The Wind Blows Where It Wishes*

John 18:1 – 19:42 (especially 19:38-42) – Good Friday – for Friday, April 3, 2015

“There was a garden in the place where Jesus was crucified…” (John 19:41)

Good-Friday_2014-4The stone was set.

The garden—a laughable description for the neglected swath of hard dirt and thick weeds—was now oppressed with shadows. But at least, even before in the fading sunlight, Golgotha and its bloodied hillside couldn’t be seen from where Jesus lay in a tomb. That now empty place, where a few hours before Roman soldiers had threatened the crowds with more death if they didn’t keep their distance from the crosses, where women had wailed until their hoarse throats sounded like wounded animals, where children played tag, where the clot of temple priests silently encouraged each demeaning step of the crucifixion, was over a rise and seemed like it had happened a thousand years ago to someone else.

But it happened. Continue reading →

The Day I Need

good fridayI’m grateful for* . . . Good Friday. Because as a Christian, it’s a day that dares me to be honest with my faith. Please: no rabbits, eggs, chocolates or syrupy hymns. Please: no fancy language about atonement or how-God-works-in-mysterious-ways. Please: help me be reminded how we selfish, self-serving humans are so good (then and now) at building crosses and pounding nails. I don’t believe Jesus died for our sins or died to promote chocolate bunnies. Me, I believe Jesus died because humans nearly always resort to violence. We get rid of troublemakers. And Jesus, my faulty faith also believes, trusted God’s love even as everything—everything—fell apart . . . and even as he had no idea what would happen next. Sorry, on Good Friday, I get serious. I apologize. (Not really.)

What are you grateful for today?


*Normally, I post a daily “gratitude” on my Facebook page. Though this was what I first wrote when I considered what I was thankful for today, I just couldn’t upload it onto the silly, lovely digital village of Facebook. Decided to put my words somewhere . . . which meant here.

(By the way, I hope you have a miserable, truthful Good Friday.)

Image from here.

And Yet I Have Been Perfict

Matthew 5:38-48  – The 7th Sunday after Epiphany – for Sunday, February 23, 2014

“Be perfect therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

perfection1Jesus said . . . Be perfect therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


Perfect. Perfect. Perfect! Perfect?

How often have I heard (or spoken) a statement like, “Such a perfect sunset?” (Insert meal, beach, child, drink, gift, date, prayer, touchdown, moment, sermon and a never-ending list of other words for sunset.)

“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content,” Leo Tolstoy said in Anna Karenina.

“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it,” said Salvador Dali.

“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business,” said Michael J. Fox.

Why not invite the unlikely trio of writer Leo Tolstoy, artist Salvador Dali and actor Michael J. Fox into the conversation! Jesus said, be perfect, like God. Does that mean, ala Mr. Tolstoy, we’ll never be content in our faith? Does that mean, thank you Mr. Dali, we’ll never reach perfection . . . and therefore never “reach” God? Does that mean, according to Mr. Fox, we’re focused on the wrong search, questing for divine perfection when we should settle for human excellence? Continue reading →