Archive for April, 2008

John 10:1-10 Fourth Sunday of Easter

April 18, 2008

Today’s reading:

Jesus gives us two images in quick succession here. In the first we picture the rolling hills of Judea in Jesus’ day. Like bracelets left lying on the landscape, stone walls form strongholds for sheep. These walls rise some three to four feet high, unbreached, except for a narrow opening. As evening comes on, you see shepherds appear over the ridge line, leading large flocks of sheep. The flocks enter these enclosures, while the shepherds count to be sure not one is missing. The shepherds then go home to sleep. Meanwhile, gate-keepers make sure the sheep stay inside. They will lie down across the opening when they sleep; so if the sheep try to leave or any thief or predator tries to enter, the gatekeepers will know in an instant. (more…)


Luke 24:13-35 Third Sunday of Easter

April 17, 2008

Today’s reading:

Being at the mercy of a wood-burning stove, either you are reaching for your sweater or peeling it off.  Last winter I gave myself a solo retreat in a snug little cabin in the woods.  Nothing distracted me from a few simple activities – I read, I ate, I meditated, I slept and I fed the wood-burning stove.  That cast-iron companion gave me my single source of heat.  Outside the windows the cold menaced at about ten degrees; but as long as I kept the fire going the cabin felt cozy.  Nights were a challenge though.  If I slept too long at a stretch without feeding the fire the cold invaded with serious intent.  This tug of war between cold and heat describes our spiritual lives as well, as the two protagonists in today’s Gospel show us. (more…)

John 20:1-18 Easter Sunday 2008

April 3, 2008

Today’s reading:

Nature has her secrets, but we humans have questioning minds. Last spring I visited friends who live on the mountain above our village. Standing on their deck, I looked up to where the wall of the house met the eve, about ten feet above our heads. Eastern Phoebes had built a nest right in that angle. In fact, the lip of the nest so nearly touched the eve that I wondered how those wind-borne architects squeezed into their nest. What goes on inside? That used to be nature’s secret, but no more. Our friend had installed a pea-sized surveillance camera in the nest. From the vantage point of their kitchen, we watched life in the nest unfold on the screen of their laptop: gaping baby beaks, quivering quills, and a beady-eyed parent offering a fly. (more…)