Today is the beginning of "spring."  I use quotation marks, because this seasonal moniker appears to be a cruel ruse, at least here in the Northeast.  I shouldn't complain.  We in the Upper Valley of NH and Vermont are looking at temperatures in the 30s to 40s with sunshine tomorrow; our neighbors further south in Boston are facing up to 10 inches of snow.  So, happy "spring."
Still, despite my resort to ironic quotation marks, it is indeed spring.  Today is the vernal equinox.  It will get warmer, the snow will melt, new life will be born.  No matter what it looks like, the reality is spring weather is coming. And that brings us to Easter.
Our culture sees Easter as a day to fuss over bunny rabbits and to dye eggs.  A weird mix of commercialism and pseudo-pagan practice has emerged to give definition to this day for many people.  Yet we know better.  We know that Easter marks God's triumph over death in the person of the Resurrected Christ. …

What's Important?

What's truly important in your life?  What really matters?  And do you spend time on that thing, or are you distracted by other claims on your time?  If so, is it really that important to you?
Something to think about on a Monday morning, as you plan for the week ahead.  I know mine will be busy.  And at times I won't spend time on the things, the people, that are important to me.  It's not because I don't care.  I'll be distracted, called away, a victim of poor planning.  So I'll try to do better. I'll try to be more focused and to use an overused word, mindful.
Lent is about doing better.  First we admit what we get wrong, then we say sorry, and then we try to get it right.  With God and with people.  It's about saying what's important and then making that our priority, even if that requires some planning.  It's about doing the hard work to make it possible to focus on what's important.


This Sunday marks the last full week of 'regular' Lent, with next week being Holy Week.  This is a good moment to reflect on our Lenten journey.  How and how much have we repented?  How have we grown in faith through our disciplines?  Have we been changed?  Has this Lent made a difference in our lives?  Has it mattered?  There are no right answers, but I would suggest these questions should be asked and answered honestly.  If you haven't done what you planned on during these weeks, fear not.  Lent is not over!

St. Patrick's Day

Today is the feast day of St Patrick, the man who brought Christianity to the Irish some 1400 years ago.  He has become something of secular icon in modern times, the patron saint of Guinness stout.  What a sad development.
I'm all for having a good time.  I enjoy a fun party.  But to conflate one of the great apostles of the faith with drunken revelry suggests we've lost the plot.  Mind you, the Church hasn't done a very good job of talking about what Patrick did, nor in emulating the life he led.  That doesn't mean we can't try to do better.
During this Lent, let us remember the man who though he was abducted and subjected to slavery in a foreign land so felt the love of Christ, that when freed, he wanted nothing more than to go among the people with whom he'd known captivity to share with them his Lord's faith.  Talk about a generous, faithful spirit.  Talk about a man of God.
If only he were with us today.

Never Too Late

Sorry this is coming to you this late in the day, but things have come up.  I thought I might write this early in the morning but, well, here we are.  The temptation was to skip this today, but I made a commitment to you and to God to follow this discipline.  So, better late than never.
Which is something we need to remember about repentance during this Lenten season: it's never too late to repent, never too last to turn back to the Lord, never to late to make things right with other people.
We're closer to Easter than we are to Ash Wednesday but that doesn't matter.  There's still time to repent, to pray, to try to make things right with others.


Today is the Ides of March.  I'm sure you get the reference, whether from history or Shakespeare, to the murder of Julius Caesar.  I'm not sure that many young people would.  History is ultimately about stories.  If those aren't passed along, they fade from memory, and can be lost.
Like the Ides of March, the Christian story is in danger of fading and the way it is being represented today isn't encouraging.  We have a responsibility to tell the story of Jesus, not in a way that is 'relevant' but neither in a way that will confirm our biases and preferences.  We need to do so with honesty, integrity, and faith.
In fact, more honesty, integrity and faith would be good in all parts of our lives.  Not a bad thing to commit ourselves to during Lent.


Happy Pi Day!
It's not on the liturgical calendar, but this day honoring a very special number reminds us that God's glory is revealed in the most astounding ways.  Despite their best efforts, physicists  and mathematicians have yet to explain how the universe came into being.  We Christians believe we know: God.  While the biblical accounts of creation should be read as mythic, they point to a truth: something, someone, was responsible for the universe.  The cosmos is a grand and wondrous thing, whether in the formation of galaxies or the minutiae of math, like pi.  3.14 is a number that delights, in part because of its name.  But what it represents is remarkable, too.
This Lent, let us give thanks to God for the gift of science in all its forms, and let us repent for humanity's misuse and abuse of it.