A beloved theology professor of mine in college used to start each class with a simple prayer, repeating, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). One line spoken slowly, one word dropped each time until there was only "be." Years later, a favorite writing teacher did the same during a week-long workshop. Let us pause each day to breathe into the spaces between the words. I took their wisdom to heart, prayed these lines with children and adults. Always searching for more Scripture that can be stair-stepped with perfect simplicity. Now I've found another. . . . Beloved, we are God's children now. (1 John 3:2) The first Scripture I ever memorized, for an all-school Mass. The first time I ever got to proclaim the Word, second grade if memory serves. White mimeographed reading pasted onto construction paper. I had to yank the microphone all the way down and perch on pink saddle-shoed tip-toes, and even then I could barely see over the ambo. But the thrill … [Read more...] about beloved. be loved.
Scripture & Parenting
Crusts & Crumbs is a new reflection for Sunday evenings: thoughts on today's Scripture from parenting's perspective. If you're hungry to connect faith and family, let’s chew here together. "The Lord, your God, is in your midst" (Zep 3:17). Do we remember this, when we're together at table or party? Do we call the truth to mind, as we're racing through airport or freeway? Wherever two or three are gathered, there is God in our midst. Even a family of two - a married couple, a single parent with child, a grandparent and grandchild - are full family. And, Scripture says, full presence. "For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel!" (Isa 12:6) The space between us is sacred, then. We hug and kiss, or jostle and fight, or bristle and ignore. Dynamics between family members are hyper-charged this time of year, Hallmark movies and holiday cards plastering perfect smiles on our edgy expectations. Can we measure up to our own hopes, let alone our culture's commercialized … [Read more...] about crusts & crumbs: God with us
Crusts & Crumbs is a new reflection for Sunday evenings: thoughts on today's Scripture from parenting's perspective. If you're hungry to connect faith and family, let’s chew here together. "The anxieties of daily life." Is there anything more ordinary? Preaching on perplexing signs and terrible fears that will signal the end of times, Jesus speaks words of caution: "Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life" (Luke 21:25-28, 34-36). We laugh and swat away the first two, easy enough. But the last? Who among us is not dogged by anxieties? How could they be dangerous as drunkenness? Worry walks hand in hand with the work of raising children. From the beginning parents circle round small concerns and shrink from larger fears. Will the child be safe? Healthy? Strong? Worries change as children grow and parents age, but anxiety is still wound tight with love. How could we possibly parent without worry? But … [Read more...] about crusts & crumbs: pray, hope, don’t worry
Crusts & Crumbs is a new reflection for Sunday evenings: thoughts on today's Scripture from parenting's perspective. If you're hungry to connect faith and family, let’s chew here together. Crusts & Crumbs "For this I was born," Jesus says (John 18:37). We think his birth attracts attention, coming at the end of Christmas countdown and Advent anticipation. But how much do we meditate on who God was before and after birth? This week we whiplash from Christ the King to Christ the Child. Alpha and Omega, end and beginning, the turning point of the church year. But this is no slow shift from Ordinary Time to Advent. Suddenly God is bounded by bodies - Jesus' own and his mother's. A shrinking that expands, a growing that surrenders. Pregnancy's paradoxes made divine. All of us were once held within another. Womb surrounded for months of darkness. Stretched within skin, carried by muscle, buoyed with water. Strength and nourishment, the place of preparation. Pregnancy … [Read more...] about crusts & crumbs: bounded by birth