Devotional

46 posts

Ash Wednesday: Do not give up, take up!

Ash Wednesday First reading Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 Psalm Psalm 51:1-17 Second reading 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10 Gospel Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 Ps. 51:15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. Amen. Today is Ash Wednesday, marked literally and figuratively by the ashes that will be placed upon our foreheads as a sign and reminder of our mortality. It is the beginning of Lent, which is the season of forty days and forty […]

Ruth in a time of Depression

This week the Daily Office readings take us through the Book of Ruth and today (Wednesday) we begin chapter two. The chapter opens with a bit of foreshadowing, letting us know that “Naomi had a kinsman on her husband’s side, a prominent rich man, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz.” I have written elsewhere that Boaz is a marginalized figure in the Book of Ruth, who has a key role but is […]

Morning Prayer and Ruth

The Old Testament reading in the Daily Office this week (7 Epiphany, Year A) is the Book of Ruth.1 An appropriate text as we head into Lent, Naomi and Ruth experience the vicissitudes of life, from grief and widowhood, migration and isolation, to friendship, loyalty, and love. If you are looking for more resources on the Book of Ruth you will find at the menu above my brief commentary on the Book of Ruth, essays […]

Raised Imperishable

So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body.  1 Cor 15:42-44 The last two weeks (6th and 7th Sunday after […]

Blessings and Woe: For Everything There is a Season

This past Sunday our Gospel reading was Luke 6:17-26. After a short preamble, Jesus begins his “sermon on the plain.” 6:20 Then he looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. 22 “Blessed are you when people hate you, and […]

The Grace of Together

After tragedy has occurred to us, fallen upon us, how do we walk on, lacing up those painful shoes I talked about in my poor analogy? How do we carry on, day after day? We must begin by being open to and accepting the grace that is offered to us. I consider what happed to the Man and the Woman after they had chosen to forge their own path, a path that led away from God […]

Pollyanna Paul? Asking the impossible…again.

Yesterday’s epistle (in the RCL) was Philippians 4:1-9. The preacher at Good Shepherd, Lexington was the Rev. Canon Elise Johnstone. Good Shepherd is beginning a time of transition as their rector, Brian Cole, was called to be the Bishop of Eastern Tennessee. The Canon preached on this passage from Philippians and began her sermon in a curious way, talking about watching movies on the Disney Channel in the 1980s. She said she particularly liked Pollyanna, […]

The Cornerstone – Psalm 118 reconsidered

Yesterday I was reading the morning office and Ps. 118:22, one of the most familiar passages in the psalms to Christians, struck me differently. 17I shall not die, but live, * and declare the works of the LORD. 18The LORD has punished me sorely, * but he did not hand me over to death. 19Open for me the gates of righteousness; * I will enter them; I will offer thanks to the LORD. 20“This is […]

Thinking as Worship

This past summer I wrote a series of devotions that were published on the Emerging Scholars Network blog1. Over the course of this week I will published them here on Targuman. I encourage you to take a look at ESN and consider supporting and contributing yourself. We will be holding a meet-up at this SBL this November, if you are there I hope you can join us!  Quote “Das Denken ist auch Gottesdienst.” Reflection Sometime in […]