Category Archives: American Society

In this one child

What do we say when lovely people end up with terrible news. A nine-year-old grandchild of the congregation has just been diagnosed with an aggressive leukemia. I could play with the metaphor of a body endangered by a malfunction of … Continue reading

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Words

What does it mean for us to “Sow light” and “Scatter mercy”? It means, at the very least, that we renounce the use of words as weapons. Words are meant to connect not divide. Words are meant to build the ties that bind us. Continue reading

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They work at harmony

The music was exquisitely beautiful. Perfect pitches. Soaring harmonies. Wondrous voicing. The St. Olaf Choir was singing in Stanford Chapel, the chapel adding its own majesty and beauty to the evening. I didn’t want to turn on the TV when … Continue reading

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Neither death nor life…

There is lament in this psalm, to be sure. The poet cries out against all the suffering, shame and loss they have experienced. But back towards the beginning of the psalm is this verse whose voice lingers: “Happy are the people who know the festal shout.” Continue reading

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Surrounded with graces

We are surrounded by graces big and little. Every bit of beauty, every simple kindness, every child’s laughter, every kind word or sound silences the claims of fear and evil to rule the world. Continue reading

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Facts Matter

We are creatures to whom deception comes naturally. None of us had to teach our children how to lie; that is innate in us. It is truth we need to teach. It is truth we need to practice. It is truth we need to honor. Continue reading

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Where the heavens bend

It seems like we are marching again towards Good Friday, towards the death of kindness and mercy, to the triumph of naked power, to a paroxysm of the Father of Lies. And with what do we stand? Simply the promise that Christ is risen, that the darkness cannot prevail, that death itself yields to the author of life. Continue reading

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Tone deaf

We have so far to go to understand, let alone keep, such a simple command as “love your neighbor as yourself.” Continue reading

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I worry about the country

I worry about the country. Problems go untended as we call each other names. It reminds me of households I have known. And congregations. Businesses, too, I suppose, though my experience there is mostly limited to the relationship between labor … Continue reading

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