desert rains

 

Our two-year-old
tells us “wait one minute”
in a fit of
gritted teeth and crocodile tears
caught between the “already” but “not yet”
we wait on desert rains
to ready seed
to ripen fruit
we
wait
we
wait
we
wait
for the world
as it will one day be
ripe with
creative hope
patient hope
wondering
forgetting
how
deserts
explode into gardens.
Brought to you by James 5:7-10 and the Jake Edwards’ Commentary.

What looks like hope in times like these?

An Advent reflection on Romans 15: 4-13.

We exist in the
not-yet perfected state of creation
between present time and promised future.
We exist in the
pain of communal divide . . .

What looks like hope in times like these?

Hope doesn’t turn away
from the failures of community.
Hope does not force unity.
Hope is the call and response
of interwoven melodies . . .

God’s coming gift gives hope as harmony.

A Christmas Request

Mt. Rainier on a clear day with blue sky
Defend the cause
of the children of the needy
while the sun endures and the rain falls.
May peace abound till the moon be no more!
May all nations serve the poor and weak —
precious is their blood all the day!
There be abundance in the land —
people blossom, blessed in
God who does wondrous things.
Amen.

Developed in response to Psalm 72 using a “found poetry” approach. This is an interesting exercise in carving away the excess flourishes into the seed of the message. Read the whole Psalm 72 and ask — what key message do you take away from it this Advent season?

promise

According to James Boyce’s Commentary, Matthew 24:36-44 is ripe for misunderstanding, especially if taken out of context to the whole gospel. He reminds us of the “amazing promises which frame” the book of Matthew, such as “they shall name him Emmanuel, which means God is with us (1:23) and that “He will be with you always, to the end of the age” (28:20).
Much better than the scare tactics of the Rapture, or the arrogance of thinking one can “know” the actual day and time of the coming.
I especially like Mr. Boyce’s question to the reader: “How do you prepare for a promise? Promises by their very nature always come as a surprise . . . Such promises call us to watch . . . for what is already taking place in our midst . . . [and to not] be lulled to sleep in the seeming sameness or disappointing news of the world around us.”
Good advice — especially now.  Watch for the helpers. Be a helper. Small acts lead to great things. What we focus on grows. That’s a hopeful thing to consider.

There be dragons . . .

People hiking on a mountain trail
Once upon a time there was a “we”
because all small children do this: they seek
with probing fingers and ears not yet deafened by the
thunder of outside voices mighty
in their judgments and seen as the Great I Am, as a God
who holds “their” unknown future in
the palm of a stern hand with the
folds and creases plotting a most
dodgy and unlikely
journey to tomorrow, to places
where there yet be dragons that only He
can see ahead. It begs the question: will
we ever trust what life can teach
about the power of “us?”
Only together can meaning be made of His
twisty words and paradoxical ways,
bent by man over a thousand years’ study. So
the solitary “I” we are now must take that
first hesitant step towards a greater “we.”
With hand clasping hand, may
we marvel at the wonder of each other. Let us walk
fearlessly along mountain trails in
pursuit of hope and peace, in the understanding that His
words will lead us along many promised paths.