Posts Tagged: "Hope"

Life Stirs In The Garden

The following is an excerpt from Sanislaus Kennedy’s book Garden The Soul:

After the long dark days of waiting, a miracle has happened. Yet again, perseverance has been rewarded; what has been hidden is now visible; our earlier attention to the invisible is being paid back with colorful surprises, one day after the other.

It’s brighter and lighter in the garden these days, with brighter mornings, longer evenings, cherry blossoms, birds in the trees, life budding into being—and it’s lighter too in our hearts.

For the gardener, practical work begins… Read More

Advent Day 13: Hope Arrives

Back in 2013, I preached a December sermon series entitled “Hope Arrives.” In planning for the series, I asked our worship pastor—Kyle Wheeler—to write a song for this series. He did, and it’s one of our church’s most loved worship songs.

 

Hope Arrives by Kyle Wheeler…

 

Your grace extends to me

It’s for the hurting and unclean

And I know I’m both of these

But your grace won’t leave me that way

 

Your love does crazy things

It can’t be boxed or restrained

The proof of this is Calvary

You gave your life for all humanity

 

Hope arrives… For all mankind

This hope and this life… Is in you Christ

 

Your love is… Read More

Advent Day 3: Hope in the Wait

*photo above: inside Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Manhattan

I am so tired of waiting, aren’t you,
 for the world to become good and beautiful and kind? —Langston Hughes

We don’t like waiting. We want everything right now. Stores announce “Christmas is Here” the day after Thanksgiving… but Christmas isn’t here. Not yet. A more accurate statement would be “Advent is here.” Advent is a word that comes from the Latin and it means “coming.” Advent is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the coming of God’s promise – the arrival of Christ.

I have a tendency to be an agitated waiter—and there’s a rhythm to my agitation… sighing, texting “I’M WAITING,” checking the time again, shaking my head, rolling my eyes, scrolling through my Twitter feed for a momentary distraction, and repeat. When I’m deep in my cycle of agitated waiting, I can feel my blood pressure rise along with feelings of anger and resentment. Nothing good ever comes from this. Agitated waiting doesn’t make me a better person and it doesn’t help whoever or whatever I’m waiting for either.

Waiting isn’t exactly something we’re very good at in 21st century America. We’ve been trained to expect no wait. But maybe waiting isn’t all bad all the time.

Maybe God created the wait for our good.

Expectant mothers and fathers wait. Farmers wait. We all must wait.

The question isn’t whether or not we will have to wait—the question is: what kind of waiters will we be?

A few days ago, my family and I were in New York. While walking down 5th Avenue, my daughter said she wanted to… Read More

Pain & Protest

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I returned to work today. It’s been a week now that I have been suffering from debilitating back pain. Over the past week, I’ve measured success by whether or not I could sit on the toilet, get into the bath tub, and put on clothing by myself without causing further damage to my back. Life has been pretty basic while dealing with this pain.

About 12 years ago, I went to… Read More

No Strength From Fear

Towards the end of Brideshead Revisited, Charles Ryder talks to the doctor who is attending Lord Marchmain – who is on the verge of dying…

“He’s got a marvelous will to live, hasn’t he?”

The doctor says, “Would you put it like that? I should say a great fear of death.”

“Is there a difference?” Charles … Read More

The Beauty Of The Flaw

Some dear friends of mine have recently gone though an incredibly tragic and painful experience. Along with them, I want to know “Why?” I want answers. Conclusions. Resolutions. And I know there are none.

Although there are no satisfying answers, I do believe beauty rises from our suffering – but just not quickly.

It will come, in its own time. So in the meantime, we sit in the pain and learn how to manage with it.

While reading Beauty —The Invisible Embrace I was reminded again of the promise from God that beauty will rise from our ashes.

In the words of John O’Donohue… Read More

The Flight Simulator Church

I remember hearing Paul Scanlon use the analogy of a flight simulator to describe what church is often like…

“The church I grew up in was great. I loved the people. We all knew each other and loved each other—and we loved God. But we were turned inward. We liked things as they were and we weren’t looking to be changed.

paul scalnon speaking

God began to speak to my heart. I couldn’t explain it but I felt this overwhelming sadness and I knew I needed to change. So I left that church, and it was painful. The people I knew all my life were upset with me for leaving. It was like I’d left an Amish community and I was being shunned or something… Read More