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Showing posts from July, 2013

Understanding Martha: We're Doing it Wrong

Pentecost 9 (Year C) 21 July 2013
Genesis 18:1-10a; Luke 10:38-42



With this cartoon in mind, I think that the common interpretation of this story might have been wrong for several hundred years. Each story in Scripture has three contexts, all of which we are relying on the Holy Spirit and God’s gift of reason to help us interpret. With today’s gospel reading, we have to determine what was happening when the actual event occurred, why the writer thought it was important to include over nearly fifty years later, and what God is saying to us today with regard to the story.
         When Jesus first came to Bethany and stayed with Martha and Mary, he already knows them. They are friends of his. Martha is apparently the older sister, since the house is listed as hers. Maybe there is some sibling rivalry between Mary and Martha (younger and older) or maybe Martha has always done most of the work. Regardless, Martha has begun the culturally appropriate tasks of preparing her home to host a gues…

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Pentecost 8 (Year C) 14 July 2013
Deuteronomy 30:9-14; Luke 10:25-37
Last night, as I was trying to get the baby to go to sleep, I heard the verdict in George Zimmerman’s trial. He was found not guilty of murder in the second degree. Last March, Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin in an altercation. Zimmerman suspected Martin of trespassing or other wrongdoing and pursued him (against police advice and warning). They got into a fight and Zimmerman had a gun and used it.
Who was the neighbor?
             In 1973, a psychological experiment was conducted at Princeton Theological Seminary. Students were told they were in a study on religious education. They completed surveys about their own religious thoughts. Then they were given a task- to either talk about seminary jobs or to talk about the parable of the Good Samaritan. They were told to give the talk in another building. Some were told they had plenty of time, but others were told they were already late.
On the way to the other …

Friday Five: Silly Sentences

Use these five words (in any tense) in a sentence:
1. pulpit, puppy, wrench, word, mouse
2. weep, love, prayer, bassoon, chair
3. heart, shutter, wish, turtle, walk
4. howl, worry, window, story, trust
5. garden, hat, shepherd, laugh, sigh.



1. pulpit, puppy, wrench, word, mouse.  As the mouse walked her puppy around the pulpit, she slipped in the last lap, wrenched her knee, and uttered a church parking lot word!
2. weep, love, prayer, bassoon, chair
The weeping prayer of the bassoon and the chair was that the love in the room would be felt and understood.
3. heart, shutter, wish, turtle, walk
When I press the shutter, I wish to be Ansel Adams, but the every day miracle of a turtle walking toward the pond is not captured in my photograph, only in my heart.
4. howl, worry, window, story, trust

The best nights with friends ring with howling laughter, have no worries, and are full of trust and stories that open a window with both past and future views.

5. garden, hat, shepherd, laugh, sigh
Called to…

Resisting Cargo Culture (Bold Cafe)

This is an article I wrote for this month's edition of Bold CafĂ©- an online magazine for young adult women (or anyone who reads it). The magazine is a ministry of the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The article has a companion faith reflection (see previous post).

I saw the pair of shoes on the shelf near the window, when I was almost out the door. Their eye-catching color and unusual heel shape pulled me like a magnet. “Please don’t be my size, please don’t be my size,” I chanted, as I lifted the right one. Phew! The number suggests they’ll be too large. “You never know until you try them on,” whispers a little voice in my ear. I shake my head to clear it and firmly say out loud, “Cargo cult.” I put the shoe back and walk out of the store, completely empty-handed.  The little bag of yarn reels me in like the catch of the day. With eight balls of coordinating yarn, I think of the fun little projects I could make. Sure I have yarn at home I haven’t used y…

Consumerism and Faith (Bold Cafe)

This is a faith reflection I wrote that was published in this month's issue of Bold Cafe- an online magazine for young adult women (or anyone who reads it). It is a ministry of the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).


A recent advertisement from a cosmetics company went viral on television and on the Internet. In the commercial, women described themselves to a forensic artist who could not see them. He made a second sketch based on a description from a stranger who encountered the woman in the waiting room. The drawings from the women’s own characterizations of themselves were often more grim and less attractive. Many did not actually resemble the person depicted.

This was not the fault of the artist, though, because the second drawings, made from a stranger’s description, were easily matched with their real-life counterparts. Each woman’s face, as described by a stranger, was more open and far more realistic to her appearance and demeanor. Dove’s “Real Beauty…