Seasonal

There are gifts in the waiting and not knowing

by Jordan Miller-Stubbendick— In Dr. Suess' Oh, The Places You’ll Go! an explorer journeys through the twists and turns of life. This little book is an engaging read, often given as a graduation gift. It’s known for its inspirational message—until the page where...

Waiting in joyful hope

by Audrey Novak Riley— There's an ancient lilttle prayer that some Christians insert into the Lord’s Prayer right before the doxology (which explains that awkward pause whenever an ecumenical group recites the Lord’s Prayer together). There are many variations and...

Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus is still here with us

by Ralen Robinson--“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability” (Acts 2:4). The day of Pentecost has always been one of my favorite Sundays. When I was very young, on the seventh...

Symbols of the resurrection: The true story of the Easter egg

by Heidi Haverkamp— An egg doesn't seem like much. Small enough to sit snugly in your palm in a plain white or brown shell, available to buy in any grocery store, convenience store and even some gas stations, an egg is one of the most unassuming, common foods we know....

Celebrating bold women

by Linda Post Bushkofsky— Have you ever thought about Mary as a bold woman? Our Advent memories of Mary’s song of justice have not waned so much that we can’t appreciate her boldness. During Epiphany Mary persists, caring for the infant Jesus as visitors follow the...

His gift

--by Susan Sparks Fist fights. Pushing and shoving. Is it a political coup? A protest march? A Bette Midler concert? No. It’s Christmas shopping. One would think that after 2 million years of evolution, human beings would have transcended such nonsense. Sadly, our...

The wobbly manger

—by Venice R. Williams ...she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn (Luke 2:7). The manger captivated me as a child. Each year I anxiously awaited the approach of the...

Great Thanksgiving

—by Kathryn Haueisen But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery (Matthew 5:32). …but if you do not forgive others, neither will your...

The fellowship divine

—by Linda Post Bushkofsky It was my first trimester of college, and I sang soprano in the chapel choir. That normally meant weekly rehearsals and the regular Sunday morning commitment. But that fall there were at least four memorial services held in our college chapel...

Prodigal Singing

—by Betty E. Landis As we rounded the curve of the con­course, a child’s cries ricocheted off the tiled bathroom walls, into the carpeted gate area. It was ear­ly morning, and the howling was getting louder. Women and chil­dren spilled out of the bathroom with...

Alleluia! Hallelujah!

by Meghan Johnston Aelabouni— In the last few weeks of my grand­mother’s life, while she was still alert enough to talk with us, she started recalling old memories: her childhood in New Jersey, seeing the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall and a certain snowy night...

Ash and oil

—by Jordan Miller-Stubbendick When mixing ashes, the trick is to use just a little oil and go slowly. Too much oil, and they become a soupy mess, stuck at the bottom of a greenish-yel­low shimmer. If there’s too little, add more just a few drops at a time. The only...

‘Tis the season…for hospitality

By Anne Basye— Make a list of twenty things that matter deeply to you: your children, your parents, your congregation…your great grandmother’s tea set... Are you up to 20 yet? Now cross off five of them. Cross off five more. And then another five. “When you’re a...

When wolves come to dinner

by Liv Larson Andrews— A wolf killed my uncle’s favorite llama. She was old and weak, with dark brown hair and kind eyes that would follow his truck up the dirt driveway. For many years my uncle has kept eight or nine llamas on his plot of Montana hill­side. One...

Maybe you’re not feeling Advent-y

By Michelle Derusha— I’m not feeling very Advent-y this Advent. I don’t have that sense of anticipation—the expectation that is often present in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I’m not feeling all close and cozy with Jesus or particularly prayerful or joyous or...

The songs of Advent

by Kathryn A. Kleinhans— Advent is a season of waiting, but not just waiting. Advent is also a season of anticipation and preparation. Anticipation reminds us that we are waiting for something that is worth waiting for. Preparation reminds us that waiting is not idle...