Tag Archives: patience

For Sam

You cannot hurry Death, or make it wait.

It will come when it is ready, not a moment sooner.

Even after all the prayers are said, and all the permissions given,

Even after the sins are absolved,

and the Bread and Cup have been received one last time,

Even then,

Death takes its own time.

“Not yet,” Death whispers.

Soon, but not now.

Death will slip in the door when you aren’t looking.

While you doze beside the deathbed, or turn to adjust a pillow.

Just when you’ve relaxed and thought to yourself,

“He seems to be getting better – is that possible?”

Or just as someone else calls your name and you look away …

Death will come,

Stealing the last breath as you wait for the next one and realize (too late)

He’s already gone.

Exponential: A Seed of Faith – sermon on Mark 4:1-9

August 5, 2018

We’re starting a message series today called Exponential. When it comes to faith, when it comes to life, when it comes to God’s blessings, we tend to think addition. We want God to add to our lives. But our God thinks multiplication. And God’s version of multiplication is always exponential. When God multiplies, it’s to the “Nth” degree.

Think all the way back to the Garden of Eden. What did God say to Adam and Eve? God said, be fruitful and … multiply. He didn’t say be fruitful and add. He said be fruitful and multiply. Continue reading

Waiting to wait

This week is a gift, and I hope I do not waste it. Usually, the first Sunday of Advent falls on the weekend when Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. The holiday feasting pushes Advent’s sense of expectation aside. Black Friday and Cyber Monday scream for our attention, drowning out the stillness of waiting that Advent brings. Honoring the beginning of Advent with festive worship becomes a challenge when most of the choir has traveled over the river and through the woods for the long weekend.

Not this year.

The beautifully long week between Christ the King and Advent One has no other holiday cluttering its rhythm. The shopping season kick-off has settled down to a dull roar, and there is time, sweet time. Time to plan for festive worship. Time to clean house and take out the Advent wreath without feeling exhausted already. Time to read the Word slowly, to listen for new revelations in old, familiar words. Time to grow expectant, waiting for the Waiting to begin.
The temptation is to use this “extra” week for catching up on unfinished business. I am resisting that temptation with all my might. I want to savor these moments at the end of the liturgical year. This week is the hour or so after all the guests have left the New Year’s Eve party that was Christ the King Sunday, when the dishes are done and the house is quiet. How will you spend it, this luxury of time?