Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Prayer: Knowledge

O God, all-wise in love and keeper of knowledge, who invites us through Jesus Christ to be fools so that we may be saved; grant that students everywhere may persevere in their task with clearness of head and stoutness of spirit, so that all power and glory enabled in human understanding may be finally poured out onto you; through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Softball and cookout

Softball playing with sixty percent kids, the rest semi-out of shape adults, on a chalked field with bases: then grilling in the park with my parents and fellow seminarians, perfect weather: this is the shape and taste of an Easter blessing.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


There's not much more joyful than a visit from my parents.  I'm feeling as full of love as I am of carne asada burrito(s)!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry may be the wisest writer I know.  His words create in me a feeling of sturdy comfort and hope that keeps me reading more.  A must read: his recent Jefferson Award lecture.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Laurel's Spanish sermon, Chapel of the Apostles

Laurel's sermon delivered at the Chapel of the Apostles, April 24, 2012, on the day remembering victims of genocide.  Here's the text.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Prayer and Poem: Tread and Wait

O very real God, who knows our pain as fellow sufferer and sojourner along life's way, grant that we may comprehend the fullness of your risen life so that our hope may be sustained in the face of the brokenness that surrounds us; through Christ our Lord, who makes all things whole and all matters new.  Amen.

Tread, and Wait

Our Father plows furrows
ever deeper into our hearts, so that He who is in heaven
may be glorified by weary feet
trudging alongside that coming kingdom, bearing a
portion of its willed freight
the footsteps joined in happy pilgrimage wear down
this godly trail till the earth brings forth
its luminous fruit.
And so we tread on holy ground, and wait.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Fog transforms our home into a lonely ship on a still, dark sea.  Looking out a porthole I glimpse waves of trees sprayed with leaves.  Once in a while a headlighted whale glides by.  Ships beside ours remain unmoved, above water, catching their breath.  Grey, mysterious peace.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Easter Light

A classmate's sermon tonight invited us to reinterpret the past in light of Easter using a lens of joy.  That's exactly what I've been trying to do but had been working with the present instead of the past.  Does Easter light redeem all it touches?  Perhaps not, but even when it doesn't, it illumines something new worthy of fresh consideration.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hot Pink on St. Paddy's Day

Easter feels like wearing hot pink under a knit St. Patrick's day outfit:

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sea Trees

Waves crashing into coved tide pools
stir confused water back upon itself, sideways
all around

leaves follow this wild watery course when
wind blows their slender trees in every direction
cauldrons of chlorophyll

could anything be as complicated
or as simple?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday prayer: Springtime

O God of leafing trees and playgrounds, O Lord of the hopefulness of windy spring; Grant that we who are made new through your Son's Body the church may show forth your joy to the world with the energy and conviction of breezes, laughing kids, and sunshine; through Christ our resurrected Savior.  Amen.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pasture Walk

An after dinner stroller walk with Laurel, a friend, and two toddlers led us to a quiet sloping pasture with three horses.  We learned that holding out our hands in a feeding gesture can be quite attractive to horses,  so they lolled over.  A breeze picked up, the sunset waited patiently for the kids to pet their furry friends, and we laughed a lot on the way home.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Allegri Miserere

Our systematic theology professor played Allegri Miserere for us today, and it is surely one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard.  It was composed in the 1630s for the pope, who only allowed it to be sung in the Sistine Chapel for a hundred years until the composition was finally leaked to the rest of Europe.  Its words are those of Psalm 51.  Listen!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


This evening I finally figured out how to make whole wheat naan that won't set off the smoke alarm: bake it!  There are few things more satisfying and joy-filled than making, then eating bread with friends.

The prayer for today, which is Wednesday in Easter Week, is: "O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen."

Back in the pew after communion during today's service, I felt deliciously full.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


It's morning and I'm staring up into almost leafed-out birch trees towering above my patio.  I'm supposed to be praying and I sort of am, since God's all over this beautiful umbrella forest.  The light is a fair gold, fresh and ready to burn deeper orange soon.  Joy girds like bark.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Finished a Paper!

Joy came quickly when invited to celebrate my finishing of a 21-page paper on the "theological ethics" of Stanley Hauerwas.  Thanks be to God!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Joy's Risen

Easter feels like this.  During Easter season, I'll try to find a slice of joy in each day's pie to serve briefly here!

On Sundays I'd also like to write a prayer:

O Risen One, Lord of the line separating life and death: May the power of your holy victory spread to the ends of the earth, so that all people may know the gift that is your love; through your mighty and mysterious majesty, O God, now and forever.  Amen.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Lenten commitments are about developing new habits.  I think I've managed to get one off the ground: sharing something on the blog each night.  It's great practice for me to think back on my day searching for God's grace, and then to describe it to the world in the semi-public way only a not-famous blog can do!  I'm grateful for this experiment, and continue to wonder where God is leading me along a writing path...

Thursday, April 5, 2012


I used to number the pages of
my journal for easy reference
but life presents itself more and more
as mystery, not index
memories slide in part across pages

I am left with present perspectives
a tree of roughed, mossed bark
I am given more than I am at
the Lord's table
itself sufficient guide of leaves not ordered
but fallen.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I'm not sure there's anything redemptive about ticks.  I do know that I'm afraid of ever getting one, and that's too bad, because the likelihood of my getting one here in Sewanee is high (as it is for Robin, too!!) That's a shame.  I expect there's something worthwhile and wholesome I could learn from this.  Once I get a tick, I'll let y'all know.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Meeting Someone New

Today at lunch I sat next to a friend's wife whom I met for the first time.  I'd heard a lot about her already, and she confirmed what I'd expected: she's cool.  What a gift it is to meet someone new, to guess and then learn why a couple complements each other so well, and to come to see the world from her eyes!

Monday, April 2, 2012


Avocados are a clear and simple sign that God loves us.  Arguably, sweet potatoes are another.  Food partisanship aside, deliciousness belongs to creation.

Colin's Sermon, Chapel of the Apostles, Monday of Holy Week

Colin's sermon delivered at the Chapel of the Apostles, April 2, 2012, for the Monday of Holy Week. Here's the text.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Shooting Star, or Firefly?

Back-laying on our porch at night, the moon rising,
fireflies astonished us with their seasonal earliness:
staring straight up through the barely leafing birches
into the stars.