelve years ago I suffered a life threatening illness. From a fractured tooth came an abscess, and then the abscess infected the bone in my jaw. The infection followed the nerve in my jaw, leaving me unable to feel most of my bottom lip and teeth. The infection then travelled up the side of my face. All of this developed over the course of one week, taking me from a dentist who thought I had TMJ to a hospital room and a team of doctors including a surgeon, an internist, and an infectious disease specialist. At first the hospital attempted to cure me with IV antibiotics. But 48 hours later, with the infection increasing, I was prepped and waiting for surgery. Following surgery to drain the infection I remained in the hospital another week and then, because the infection was in the bone, I went home with a pic line so I could apply iv antibiotics myself, four times a day for the next 9 weeks, until they were certain that no infection lingered in the bone. As we hear in our Gospel this m…