Timely New Verses for “Joy to the World”

These timely new verses seek to update the spirit and language of the carol to today’s earth, “torn with strife,” while reflecting the Old Testament insight that nature sings joyously in honor of the creator.

read more

The Shape of Christmas

My mind is a maze with the turns of the journey

The wise men wandered while aimed at the star

Their ears had the form of the wings of the angels

Attuned to the music they sang from afar

read more

Before the Morning Star

For Mary Ellen Kilsby
Before the morning star, I bore the Word from the womb

read more

Advent

What is coming we yearn to know
As fallen leaves herald winter snow
Will what comes be worth the wait ?
Will past hungers our future sate?

read more

Gratitude in a Time of Grief

A sparrow was in her tree singing to the dawn. But before the song was complete, a spark somewhere flashed and a tree somewhere ignited. Because the forest was dry, the fire spread from tree to tree faster than though. The whole forest seemed to explode in flame.

read more

Maybe Jesus was as the Gospel says, “out of his mind.”

The gospel reading prescribed for this Sunday (Mark 3:20-35) paints a daunting picture of the perceptions of the people of Jesus’ hometown. The folks who knew Jesus, including his family worried that he might just be “out of his mind.” This is indeed a contrast to the ways in which Jesus is typically portrayed. This is a dangerous Jesus who ran the risk of being perceived as deranged. In his book “The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus” Robin Meyers captures some of this danger when he points to Mary Oliver’s poem “Maybe” in which Jesus’ “melancholy madness” is seen by his fellows as more dangerous than a storm. Safely ensconced in our imaginations, Jesus is rarely allowed to threaten the status quo to which we cling for dear life. Are we prepared for the stormy waters that would be stirred up should we take Jesus at his word? Maybe…

read more

What Shall We Bring to Community?

What shall we bring to community?
A loaf, a fish, a voice for singing,
hands for baking, a heart for teaching,
wisdom for guiding our children and youth?

read more

“Speak To Us…Let Us Listen”

*Centering Our Soul “Speak To Us…Let Us Listen”

read more

Standing in gratitude, living in joy

Standing in gratitude, living in joy,
we reach beyond old wounds and pain.

The waters have parted,
and we have crossed over to new life,
leaving our fears on the distant shore.

read more

O God, When Trust is Shattered

This new hymn is in response to the latest news of abuse by clergy; it was written with input from survivors and counselors. The hymn also references Pope Francis’ August 20th letter, using in particular: “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26). Please share the hymn with priests, pastors, church musicians, counselors, friends and others who might find it helpful. Permission is given for its free use. Prayers, including sung ones, and actions are needed to “Bring healing, love and mercy; Bring justice, God of truth.”

read more

Post 9-11 Sewing Circle

As a peace activist opposed to war, and later as a bagpiper serving with the Vietnam Vets honor guard in Florida and Texas, I played at many military funerals. None is a happy occasion. The saddest moment, for me, was the flag folding ceremony. This reflection is drawn from those rituals. Sam Gould’s poem, Don’t Stand to be Recognized, comes to mind.

read more

Earth’s Plea: A Poem

This powerful spoken word poem, performed by youth advocate Jaiia Cerff, is a perfect reminder of the simple things that make our world a better place.

read more

Beauty Beckons

Beauty beckons us to seek her face
To find in her both awe and grace

read more

Time And A Created Universe

I am speculating that few people would argue with the concept that all life forms exist as developing entities that are superimposed on an intangible flow we call time. As self-conscious humans, we seem to have an innate awareness of the advance of “something” where change can be perceived as rather sudden and dramatic or almost imperceptible. Our lives are lived with this backdrop of measured, forward advance in units ranging from nanoseconds to eons. We are all familiar with our time-reckoning devices such as clocks and calendars as everyday aids to help govern our daily behaviors through the passage of our lives.

read more

None the Matter Where it Goes

Maybe it is that I am casting old eyes aside
cautiously lingering after my two old friends that served
Maybe this is the time of slow wandering to ponder lost moments
Careful to seek a place where stern voices cannot find me
Willing to go anywhere at this unfamiliar pace to open new eyes

read more

St. Patrick’s Day Blessings: The Inner Landscape: John O’Donohue

On this St. Patrick’s Day it is fitting to receive a blessing from a grand Irishman whose writing reaches into my soul. Followers of this blog know that John O’Donohue is one of my favourite sages. I am indebted to a follower of the blog for sending me this podcast of Krista Tripett’s interview of John O’Donohue recorded shortly before his death in 2008. O’Donohue’s words continue to open my soul.

read more

To be a we …

Is actually a we
The what I am is what you are
There is no separate me
For I don’t weigh a single pound
Nor look a single see
I can’t be touched, I can’t be found
My body I can’t be
And so it is with you, my friends
You are unseparably
The we what are the you the I
The whom the her the he.

read more

Feast and Fast for Lent

  From my book: BIRDLIKE AND BARNLESS Also found in my blog: Jim Burklo’s Book of Common Prayer So let us feast on simple pleasures, and fast from all that gets our bodies and souls out of …

read more