Lent: Leg aches and growing up

I had intense leg aches when I was a kid. I did not feel them during the day when I was up, active, running and doing all the things that kids do during the day. But when I got in bed, stopped moving and tried to relax, my legs began to throb. I sometimes cried, […]

Lent: Even Jesus had to unlearn God

A couple of weeks ago, the Lectionary for Protestant churches suggested the New Testament text of Jesus’ temptations. It is a familiar story that took place at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus. The traditional telling is of Jesus, alone in the desert, 40 days in prayer and fasting. Along came Satan who offered […]

Lent: Unlearning God, Part 2

“We can be assured that we are creating God in our own image when it turns out that God hates the same people we do.” Ann Lamott While preparing a sermon a few years ago for my home church in Illinois, I consulted the lectionary for the suggested texts for the day. The lectionary always […]

Lent: Unlearning God

For a person like me who grew up in a religious home, who attended church and read the Bible regularly, whose life was dominated by the admonition to “follow God’s will,” unlearning God is a real challenge. Yes, unlearning God. The lectionary text for this Sunday in many Protestant churches is the verse that reads, […]

Lent: Arrive in the present

In my reading this morning, Natalie Goldberg reflects on her life after the death of her teacher with whom she had studied for years. She described her-face to-face meetings with him, “I had friends, acquaintances I interacted with, and we sat facing each other across luncheon tables, but this was a man whose life work […]

Lent: I’m not upset for the reasons I think, Part 2

I’m never upset for the reasons I think. Students who came to the Counseling Center seeking help were asked to fill out a form with some biographical information. This gave the counselor a little background before the student walked in and took a seat in the office. On the form was a space for the […]

Lent: I’m not upset for the reasons I think

“You are never upset for the reasons you think.” This sentence caught my attention many years ago and has not left me. It serves as a frequent remind whenever I get attached to my righteous indignation, my zeal for a particular cause, my dismissal of another person’s cause, my impatience or anger at someone. This […]

Lent: the boy who did not know he was asleep

It’s easy to cheer for the Prodigal Son, the young man who rebelled, ran away from home, squandered his inheritance, hit the bottom, had a transformative experience (woke up), and came home to the waiting arms of his father who never gave up on him. It’s the stuff of Hallmark movies, except Hallmark does not […]

Lent: they boy who woke up, part 2

Yesterday I wrote about the boy who woke up, the story of The Prodigal Son. The way I see him, he was the young man who had to turn his back on his family and childhood structure in order to mature enough to finally “come to himself.” It was not until he sank so low […]

Lent: the boy who woke up

Today across the country, many ministers are preaching about the parable we call the Prodigal Son. This is perhaps the best known and best loved of Jesus’ parables. This story in the Gospel of Luke is the suggested text in the lectionary, the guide followed by many denominations for suggested worship themes for each Sunday […]