Sudden specificity gets my attention. Isaiah’s vision, conveyed in poetry, has a quotable timelessness. A preacher in any pulpit. The prophetic call to put an end to such evil; learn to do good. (Isaiah 1:16) But then we are introduced to the unpleasant reality of particular armies, attacks, and alliances in Isaiah 7. The politics are real, the leaders and
As we prepare for our fellowship-wide retreat just one month away, Victor Fein reflects on the meaning and purpose of retreats. On each of our journeys, in each of our communities, may we choose and find time for this spiritual practice. Thank you, Victor, for these thoughts to guide us. -Renée The dictionary defines retreat as….
This morning I am reminded of where we truly belong, no matter our current national status: So now you are no longer strangers and aliens. Rather, you are fellow citizens with God’s people, and you belong to God’s household. Ephesians 2:19 (CEB) In this time of national remembrance and celebration, the words of German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller
I like to be able to take care of myself. And I’ve tried to raise independent kids. Who can cook, travel alone, fill out forms, and get along wherever they are. I don’t want to have to depend on other people- for myself or for my kids. But Jesus says ask. In order to receive. Asking is
Bright, hot, humid. Summer mornings. I wake most days before my alarm, needing coffee and a word. Or several words, from scripture. I am empty and need to be filled. I realize that most people don’t start their days this way, but at this point in my life, it is hard to imagine any other
The sound of pouring rain above alternates with the rumble of the sump pump below. A critical pairing these days in central Illinois. So the sound of drought pricked my ears: After a while the brook dried up because there was no rain in the land. 1 Kings 17:7(CEB) I enjoy the surprise of reading according to
What lasts? Not individuals, or generations. Anger? Faithfulness? Compassion? Each morning. Each year. A whole life long. Psalm 90 is credited to Moses. Not what I expected. Does that change my imagining of the writer, the experiences and situations that shape perspective? Perhaps. The man of God contemplates the everlastingness of God. Before the mountains were born.
One friend announces her retirement. Another young friend interviews for her first job out of college. Tonight we attend high school graduation- as parents. Transitions. Futures that we glimpse, but are largely unknown. For the first time ever, I had the privilege of submitting requests for the set lists in Jim Croegaert’s concert. And Changes seems just
The hostess with the mostest. Does Paul come to mind? Unlikely. But when Paul arrives in Rome as a prisoner, he no longer has the freedom to meet people where they are. He can’t go to the synagogue, as is his custom, to engage religious leaders in discussion of scripture. He needs people to come to him.
Our May 27 morning service will feature a concert by Jim Croegaert! May this reflection increase our anticipation, as we savor songs that open the windows of worship. -Renée Songs to Remind, Songs to Remember Something I find interesting, and noteworthy, is the special place songs can have in the remarkable landscape of memory. We all have songs that