Rethinking grief, detachment, the Book of Job and the engravings of William Blake (!) in a time of pandemic

William Blake, Illustrations of the Book of Job, Plate 21 William Blake has never been exactly my cup of tea. When it comes to English Romantic poets, I'm more of a Byron and Wordsworth guy, and I like cats too much to get much pleasure out of thinking about Blake's tiger "burning bright, / In the … Continue reading Rethinking grief, detachment, the Book of Job and the engravings of William Blake (!) in a time of pandemic

Spiritual direction, August-September

Email, lightly edited to make sense of a couple of really clunky sentences, that I sent today to my spiritual director in advance of our September meeting. Excerpts from my earlier posts are in italics and linked to the original posts to this blog. Hi Sister -- Here's the usual note to confirm our appointment … Continue reading Spiritual direction, August-September

Word, sacrament, a Lutheran chorale and reading the bible: Lessons from a Swedish immigrant church in Chicago during a time of cholera

First phrase of chorale by Philipp Nicolai Svenska Psalmbok (1819), Nos. 55, 412. O Gud! ditt ord och sakramentLåt aldrig bliva från oss vändt ...-- Svenska Psalmbok (1819), No. 412, v. 6[O God, let your word and sacrament / never be turned away from us ...] No doubt it's just a coincidence, but since I … Continue reading Word, sacrament, a Lutheran chorale and reading the bible: Lessons from a Swedish immigrant church in Chicago during a time of cholera

Spiritual journal for August — further thoughts on Word and sacrament in a time of pandemic

Email sent today to my spiritual director, lightly edited. Since it quotes extensively from this blog (and WordPress isn't letting me do block quotations the way I want to), I am putting my email message in lightface italics and leaving quoted material in Roman type. Hi Sister -- [* * *] Not very much to … Continue reading Spiritual journal for August — further thoughts on Word and sacrament in a time of pandemic

Elijah and the word of the Lord: No windstorm, no fire, no earthquake. Just get back to work (Pentecost X)

1 Kings 19:11-13 (NRSV) [The word of the Lord] said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the … Continue reading Elijah and the word of the Lord: No windstorm, no fire, no earthquake. Just get back to work (Pentecost X)

Spiritual direction journal — July

Copy of an email sent tonight (Saturday) to my spiritual director. Lightly edited in the interest of making sense and removing obvious illiteracies. Hi Sister -- Just a quick note -- quicker than usual this month -- to confirm that unless I hear otherwise from you, I'll be calling you Monday at 2:30 p.m. for our … Continue reading Spiritual direction journal — July

A parable of sowing the word of the kingdom of heaven on YouTube and Facebook (for Pentecost VI)

Sunday service, Peace Lutheran Church, Springfield, Ill., July 12, 2020 (Pentecost VI) Yesterday's lectionary reading, for the sixth Sunday after Pentecost (ordinary time to non-Lutherans), was the the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. Which means, if you think about it, watching the service on social media was almost like a parable about a … Continue reading A parable of sowing the word of the kingdom of heaven on YouTube and Facebook (for Pentecost VI)

Jante laws: ‘Don’t get above your raisin’.”

This morning when Debi and I were going over the end-of-chapter questions for Debby Irving's Waking Up White, the Jante laws came up. Pronounced "YAN-teh," they're a series of 10 tongue-in-cheeck observations on small-town life in Scandinavia. Small-town life anywhere, as far as I'm concerned. If they can be summed up in a word or … Continue reading Jante laws: ‘Don’t get above your raisin’.”

Spiritual direction — journal for June

Copy of email (lightly edited) sent yesterday to my spiritual director, summarizing what I've been trying to do in the past month and suggesting an agenda for our next session. Jun 19, 2020, 7:44 PM Hi, Sister -- Just a note to confirm our spiritual direction meeting at 2:30 p.m. and give you a general … Continue reading Spiritual direction — journal for June