• Candlemas

    With all due respect to Bill Murray and (especially South Carolina’s) Andie MacDowell, let’s skip the Groundhog Day references today because, well, we’ve been living that feature for the past year!  (No groundhogs were harmed in the making of this devotional)  No, instead…ready…set…IGNITE!!  Light ‘em up tonight dear readers!  Today, the

  • Laureate

    I…am…deeply…chagrined.  Embarrassed.  Guilt-ridden.  I must apologize to each of you, dear readers, to God and to my family.  The shame is…overwhelming.  I have failed you.  I (choke) forgot.  I (sniff) forgot the birthday commemoration of the greatest poet ever to set quill to scroll in the English language.  Yes, yes,

  • Wisdom

    Today is the Fourth Sunday After the Epiphany.  We are past mid-point of Epiphanytide with an earlier Easter, and our Sunday lections invited thoughtful epiphanic reflection.  I’d like to privilege just one short but powerful couplet from today’s Psalm, Psalm 111:10: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who

  • Consolation / Desolation

    We spent much time during Lent and Eastertide earlier this year reflecting together upon claiming time itself as sacred, exploring a variety of spiritual practices further aligning our daily lived experience with Christ.  The goal of every practice, every habit, every Rule of Life, every stratagem is to inhabit the

  • My Place or Yours?

    This past week we’ve been reflecting together on who reveals God to us.  Who manifests God’s divine presence to us in those epiphanic moments of encounter?  Of course God can do that as God so wills, and we’ve explored the Trinitarian mystery of God’s personage here.  I’ve made a sustained

  • Hope x 72 = Church!

    Yes class, today we solve for church!  Yesterday I made a shocking claim, quoting Pastor Bill Hybels, that the local church is the Hope of the World.  I qualify that today to include my belief that any and all congregations in all their myriad forms compose the Body of Christ

  • The Twelve

    God loves to surprise me.  There are some life partners, some life legacies, some fellow pilgrims on life’s long and winding road we can anticipate, see and expect.  There are many we work hard to cultivate on our team because we want or need them in our lives.  But every

  • Wing….Folk

    In an odd twist, we won’t be focusing upon today’s Feast Day in the Episcopal Church’s saint calendar, but today’s observance proffers a great launching pad!  Today we commemorate Timothy and Titus, companions and disciples to Saint Paul who both became bishops and leaders in the early church.  Please explore

  • I Am Jesus

    One week after the first church pillar, Peter, comes the other twin Christian tower.  Today we mark the Conversion of Saint Paul the Tardy Apostle, Apostle to the Gentiles, and perhaps among the primary reasons any of us are Christian at all.  Oddly, he only has two names, שָׁאוּל, Shaul

  • Repent and Believe

    Today’s Third Sunday After the Epiphany readings are brief, compressed and summary in their liturgical form but epic in inference to our lives.  Let’s take them in turn for our devotional today… I am beyond convinced the Book of Jonah is NOT a usual prophetic book.  No.  Something else more

  • O Little Town

    Not all saints inhabit distant antiquity.  For Episcopalians, today is the Feast Day of Phillips Brooks, Priest, Bishop, Homilist and Hymnist.  Brooks belongs to the 19th century, 1835-1893, a period of sustained turbulence for mainline American Protestantism.  He was born a Boston blueblood; his great grandfather opened uber-crusty Phillips Academy,

  • Paraclete

    Elemental.  Raw.  Energetic.  God’s dynamic, energizing, and powerful presence, personal and palpable, whom scripture most often refers to as the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God or simply the Spirit.  We explored a bit of the Spirit in the closing days of Eastertide, available here and also here, but let’s

  • One Solitary life

    Doctor James Allen Francis (1864-1928) penned perhaps the greatest summation of Jesus’ life in several hundred years.  Allen was born one hundred years before me in Nova Scotia, called to the pastorate at 21 years old (I like him already!).  He served New York’s famous Riverside Baptist Church and other

  • Let Me Be Clear

    Oh, gwwaaaddd…if I had a dime for every time in the last six months we’ve heard that statement from a slightly frowning, forehead creased in earnest yet empathetic head-slightly-cocked leaning forward politician, we’d be rich!  I note that what usually follows that declarative introduction is precisely obverse from its stated

  • Of Apples and Eyes

    So there I was (this is how we start personal stories in our family) just after a very fun Christmas.  For reasons beyond the scope of this devotional space, I was full tilt towards a Personal Pity Party.  You know the PPP refrain…I’m not important to anyone, no one puts

  • Rough Hewn

    Today is the Feast Day of the Confession of Saint Peter, another of the significant saints’ days in the Incarnation cycle.  While Peter and Paul are traditionally celebrated together on June 29th, (and Paul’s Conversion is coming up in a week’s time) each receive their own moment of aligning with

  • HIN-NE-NI

    הִנֵּֽנִי׃ in Hebrew (pronounced Hin-NEIGH-nee), one of the most impactful responses in scripture.  Here I am.  The root appears 318 times in the bible, this compound response about 30 times.  In variant forms Abraham, Moses, Samuel (today’s Old Testament reading), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, Amos and perhaps Elijah are just a

  • More Magi…

    Once again I am enjoying daily readings from Robert Wright’s excellent Daily Office Readings from the Early Church.  I especially appreciate how different, and how erudite, the early church mothers and fathers were in explicating Christian faith to the world.  Without them our faith would not have translated across centuries,

  • Brightest

    A second beloved Epiphany hymn once again hails from 19th century England…boy were they busy composing hymns then!!  Anglican priest and bishop Reginald Heber composed Brightest and Best Are the Sons of the Morning in 1811 for his parish in Shropshire, England.  The familiar tune did not come around until

  • Epiphanytide Decorations

    A more personal reflection today dear readers….since I have been living in an extended household situation, I have more flexibility to decorate your parish rectory more seasonally.  Empty nesting seems to mean I notice more and smaller things more readily than I did previously!  To my mind church seasons give