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Category: Speaking to the Soul

Some kind of psalm

Oh that I had the eyes of a hawk to see your face,
the wings of an albatross to span the rift between
the world and your still waters;
the appetite of the dove for the olive branch.

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Lessons from the Flu

“When I couldn’t muster any energy we all gathered in the living room, blankets and pillows surrounding us, and sat together on the couch. Moving into the new year I hope to pay attention to what my body is telling me which I realize I can’t do unless I’m willing to stop and listen and just be present.”

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What Happened to Epiphany?

“The Herods have multiplied, and they are still afraid, and still killing the innocent. Anti-Semitism and racist attacks. Genocides on tiny minority ethnicities throughout South East Asia and the Middle East. Attacks on Christian communities throughout Africa. And here at home, the Wall and children in cages. And a planet burning up, being destroyed through human greed. Oceans rising and life dying, fleeing if they can. Too much. Where to start? Where to pray? Where to act?”

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Why Were You Searching for Me?

“In sitting with the teachers in the Temple, Jesus had made the decision to grow into who he truly was — Messiah.  He had chosen to listen and learn from a cadre of top quality scholars who spent their days studying Talmud and midrash and discussing the meaning of scripture.”

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Are We Having Fun Yet?

“There’s an old saying about time flying when you’re having fun, or better yet, making that into a question of “Are we having fun yet?”  During my working years, it became a kind of joke, one we would ask each other when things were tense, stressed, or frustrated. The answer almost always came with an “Oh, yeah,” said with a trace of sarcasm or resignation.”

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Sheer Silence

“Jesus displayed the act of self-emptying–kenosis–on the Cross, and although we can never achieve the level of self-emptying that he could–that whole “fully human, fully divine” concept we embrace in the Nicene Creed–we still stand a better chance of sensing God’s presence when we empty ourselves, even a little bit.  It’s why in addition to words, for a more rounded prayer life, many people incorporate at least some form of silence as a prayer practice.”

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The Turning

“It’s the turning of a new year. It’s the turning of a new decade, on a gorgeous blue planet turning on its axis while turning from the winter solstice toward lengthening days as we travel around the sun. It’s no surprise, then, that this is a time of year for us to consider turning in our own lives.”

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What’s in a Holy Name?

“What’s in a name? The ancient people believed that knowing a person’s “true” name gave one control over that person. Which is one reason why people on social media use pseudonyms. It’s easier to say what one thinks if people do not know who you really are. Having power over another may be why the name of God has been elusive throughout the ages. YAWEH, I Am, Elohim, and Lord are all ways that ancient people knew God, and sometimes avoided saying the name of God out of respect or awe of, or fear for, the power of God’s Being.”

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Feast of the Holy Name

“And that Jesus is named as part of the rite of circumcision is significant. It reminds us of a very particular set of circumstances: I am who I am saves by being born into an oppressed religious minority, under the boot of foreign occupation, to a modest family in a small town on the hinterlands of the Empire.”

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A Prayer for New Year’s Eve

“This night holds so much light and darkness, joy and grief, welcome and loss, hope and despair, dreams realized and dreams lost, and on this night and in the year to come through it all you hold us, ushering us into a new year
where your presence, grace, and love, forgiveness, and redemption never wavers.”

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