Showing posts from 2020

w o n d e r.

I wonder if that first Christmas went down the way they had all hoped.   Probably not.    Was Joseph a little  discouraged  when he learned that his fiancĂ©e was pregnant out of wedlock with God’s baby? Was Mary  conflicted  when the angel told her she’d birth the savior? I’m sure they were  tired  when they reached Bethlehem. They had to be  disappointed  when they heard there was no room at the inn. I wonder if Mary  wanted  more for her son when she laid him in the manger. I wonder if Joseph  wished  he could do more . We know that pretty much everyone was  terrified … Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the magi, Herod and “all of Jerusalem” (mt. 2:3).     (Not to mention, we often overlook how immediately after Jesus was born, the holy family had to flee to Egypt to save his life. In the same way, we often overlook that all the baby boys whose parents didn’t take them to Egypt, lost their lives. “Holy innocents” we call them. I wonder what they’d think about that.)    That can’t be how an


Like it or not…  Believe it or not…  Agree with it or not…  COVID-19 aka Coronavirus has reminded us that when it comes to life, society, and the global community, we are all in this together. When it comes to our health, safety, and livelihood, humanity is intricately and inexplicably tied together. In fact, we are tied so closely that there are no points of escape, denial, or refuge.  In the past, the world could fall apart and we could seek sanctuary in a church. All hell could break loose and we could turn our brains off at the movie theater. “Yogurt” could hit the fan and we could still distract ourselves with a sporting event.  Before now, our neighbor could suffer, and we could avoid it. Groups of people would die and, for the most part, our life would go on uninterrupted. Our neighbors’ problems were just that… their problems… and not ours.  That is no longer the case. Our reality has been exposed.  Now, we know and cannot avoid this truth: what you d

Ashes & Gasoline

I have recently discovered a whole other level of panic. I was filling up gas cans for my snowblower and the pump wouldn’t stop pouring out gasoline. In the event that this experience has never happened to you, you’ll have to take it from me… it. is. terrifying. The handle on the pump would not release. And so, there I stood at 9:30 at night in a lonely parking area, dispensing gallons of gasoline onto the cold concrete. What made this level of panic different than others is that I really felt completely and totally helpless. After what seemed like an eternity of showering my shoes with lighter fluid it dawned on me that I could put the handle in my car and hopefully get the automatic shut off to kick in. Luckily, it worked. (Side note: since this happened 1,383 people [or so and counting] have told me that I could have just put the handle back and some mechanism would have shut off. I did not know or think of that. It wasn’t my brightest hour.) Afterwards, I entered the stati

Christmas Deer

As I left church on  Christmas  Eve I noticed five  deer  grazing through our “back forty.” I typically see these  deer  on  Christmas  Eve (technically  Christmas  Day). I haven’t seen them on any other night. I call them  Christmas   deer . I look for them on  Christmas ; they rarely disappoint.  This year as I watched them peacefully make themselves at home at St. John there was something holy about the moment. See, at 12:00AM on  Christmas  Day things feel different at St. John. In fact, things feel different in Williamsville. The world seems different. Stars shine brighter. Life is calmer. Individual snowflakes seem precious - each in their own way. The world is quiet. Silence speaks. The Divine seems near.  As I drove away from church I thought briefly about the faith of those  deer .  How wonderful , I mused to myself,  that even the  deer  know to worship baby Jesus on this night.   How great is it that creation itself pauses for adoration!?  I thought of the animals p