Seasonal

Change is the breath of life

Change is the breath of life

by Elizabeth Hunter— Lately I've been thinking about an old Irish proverb: Change is the breath of life. I remember learning in grade school how a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly or moth. After hatching from a butterfly egg, the caterpillar eats and eats,...

Let it bee!

Let it bee!

by Venice Williams— "I really hope you shook out your hair before coming to the dinner table! Mom, you be bringing a whole ecosystem home in your locs,” one of my children would say. “We have to watch creatures emerge from your hair while we are trying to eat!”...

Spring cleaning: order, disorder, reorder

Spring cleaning: order, disorder, reorder

by Anne Basye We've been doing it since time immemorial. No matter how rustic or transitory the shelter, humans—usually female— awaken one fine spring morning to surroundings that suddenly feel dank and stale. Into a sudsy bucket go knives, pots, clothing and whatever...

Is this what Easter is?

Is this what Easter is?

by Sarah Carson— When my daughter was 18-months-old, I saw an ad on Facebook for a free Easter egg hunt at a local garden center. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect way to spend a Saturday morning than helping my baby toddle through rows of potted plants and blooming...

Near the cross

Near the cross

by Elizabeth Hunter— After the imposition of ashes, the kids and I traipse back to the pew. My youngest child stops in the aisle and whispers: “People are staring at my face. …Are people looking at my scar?” His eyes are anxious beneath the inky smudge, the barest...

Creating for Christmas: Lutheran artists bring their gifts.

Creating for Christmas: Lutheran artists bring their gifts.

Symbolic of the first gifts the wise men brought to the baby Jesus—gold, myrrh and frankincense— the tradition of gift-giving has long been associated with the seasons of Advent and Christmas. While we know Christmas isn’t about the tangible things, many of us hope to...

Reading with children at Advent

Reading with children at Advent

by Elizabeth Hunter Picture books offer a way for adults near and far to share a faithful story or conversation with a child, especially this year when distance or the COVID-19 pandemic may prevent us from being together. Grandparents, godparents, Sunday school...

Advent is a threshold.

Advent is a threshold.

by Elizabeth Hunter— A few months ago, my dad’s friend, who is a carpenter, removed a drafty old exterior door from our 75-year-old house. Although I missed the solid, sturdy feel of our old door, its lock would sometimes stick, and I’d secretly feared a burglar would...

Keeping the feast at the farmer’s market

Keeping the feast at the farmer’s market

by Cara Strickland— When Gather's editors reach out to ask me to write a new, semiregular column on faith, food, and cooking, I couldn’t help but think back to my first encounters with the farmers market. For a long time, I found farmer’s markets intimidating. Even...

Multiple metaphors: Considering fathers and divine images

Multiple metaphors: Considering fathers and divine images

by Hannah J. Hawkinson— "Celebrate Father's Day with a beer in one hand—and a beer in the other hand!” “Happy Father’s Day to the king of the castle, the master of all you survey!” “Dad, I love you as much as you love the remote. Happy Father’s Day!” Those were just...

What did the risen Christ look like?

What did the risen Christ look like?

Several years ago, a friend and I attended a midday matinee. I can’t remember much about the movie, except that it was a delicious pleasure. I remember moving from the inky blackness of the theater, out the front door and into the dazzling light of a late...

Can the church be a place of hope for those with HIV/AIDS?

Can the church be a place of hope for those with HIV/AIDS?

by Andrena Ingram— Of the 1 million people in the U.S. diagnosed with HIV, nearly 1 in 4 are women. How is the church being called to serve women and girls—both those who are living with HIV/AIDS and those who desperately need the education to prevent this disease?...

Winter boundaries, winter wonder

Winter boundaries, winter wonder

by Venice R. Williams—"That's why gardening season is over!”These are the words my teenage children, Josiah and Sojourner, used to toss my way whenever I would get on their nerves during the cold winter months. In playful- yet-truth-filled moments of...

One will be left: There is space for grief at Christmas

One will be left: There is space for grief at Christmas

by Kristen Glass Perez— I love Christmas. My husband, Javier, didn’t. Or perhaps more accurately, he didn’t love decorating for Christmas. In the six years that we were married before his sudden and unexpected death, we negotiated Christmas very carefully....

How to read the Scripture of Advent without missing the point

How to read the Scripture of Advent without missing the point

by Gwen Sayler—Have you ever seen a “Where’s Waldo” puzzle? Hidden in an illustration of a large group of people is a figure called “Waldo,” identifiable by his distinctive red and white striped shirt, hat and glasses.Although as a child I had never heard...

There are gifts in the waiting and not knowing

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

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...