The Rest of the Story

"Peace be with you,"  Jesus says to his disciples when he shows up to greet them after the resurrection.  What he says next might surprise you, and you might spend the rest of your life figuring out how to carry it out this very important instruction! Here is the scripture we read on the first Sunday after Easter: John 20:19-23.   Click below to hear my sermon on the topic: Post-Easter Sermon
read more

Right outside the window

From the Celtic spiritual tradition comes the idea of Áit Caol, a "thin place," where heaven and earth are close together, and the veil between the two becomes translucent, giving us an impression of what it's like on the other side.  Perhaps you've experienced this; a sudden feeling of intensity and connectedness, things feeling a little more real than usual.  A thin place might be a physical location; many people experience this in nature, in the mountains, at a spring or near the ocean, in a sacred building.  Or it might be a moment in…
read more

Plucking Blackberries

Today we read the story of Moses and the burning bush, Exodus 3:1-15.  I got to use one of my favorite lines of poetry in my sermon: Earth's crammed with Heaven, and every common bush afire with God.                   But only he who sees takes off his shoes; the rest sit 'round it and pluck blackberries.                                           (Elizabeth Barrett Browning) If you'd like to find out what that has to do with maple seeds, click the link…
read more

Tempus Niblit

Quite a few years ago, I took a couple semesters of Art History classes.  When we studied the paintings of the northern European renaissance, we learned that what looked to the casual eye like a quiet domestic scene, of a woman reading in a window seat, for instance, was actually rich with symbolism in the details.  For instance, the type of flowers in the vase next to her had a specific meaning, and the little mouse down in the corner of the painting was symbolic of time.  Because time nibbles away at things, just the…
read more

Oak for Saint Brigit

Today is the feast day of Brigit of Kildare, a legendary Irish saint from the 5th and 6th centuries.  She was the founding abbess of a large combined monastery (both men and women lived there,) and was especially known for her generosity and hospitality.  She is also said to have founded a school of art, including metalwork and illumination.  The name of her monastery means 'church of the oak,' and it was built at a site that was holy to the druids who came before her, so I made this painting to honor her day…
read more

Being a Body

All of us are spending our lifetime inhabiting a body, which we often take for granted.  Preaching on 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 gave me a chance to ponder what it is to be a body, in several different ways.  Click the link below to listen: Sermon 1/27/13 On Being a Body
read more

Now it all makes sense!

  We've just made our way through the season of Advent, and stepped into the twelve days of Christmas. Advent is a time of waiting and mystery, and in the piece of art above, I was exploring the way each of us has times in our lives when we feel fragmented; when we can't really see any pattern or meaning to what is happening.  Sometimes we get glimpses of how things might connect or what they might mean, but mostly we just have to live in the midst of the not-knowing.  We can't hurry up…
read more

Down by the Riverside

John the Baptist is such an interesting character!  When we hear this morning's lesson about his preaching, in which he calls his audience a brood of vipers, and predicts dire things to come, it's tempting to write him off as a fanatical crank.  But given this text (Luke 3:7-18) as a sermon topic, I spent some time thinking about John's back-story (Luke 1:5-80, if you're not familiar with it,) and how that might have influenced him as an adult, and what he might have really been trying to say.   Click on the link below…
read more

Second Childhood

What is it about being a kid? Jesus says "Anyone who does not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."  Here's my sermon from Saint Francis Sunday, with the Top Ten Reasons we need to be like a child to enter into the experience that Jesus calls "the Kingdom of God." The text is Mark 10: 2-16.  Click below to listen: Saint Francis Sermon 10_7_12
read more

Bigger on the Inside

  I've been thinking about the statement attributed to Jesus that "In my Father's house are many dwelling places."  When I was a kid and learned that verse, it was in a translation that said "In my Father's house are many mansions," and I've always liked the magical feeling of that; something bigger on the inside than on the outside.  It reminded me of Mary Poppins' carpetbag, out of which she could pull a floor lamp, or of the Wardrobe or Stable in C.S. Lewis' Narnia books, both of which contained entire worlds when you…
read more