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Wrestling with the Bridesmaids

November 8, 2020 Matthew 25:1-13 This Gospel story is horrible.  These foolish bridesmaids just can’t get it right and the consequences are dire - like wailing and gnashing of teeth dire.   It reminds me of the most recent iteration of my anxiety dream where I am running into church late - without time to put on my robe or print my sermon - and I can’t make my way to the front - and Oran fires me on the spot.  Nothing like this has ever come close to happening and yet I can’t tell you how often I have this kind of dream. Today’s Gospel parable is like my worst anxiety nightmare.    And it feels a little too realistic at this moment in our national life. Here we are just a few days post-election.  I intentionally recorded this sermon on Tuesday, so I wouldn’t know the results yet.  So I don’t yet know who wins and who loses.  (Maybe you don’t either!)  But I do know that either way it goes, unless we can change things fast, we are going to be stuck in this Gospel story like quicksand.  
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Forgiveness ... Can you imagine?

  September 13, 2020 Genesis 50:15-21, Matthew 18:21-35 One of the rare shared moments of excitement during the pandemic was when Hamilton was released to streaming audiences.  I’ve seen it three times now and each time I find myself in tears during a scene near the end, when after all the misery and pain that Alexander Hamiton has put his wife Eliza through -- absence and distraction, public infidelity, the death of her oldest child -- we see the two of them walking quietly uptown.   There are moments that the words don't reach There is suffering too terrible to name You hold your child as tight as you can And push away the unimaginable   Even though Alexander has been a selfish, unthinking schmuck, even though he clearly doesn’t deserve Eliza, I can’t help being overcome by the beautiful moment of redemption when Eliza takes his hand.   They are standing in the garden Alexander by Eliza's side She takes his hand It's quiet uptown Forgiveness. Can you imagine?   And I can

Marie Kondo-ing our Hearts and Lives

Feb 15/16, 2020 Deuteronomy 30:15-20 Organization expert Marie Kondo has a new book coming out, and I’ve been wondering if it will cause the same excitement as her last book and her Netflix series. Her show, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” was released last New Year’s Day, just in time for our family resolutions.  We watched the first show and we all loved Marie Kondo. She doesn’t speak much English, but has such a beautiful, calm aura.   We were so inspired that we set a timer for an hour and everyone chose a space to tidy.  Anything that inspires that is a win in my book!   For most of the family, that was the end of that.  But not for my husband. Holden is a government worker and his introduction to Marie Kondo came during that long stretch of furlough last year, so he had time on his hands.  He got busy on his closet, and to this day, his drawers are still folded just so -- things all lined up in Marie Kondo’s pretty tri-fold method.  Holden tried to convert

Holding the Thread, a Holy Adventure

February 2, 2020 Presentation of Jesus in the Temple Luke 2:22-40 My kids had Monday and Tuesday off school this past week for teacher work days, so I decided to take them skiing.  None of us are very good, so we started off slow on the bunny trail. Once we graduated from that, we started trying out the different beginner trails.   One trail required us to ski across a long section of what looked at first like fairly flat land to get to the slope.  As we were laboriously hauling ourselves across using our poles, we noticed people coming towards us were holding on to handles connected to a rope tow.  We thought it looked like great fun - a way to move a little faster without all the effort. It seemed very unjust that the rope tow only moved in one direction, but we looked forward to trying it on our way back.  We had finally mastered getting off the ski lift without landing in a tangled mess, so how hard could holding onto a rope be?   Well, it turned out to be a lot hard