PC: Michael Smith
By Eric Martin
The pilgrim slept in with the gods
until Spring dripped from the fingers of every tree.
She leapt out hungry into the fields
and heard the hymns of sparrows in flight
and children in chase
and somewhere the bats upside down.
For a moment she thought she saw
the taxman barefoot and eating cherry popsicles.
The sun pressed itself upon her,
armpits swelling with sweat,
and the grass itched
and the buds gained confidence
and the sky shouted “infinity!” at everything. Continue reading
Photo by Victoria Loorz, taken during the Thomas Fire near her home
December 10, 2017
A voice cries out: “In the wilderness, prepare the way of the LORD…
…and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed…waiting for the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? … But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home. Continue reading
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
By Jessica Miller
Many years ago, on a prairie in Michigan, I became a student of the landscape. Officially, I tracked phenology, or the study of seasonal phenomena. Mostly I would wander the tall grass, seeking changes in the flowers. Who is blooming? Who is senescing? Whose shoots are green and growing? Some days would be punctuated by the commanding, haunting, rolling trumpet-call of sandhill cranes. The sound yanked my head up out of the grass and up to the sky. Where were they coming from? Where were they going? Learning the birds and plants and just a tiny fraction of the invisible strings that tie them to the world (the temperature, the direction of the wind, the rising and setting of the sun) taught me how to listen to the Spirit. Where does she come from? Where is she going? You can never know for sure, and yet you can become familiar with her flight-paths. Continue reading
Western Shoshone and North American Catholic Workers at the Nevada National Security Site.
Feast of Christ the King
Ezekiel 34.11-12, 15-17
1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
By Victoria Marie
Today is the feast of Christ the King or Reign of Christ Sunday. The mental images that the words “king” and “reign” bring to mind are based on our knowledge of the actions of kings and political leaders. Today’s first reading from the prophet Ezekiel gives us God’s view of leadership. The image of the shepherd is commonly used to portray monarchs in biblical literature. So, if we think of Christ the King as Christ the Good Shepherd, we have a truer sense of what this day is about. Continue reading
From Benedictine monk David Steindl-Rast in an Onbeing interview with Krista Tippett (January 2016):
I remember, the grace that Buddhists pray before a meal starts with the words, “Innumerable beings brought us this food. We should know how it comes to us.” And when you put that into practice and look at what’s there at your table, on your plate, there is no end to connectedness. In the end, for instance, most people don’t think of it, but in the end, we always eat earth. We eat earth. Not in an abstract way, in a very concrete way. This humus is what we eat, or crystals when we eat salt, it’s pretty obvious that comes out of the earth. That’s earth, directly.
When we eat vegetables, well, the vegetables were nourished by all the nutrients in the earth, and then now we eat them, or the fruits of these plants. If you eat meat or fish, then they were nourished by vegetables, and they were nourished by the earth. Always comes back to earth. But that is only one aspect. Most of it was grown, so people had to work on sowing it, and harvesting it, packaging it, transporting it. There you have already a couple of thousand people whom you will never see, never know by name, never meet, and yet without them, there wouldn’t be anything on your plate. There’s this wonderful cartoon where the family sits at Thanksgiving around the table and says, “Thank you, Jesus.” And then in a cloud comes a farm worker, whose name happens to be Jesus, like the Mexican farm workers.
Photo Credit: Laurel Dykstra
Proper 28(33) A
Pentecost + 24
By Ragan Sutterfield
I have been spending my mornings in the woods lately, a short hike before I begin to work on the tasks of the day. As fall finally arrives here in Arkansas the juncos have returned, twittering as they flash the white of their tails, and the long metallic notes of white-throated sparrows echo in the understory. Each step along the trails comes with a crunch, not only of the newly fallen leaves, but also of the acorns, cracking orange against the gray shale of the hillsides. Continue reading
Pentecost + 23
I Thessalonians 4:13-18
Matthew 25: 1-13
Keep awake therefore, for you do not know the day or the hour. (Mt 25:13)
…so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. (1 Th 4:13)
By Andrew Hudson
I’m an empty-nester, twice over. I sent my son off to college a couple years ago, and I’m still not through adjusting. And just recently, I had a similar experience, sending off a good, small Mennonite congregation to a new location at the end of my being their interim pastor. Continue reading