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Showing posts from July, 2020

God's Punctuation

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God,  who are called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28 
Never place a period where God places a comma. - Gracie Allen 

Some of you may be familiar with the comedy duo of George Burns and Gracie Allen, who were active together in show business in the middle of the 20th century. George played the straight man to Gracie's comic timing. They were also married and had children. They were deeply in love. When Gracie was dying and George was deeply grieved, she wrote him a final love letter. One sentence that George shared from this letter was this, "George, never place a period where God places a comma." 
This was Gracie's way of reminding George that his life wasn't ending. There was a pause, but there would be more the sentence God was writing as the life of George Burns. 
That sentence, which may have been a proverb before Gracie wrote it, has taken on a life of its own. The United Church of Christ a…

Undivided Heart

Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth;
 give me an undivided heart to revere your name
. - Psalm 86:11

What does it mean to have an undivided heart? Specifically, the psalmist requests an undivided heart for the purposes of revering, holding in awe and respect, God's name. A heart that is focused on keeping God's name holy is truly an undivided heart. In the Large Catechism, Martin Luther writes, "Anything on which your heart relies and depends, I say, that is really your God... Idolatry does not consist merely of erecting an image and praying to it, but it is primarily a matter of the heart, which fixes its gaze upon other things and seeks help and consolation from creatures, saints, or devils. It neither cares for God nor expects good things from him sufficiently to trust that he wants to help, nor does it believe that whatever good it encounters comes from God." (Book of Concord, 386f) Our hearts are divided if we believe that God takes care of the…

I Am Not Resigned

I know.  But I do not approve.  And I am not resigned.  - Dirge Without Music, Edna St. Vincent Millay* 
It is difficult to communicate what it means to have a teachable spirit. How do I encourage people to live in a way that shows curiosity and a willingness to learn about others and their experiences? It is possible to learn to be different in the world while being gentle with yourself and without shaming the you of the past or expecting perfection of the you of the future. Trying to accomplish this is so hard as to feel impossible. 
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned
The political and social systems of the United States have only been united in one thing for generations. Keeping class dissension alive by exacerbating differences between people of different races and cultural backgrounds means that those who are at the highest reaches of wealth will rarely have their windows rattled (metaphorically). In particular, if people can be convinced that upper reaches of weal…