Not by Might

As I read through Hannah’s song in 1 Samuel 2:1-10 this week, I couldn’t help but notice that parallelism is everywhere: “My heart exults in the Lord; / my strength is exalted in my God.” “Talk no more so very proudly, / let not arrogance come from your mouth;” “The bows of the mighty are…

On Living Close to Death

“Six days before Passover.” Probably a couple of months–though only one chapter–after Lazarus was dead, and then not dead. Only seven days–and seven chapters–before the crucifixion. “Six days before Passover.” Wedged between resurrection and death. “Jesus came to Bethany.” Just north of Bethlehem and that legendary manger. Just east of Jerusalem and that infamous cross.…

Advent Reflections: Mary

My oldest two children came into our family as a foster-to-adopt placement. We were told that their biological dad was not in the picture and mom would not be able to get custody. They were foster children that would be available for adoption soon. James was three and a half. Jasmine had just turned two.…

How shall this be?

The following reflection on Luke’s story of the annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) is adapted from a sermon I preached on December 13, 2009. You might have noticed by now that the writer of Luke gives us a lot of detail here in the first chapter. We know who was king. We know what priestly division Zechariah…

What Power in the Womb

It’s probably bad form for a pastor to post her “first thoughts” about Sunday’s scripture passages on Thursday night. I know I should be well past the “first thoughts” stage by now . . . but it’s been one of those weeks. Here’s part of what we read this Sunday from Isaiah: “He will strike…