The Danger of a Single Story

Once upon a time, when I was in charge of the Christmas pageant at my previous church, I made a decision that turned out to be more controversial than I realized it would be. I chose to write Herod into the script. I assigned the part to an older elementary-aged kid who I thought had… Read More

Blessed Are You Who Bear the Light

Jesus was born long ago and Jesus is born today. This is a mystery and tonight we enter this mystery. We are this mystery. I discovered Sarah Bessey when a friend posted her reflection, “Why Everything You Know About the Nativity Is Probably Wrong.” On her website, Bessey describes herself as “Writer, sometimes preacher, recovering… Read More

A Song for Fearful Hearts

I’ve been watching the Mississippi River freeze. A channel of open water winds a curvy black path through the middle of solid, snow-covered ice. At least by my house, the river did not stop its motion without a fight. The ice is piled up in jagged peaks and rough sheets that are wild even in… Read More

Expect to Be Surprised

Water knows the way. Water and gravity. Water and sand. Water and frigid weather.  Water and subterranean heat. Water and soft rock. Water knows the way. My appreciation for the wisdom of water grew this fall when Jean, her mother Barb, and I visited National Parks out west.  We drove through Arizona and Utah, Wyoming… Read More

Buried Treasure

Robin Wall Kimmerer is a botanist and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. In her book Braiding Sweetgrass, she weaves together scientific and indigenous ways of knowing. As I wrestled with today’s parable of the talents, the following passage spoke to me. She writes: I once sat in a graduate writing workshop on relationships… Read More

Left out in the Field

Today’s parable does not come to a tidy conclusion. Joy mingles with heartbreak as this family responds to the homecoming of the younger brother. At the end of the story, we are left standing out in the field with Dad and his elder son. It’s a mess of big feelings and hard, unanswered questions. It’s… Read More

Reflections on Access Sunday

Hikaru Peterson: I’m here, on behalf of Shari DeZelar and myself, to share about “person-first language.” What do we mean by “person-first language”? According to Wikipedia: People-first . . . [or] person-first language . . . is a type of linguistic prescription which puts a person before a diagnosis, describing what a person “has” rather… Read More

Don’t Cut Your Losses

In our house, there’s an exchange that happens a couple of times a day. One of the children says, or I say, “where is my [fill in the blank]?” The missing item might be keys or shoes, that scrap of paper with the shopping list. It might be someone’s swim googles, their mittens, or the… Read More

The Heart Matters

I’m pondering today’s parable alongside the story Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. There’s a copy in the back on the kids’ table if anyone wants to follow along. The pictures are great! It begins like this: On a cold afternoon, in a cold little town, where everywhere you looked was either the… Read More

At God’s Table

One of the first things I noticed about you, Daniel, is that you are always setting a table. Getting out coffee and tea and all the fixings. Putting together a nice little spread from the church freezer. Bringing gourmet donuts, to-die-for pastries from Alma, or coveted Colorado peaches to a meeting. This impulse to show… Read More