Friday Festival: Back to the Foundation

As the week winds up, our bloggers are returning us to the essentials.  They offer a counterbalance to whatever sorrow, aggravation, worry or rage the week has brought to us.  The image above is Bonnie Jacobs meditation on the laundry — just in case your week has been like that, too. Jan Edmiston reminds us… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Banquets and Blessings (Matthew 14:13-33)

Yawn…another feeding story…another miracle story.  Because versions of this story show up in the readings so often, the power of the story gets lost in our familiarity with it.  Even the delightful details are familiar – Jesus inviting (commanding?) the disciples to share the work with him, the grass that evokes a new Eden, the… Read More

Friday Festival: After Valentine’s Day

Whether you love Valentine’s Day or despise it, it echoes through our culture, and the feelings linger on even when the day is past.  Our bloggers are looking past the flowers, and past the pressure to be a perfect couple, past the teddy bears and the emphasis on romantic love to something deeper.  This day… Read More

Friday Festival: What Will Be Your Legacy?

As I write this, I’m watching the Aretha Franklin’s celebration of life service.  Rev. Robert Smith Jr. posed the question “will you leave this world better than when you found it?”  Such a question is one for all of us to ponder in our lives and one that many of our writers have reflected upon… Read More

Friday Festival: Numbers

It’s time for a weekly round-up from our blogging community! As a word junkie, typically I highlight words & phrases when I post the Friday Festival, but today it’s all about the numbers! 13. Michelle Henrichs observes that “unlucky” is really just 12+1, it’s really just about making room for one more. “We don’t limit who… Read More

Friday Festival: Under the Surface

Our bloggers are looking at ordinary encounters from all sides this week, seeing the spiritual layer of things beneath our everyday encounters with people and God. Deb Mechler is reflecting on the power of spiritual direction to shape our view of the world.  Recently certified as a spiritual director herself, she notes the ways that… Read More

Friday Festival: Hermeneutics

The work of interpreting life and scripture, and the understanding of the lenses by which we make such interpretations, is called hermeneutics. Knowing — and testing — our individual & cultural hermeneutics is necessary work for ministry and for maturity of faith. Hermeneutics is an academic kind of word but it’s an everyday kind of… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Glory, then Guts (Luke 9:28-45)

Like eating a big pile of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, we gorge on glory before we enter the somber season of Lent.  The Transfiguration story fills us up with mystery before the Lent’s fare of sacrifice and approaching death. Read the text here. Read the Working Preacher commentary here. Death and glory mingle together in… Read More

Friday Festival: Desires

February is the month of longing. In a long winter, we long for sunshine.  In unusual political times, we long for clarity.  Valentine’s Day can leave us longing for love, companionship, or just a really fantastic cupcake.  If we raced straight from Advent to preparations for Lent, we long for quiet, and a moment to… Read More