Blessing the Fragments …

He told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over,
so that nothing may be lost.”
―John 6.12

It is part of the miracle: how Jesus, with such intention, cares for the fragments following the feast. He sees the abundance that persists, the feast that remains within the fragments. We might think the marvel of the story is that there is enough for everyone. And yet for Jesus, enough does not seem to be enough. There is more: a meal that depends on paying attention to what has been left behind, on turning toward what has been tossed aside.

Call it the persistence of wonder, or the stubbornness of the miraculous: how Christ casts his circle around the fragments, will not loose his hold on what is broken and in pieces. How he gathers them up: a sign of the wholeness he can see; a foretaste of the banquet to come.

Blessing the Fragments

Cup your hands together,
and you will see the shape
this blessing wants to take.
Basket, bowl, vessel:
it cannot help but
hold itself open
to welcome
what comes. Continue reading “Blessing the Fragments …”

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Making Room (Advent Meditation) …

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
— Luke 2:7

Refugees

They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or me
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are Continue reading “Making Room (Advent Meditation) …”

Desert Day 45: The Opposite of Goodness …

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate before the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He Himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours alone, but also for the sins of the whole world. 

By this we can be sure that we have come to know Him: if we keep His commandments. If anyone says, “I know Him,” but does not keep His commandments, he is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone keeps His word, the love of God has been truly perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him: Whoever claims to abide in Him must walk as Jesus walked. Continue reading “Desert Day 45: The Opposite of Goodness …”

No One Leaves Home Unless …

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay. Continue reading “No One Leaves Home Unless …”

Advent Day 19: Jesus Was A Refugee …

An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt …
— Matthew 2:13-14

Jesus Is a Refugee

If we read 2:13-14 in the context of Matthew’s Gospel, we realize that even in his childhood the Son of Man already lacked a place to lay his head (Matthew 8:20). Disciples would face the same kind of test (Matthew 10:23; Matthew 24:16). Continue reading “Advent Day 19: Jesus Was A Refugee …”

The Easter Challenge …

Every year it happens:
earth shakes her sleepy head,
still a bit wintered and dull,
and feels new life stirring.

Every year cocoons give up their treasures,
fresh shoots push through brown leaves,
seemingly dead branches shine with green,
and singing birds find their way home.

Every year we hear the stories:

empty tomb, surprised grievers,
runners with news and revelation,
unexpected encounters,
conversations on the road,
tales of nets filling with fish,
and breakfast on a seashore.

And every year
the dull and dead in us
meets our Easter challenge:

to be open to the unexpected,
to believe beyond our security,
to welcome God in every form,
and trust in our own greening.

— Joyce Rupp from Out of the Ordinary: Prayers, Poems, and Reflections for Every Season