Entries by holytrinity

The Afternoon of Lent

After years of living through days, I’ve observed that afternoons are hard for me. I prefer mornings; they hold more promise. In the a.m., I am energized by a new start, the vision of achievement, or maybe I am simply lifted by the vaguely purposeful parade of people heading out to work or to school or to their tasks and errands. But in the afternoon, everything seems to slow to a crawl. What I set out to do in the morning has taken more time than expected. I’ve hit a few obstacles and must again confront my limits. The vision I began with has grown hazy or distant. Nothing is quite as meaningful as it was a few hours earlier. […]

Stop Talking. Just Listen.

“So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is […]

Following Jesus into Exile

But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in their place to share the rich root of the olive tree, do not boast over the branches. (Romans 11:17-18) The apostle Paul uses the metaphor of the olive tree to describe how God has included the Gentiles in his family, a family that is rooted in the faithful people of Israel. The non-Jews were, in Paul’s description, grafted into the rooted life of the Jewish people, sharing in their inheritance before God. This grafting—which would one day evolve into what we now call the church—was not into a root that enjoyed the power and prestige of a dominant culture. Instead, it was a […]

Stay Connected

In the past few years, I have discovered the life and beauty of Wisconsin’s north woods. Three times now, when summer rolls around, we’ve retreated to a lakehouse for a week with dear friends—and it feeds my soul. And here’s what I’ve noticed about the north woods: lots of stuff grows right out of the ground up there. I guess I’ve become too accustomed to Southern California where we place things on the ground or over the ground. Buildings, pavement, freeways. On top, but not rooted in. But in the woods, seeing the trees rooted gladly in the soil and their leafy arms stretching out to the sky puts me in mind of those places in Scripture where our blessedness […]