Prayer for Troubled Times

*Please join with me in this prayer, offered by my friend and spiritual director, Ulysses Castillo: Dearest Lord, whose glory is in all the world, we commend this nation to your merciful care, that, being guided by your hand, we will open our eyes and learn again what it is to be a nation of…

The Lamb of God and the Sins of the World

*This post is excerpted from a sermon on John 1:29-42. These days, we hear the phrase “Lamb of God” most often during Lent. We connect it to Jesus as the “suffering servant” of Isaiah 53, and it conjures up images of Jesus’ bloody body hanging on the cross. I can’t imagine, though, that this is…

Morning Prayer Invitation

For about six months now, a small group of folks has gathered virtually on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings for morning prayer. This practice was sparked by my prayers with the monks at St. John’s Abbey. While online prayer is certainly not the same as gathering in person, these brief morning meetings have become an…

Listening to the Magi

  Last week, I read in the Christian Century about: Christians being imprisoned and beaten in the Mosul region of Iraq. Muslim sheikhs, imams and preachers disappearing at the Kenya-Somalia border. Protestant pastors who had lived in Turkey for years forced out of the country. Members of the B’hai faith being imprisoned and threatened in…

Herod and the Magi

  The magi, with their fine robes and sparkling gifts, are favorite characters in our Christmas stories and songs and decorations (even if they did show up long after the shepherds). But a careful reading of the text (Matthew 2:1-12) reveals that the magi aren’t necessarily the stars of this beloved story. Based upon stage…

Prayer for the New Year

God of new life, God of life made new, We begin this new year as we ended the last– embraced by your spirit of love your presence of peace your gentle power. We leave behind the old year with prayers of gratitude for the love we have known, with prayers for mercy in the pain…

In Those Days . . .

I’m memorizing Luke 2:1-16 for our Christmas Eve service. Maybe that sounds impressive, but the truth is I know most of it already: “In those days, a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. . . .” It’s a familiar story. Comfortable language. A rhythm and a cadence that’s…