The Ascension – Jesus is ‘not on sabbatical!’

The Feast of the Ascension, deserves more attention, as we were reminded in last Sunday’s sermon, Is Jesus Really in Charge? Someone has said, “Ascension isn’t Jesus ‘on sabbatical’ until the Second Coming!” It marks, after Jesus’s conquest of death, his cosmic exaltation. In the Anglican and other traditions, prayers often end with reference to Jesus “who lives […]

Annunciation, some further thoughts in art and poetry

The arts help us slow down, and like Mary, “ponder these things” in our hearts. Above is a famous Western painting, along with an Eastern icon. Below are two poems from two of my favorite poets, Denise Levertov and Scott Cairns.   Annunciation, by Denise Levertov ‘Hail, space for the uncontained God’ (From the Agathistos Hymn, Greece, […]

“Lament” – A Call to Artists and Poets

I want to remind everyone of a powerful and deeply relevant event coming next month! Lament – A Teaching Series and Artists Exhibition at Christ Church – November 1-22, 2015. A large portion of the Bible is the poetry of lament, certainly in the Psalms, but also in the short second book from the time of the […]

A Rage Against Ageism

Today I led a forum over lunch with more than 40 of our wonderful seniors at Christ Church. The presentation and discussion was called, Flourishing in the Fourth Quarter. We discussed healthy attitudes toward aging and God’s pushback against the cultural voice that says “aging equals diminishment.” (more of the content in a later blogpost) […]

Not like any other Week!

“Holy Week” (Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem through Resurrection Sunday) is so called because it marks the climax of God’s Grand Story of Redemption. It is Holy – “Set apart!” Here are some ways to engage this week as truly set apart, holy, special: Come to as many of the services and Arts nights as possible. [Our vision for […]

Day 28 of Lent – Seek His Face!

Today, a poem by Scott Cairns. I’ve been leisurely working through his latest work. It reflects Isaiah’s vision of the prophet’s 6th chapter and Psalm 27:8 – You have said, “Seek  my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.” Notice especially  the wonderful description of humble repentance, “I stoop to find my knees.” With unclean lips, […]

What only ‘Sabbath time’ can do – learning from Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry is one of my favorite poets. For 35 years he has been writing what he calls Sabbath Poems. They are crafted mostly outdoors; on-foot walking his beloved Kentucky hill farm on Sundays. He has published some of these in different poetry volumes, the first of which was A Timbered Choir (1979-97). Now, he has two […]

Thinking of myself less

I just had the intense enjoyment of several days with a life-long friend and missionary. His endless stories of being available to the”Everywhere present Jesus” in-spired me! I’m again reminded of Wendell Berry’s poem ending: Every day you have less reason Not to give yourself away. Mary Oliver versed it another way in a poem […]

Poetry Monday – Preserving our experience

Poetry is the intensity of our experience; a way of recognizing and preserving our experience. Christian Wyman I agree intently! I thought I would share one of the first poems I wrote that “intensified my experience”- in this case, a Mission Trip. I was in Czechoslovakia with an international assembly of Navigator teams helping to […]