faith Tag

Did you know 2016 was pre-named 'The Year of Mercy'?  I'm not sure who bestowed this title or what it inspired or even how we indeed review it.   But a cursory glance at the news - local, nation or international you could easily conclude that nothing much has changed.   The world is still tired and frayed at the edges.  Good news still travels much slower than a sensational news headline.  And peace for so much of the earth is still...

Read MoreRead More

  I was particularly caught by a phrase this week in the old testament Lectionary text.  Isaiah speaks:  "Stop your meaningless offerings". I thought about meaningful offerings, life and worship.  The Incarnation of Jesus Christ - God in bodily form, God made flesh, is the most meaningful I could think of.  It makes sense of all others. In response I began to write down a prayer.  I started with the Jesus Prayer: Jesus Christ - Son of God - have mercy on...

Read MoreRead More

  In the gospel Lectionary this week, we see Jesus returning from prayer and answering the request, "teach us to pray". I wonder what we would receive if we risked the same request of Christ today? Read the whole story in Luke 11:1-13. I have especially enjoyed the The Message translation. Below is my meditative poem.   Jesus, God-in-work-boots When do you ever stop teaching? When do you ever cease listening for our good? Give us faith in asking, persistence in...

Read MoreRead More

  Over the past five weeks I have been writing somewhat of an extended book review of Henri Nouwen's 'The Return of the Prodigal Son - A Story of Homecoming'.  Through it I have explored the story Jesus told in Luke 15 and Rembrandt van Rijn's depiction of the story's human landscape. At the risk of spoiling Nouwen's conclusion, or worse, not being able to do it justice, I offer my own reflection on what I've...

Read MoreRead More

  This week I continue dwelling on the story of the prodigal son. This parable of Jesus is the third part of a trilogy found in Luke chapter 15. I have had two companions on my journey: artist Rembrandt van Rijn and priest/writer, Henri Nouwen.  Both have meditated long on this story and both share considerable spiritual insight on what they have found. So it is with more than a little hesitation that I follow them...

Read MoreRead More

  I have continued reading Henri Nouwen's book, 'The Return of the Prodigal Son - a story of homecoming' a reflection on the Rembrandt painting on the same subject. The latest chapters consider the younger son in the story.  What I found most interesting to learn was that other sketches and paintings from earlier Rembrandt's life on the subject of the prodigal son had a whole lot more movement in them.  They were dynamic - the Father...

Read MoreRead More

  I have started reading Henri Nouwen's 'The Return of the Prodigal Son- A Story of Homecoming' (1992). I have not moved past the prologue.  It documents the beginning of Nouwen's fascination with Rembrandt van Rijn's painting 'The Return of the Prodigal Son' and how the painting became so spiritually significant to him. I was intrigued that although Nouwen describes the embrace of the Father as central to the painting, he is quick to point out the...

Read MoreRead More

  The reading from the psalms this week includes beautiful imagery of the touch of God. Psalm 104:31&32: May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works - he who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke. This week is the end of the series I have entitled 'Season of Light'. As I reflect on the meditations of this season that spans from Resurrection Sunday to Pentecost, I...

Read MoreRead More

  Sometimes the right word will carry a whole lot of weight. It will cut right to the heart of the matter. For me, one such word is surely.  It is a word for light in dark times; a word that forms a hinge in prayer, turning the pray-er toward God. Two of the Lectionary texts this week involve dark and uncertain places for real people. Jesus prays for his disciples around the table before he is...

Read MoreRead More

  In Acts 16:9-15 we read that the Apostle Paul and friends go on a journey to Macedonia. After a few days they go outside the city gates to the river where they "expected to find a place of prayer." Unexpectedly, they end up being invited to eat in the house of a Gentile woman, Lydia. I wonder if her home became that place of prayer. I can imagine the aroma of freshly baked bread and...

Read MoreRead More