Lent 3B

Readings can be found here

To Know By Heart
What do you know by heart?
1x1=1; 1x2=2; 1x3=3…so on and so forth.
A bit of Blake, “Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright, in the forests of the night…”
The “Our Father who art in heaven…”
What do you know by heart?
The muscle memory of a pirouette.
The smell of camellia flowers.
The colors of the rainbow.
What do you know by heart?
Psalm 23.
The Sound of Music
The love that endures all things.
What do you know by heart?
What verses have been committed to memory?
What graces, roll of the tongue?
What prayers are given breath without thinking?
What do you know by heart? Consider this for a moment…
I will never forget one of the first pastoral visits I ever made, standing alongside a clergy friend and mentor, at the bedside of a dying man.
His breath was shallow, his eyes closed. And, as we prayed the Our Father, he took his breath and formed the words.
He knew them by heart.
They defined who he was in a way that gave him strength and assurance in his final days.…

Lent 1B

Readings can be found here
In the Beginning it is Always Dark
During my Ash Wednesday sermon this past week, I connected the closing words of one of my favorite Mary Oliver poems, The Summer Day, with the words of the prophet Isaiah. “What will you do with your one wild and precious life?” the poet inquires, while the prophet gives word to God’s depiction of us as the “repairers of the breach, restorer of streets to live on”.
For me, in juxtaposing these two texts, I wanted us to begin our Lenten observance by framing our lives as a gift that is to be used for a purpose—God’s purpose. God’s purpose of liberation. God’s purpose of reconciliation. God’s purpose of restoration. And, in God’s purpose we become the means to an end—an end that is a new beginning.
Lent stands as a reminder that as Christians we are called to share in God’s purpose and work towards the vision of wholeness established at creation.
And, that is what I said, before I knew.
Before I knew that our country had once …