The Wondrous Gift is Given

One of the important, and sweet, transitions in life is learning the truth that it is better to give than to receive. It is important, sweet, happy and much more joyful to give than to get: “more blessed” is the way Jesus put it. Earliest Christmas memories are about getting, receiving: childhood anticipation and waiting […]

Now Thank We All Our God

I love Holidays: the Fourth of July with its parades, picnics, fireworks and reminders of our nation’s brave but modest beginning: Labor Day, the end of summer, a time to remember and be grateful for the hard work of many of our fathers who labored for long hours at difficult jobs. My father was a railroader, […]

Gratitude Doubled

Yesterday I experienced the most unlikely, most wonderful thing that has ever happened. I carefully extended my sanitized hand through the small, round opening in the incubator and, with my forefinger, gently touched the cheek of my brand new great-granddaughter, just 18 hours old. And then I did it again, reached through the small, round […]

Tikkun Olam

For years, at the conclusion of public worship, I have used words that come from St. Paul, written 2,000 years ago. “Go into the world in peace and courage. Hold to the Good. Honor all God’s children. Love and serve the Lord, Rejoicing in the power of the Spirit.” Last Sunday, as a guest preacher […]

A Celebratory Dance of Gratitude

I cannot remember being this concerned about my nation and its immediate future. An American political party, which began with the election of Abraham Lincoln and stood for staunch anti-communism, a robust international American leadership, a commitment to democratic values–freedom of speech, freedom of the press, open participation in self-government, free trade, and above all, […]

Good History

We all have ways of coping. Some have become compulsively obsessive about the news, network and cable, beginning every day with the 7:00 news to see if any new outrage has been committed overnight, any new allies insulted, any new payments made to hide yet another sexual dalliance, any new bullying insult leveled. These are […]

The Little Children

I have never in my life been ashamed of my nation. I am now, profoundly and angrily ashamed. In recent weeks the president of the United State has insulted and alienated the allies who have fought and died with our brave soldiers, sailors and Marines, including members of my own family, fighting and defeating fascism, […]

Grace Notes

There were two grace notes that lifted my spirit in an otherwise dreary weekend in Chicago. It’s been in the upper 40’s and 50’s and raining. This morning, to make matters even more unpleasant, a thick fog rolled in from the lake. The gloomy weather reflects my state of mind as I read about the […]

Dad’s Kind of Republican

I think about my father a lot these days. He would have loved the dignity and stateliness of former First Lady Barbara Bush’s Episcopal funeral last week. The Bush’s were, and are, Dad’s kind of Republican: civil, courteous, generous, motivated by a sense of responsibility for the common good, not in spite of their wealth […]

No Story So Divine

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow… Lamentations 1:12 For as long as I can remember I have been acutely aware of the conflict Christians experience during Holy Week. Long gone are the days when the culture acknowledged the sanctity of […]