To build and to plant Feb 3, 2019

God called Jeremiah in 627 BCE, when the kingdom of Judah was threatened by the Babylonians and about 30 years before the beginning of the Babylonian exile. Jeremiah thought of himself as a lowly person, not the kind of person God would use.  Yet the divine call came...

God’s Joy…and Ours Jan. 20, 2019

The passage from Isaiah 62:1-5,  the first reading for January 20th, was written when the people of Israel had been released from the Babylonian captivity.  On their return to Jerusalem, instead of the recalled—and perhaps exaggerated — beauty of the city, they...

Precious in God’s sight, Jan. 13, 2019

Isaiah 43:1-7, the first reading for January 13th, addresses the exiles in Babylon, assuring them of God’s loving presence, repeating God’s message, Do not fear…. I will be with you. It is a counterintuitive message: the Babylonians have overrun Jerusalem, taken the...

Rise and Shine: Epiphany, Jan. 6, 2019

We celebrate Epiphany as the time when Gentiles learned about the savior. (Up to this point, only Jewish shepherds and Mary’s relatives knew about the divine birth.)  The theme of the readings (Isaiah 60.1–6, Ephesians 3.1–12, and Matthew 2.1–12) is about the light of...

Jeremiah’s Contrasts Dec. 2, 2018

Advent scripture readings do not include angels, shepherds, stars in the East or the Magi. Many describe a world of struggle, sin, dashed dreams and desolation.  They reflect the reality of the world and attitude of the people of Israel who waited sometimes in doubt...