Restoration Amidst the Ruins

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 I am fascinated by ruins. I think it started where I grew up. I grew up in a small town that used to be a fairly sizeable community, but as the nearby city continued to grow and expand, and as more people started working there, the community began to decline, as well.Continue reading “Restoration Amidst the Ruins”

The Great Multitude of the Saints

Revelation 7:9-17 All Saints’ Day is a day I feel. It’s a day I feel in my bones, in the deepest recesses of my being. It’s also a day that I have a hard time talking about. And I think it’s because there’s something ineffable about it, something which can best be experienced, best beContinue reading “The Great Multitude of the Saints”

I’m just regular dust: A reflection on Ash Wednesday

I’m not stardust. I don’t sparkle. I’m not made of the magical stuff from far off and distant places. I’m made of ordinary dust. The dust that is below my feet. I’m made of the stuff that this earth is made of. I’m a part of that cycle. My essence is not connected with somethingContinue reading “I’m just regular dust: A reflection on Ash Wednesday”

A Wonky Advent Wreath

We recently took our Advent/Christmas decorations down from the attic. The tree went up, we fought with the lights (as we always do), our two-year-old almost destroyed the ornaments, and we began the annual adventure of rediscovering what we actually have in the Advent/Christmas bins. One thing I knew that we had, however, was ourContinue reading “A Wonky Advent Wreath”

The Redemptive Wilderness

Sermon originally delivered to the Calvary Reformed Church of New Berlin, Wisconsin. Text: Luke 4:1-13.   The other day, I went out for a walk, as I often like to do in the winter, on the lake behind my house. It is shallow, and it freezes over quickly, solidly, and smoothly. For someone who cannotContinue reading “The Redemptive Wilderness”

The Fourth Magus

I think that next Epiphany, I am going to add a fourth magus to my nativity. Why do we sing “We Three Kings…” and place three figures when we are never told that there were actually three? Why not two, or twenty? Far from trying to be difficult, though, my desire to add a fourthContinue reading “The Fourth Magus”

Hump Day Hymns – Lent edition: The Glory of These Forty Days

The glory of these forty days We celebrate with songs of praise; For Christ, by whom all things were made,  Himself has fasted and has prayed. Alone and fasting, Moses saw The loving God who gave the law; And to Elijah, fasting, came  The steeds and chariots of flame. So Daniel trained his mystic sight,Continue reading “Hump Day Hymns – Lent edition: The Glory of These Forty Days”

Christmas in a train station

One of the crosses that those in pastoral ministry bear, is that we are never able to be with family for the holidays. Holidays are spent with church, with parishioners, with the community of faith. We can certainly celebrate holidays with family, but it is always “Christmas, observed.” For me, Christmas Day is a dayContinue reading “Christmas in a train station”