Psalm 42:6-8 — The Message

When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse
everything I know of you,
From Jordan depths to Hermon heights,
including Mount Mizar.
Chaos calls to chaos,
to the tune of whitewater rapids.
Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers
crash and crush me.
Then GOD promises to love me all day,
sing songs all through the night!
My life is God’s prayer.

# # #

Advent 4/Christmas Eve: Love
Psalm 42:6-8

We have been bequeathed Hope.
We have snuggled in Peace.
We have been danced by Joy.
Now it is Love’s turn
to frolic in our souls.
I choose the word frolic deliberately.
Hope has snuck up on us
like an inheritance
we didn’t expect,
Peace has wrapped around us like
a down comforter.
Joy has danced across our
like a happy kitten.
And now Love,
with the innocence of new life
and weight
of seven billion hurting souls,
Love frolics as if God,
God’s own self,
is rolling
in a huge pile of Autumn leaves.
Here is an invitation.
Here is a challenge.
Here is the dream
of your ancient,
new-born soul—
into this leaf-pile of
Hope and Peace and Joy and Love,
and frolic with this
ever-surprising God who
hurdles with abandon
through the cosmos.
Star to star,
crib to crib,
tomb to tomb
creating life
and breath
and heart
and dream.
Go ahead this Christmas,


Advent #3

Psalm 4:6-7 The Message
Why is everyone hungry for more? “More, more,” they say.
“More, more.” I have God’s more-than-enough,
More joy in one ordinary day

# # #

So many things, so little happiness.
Many of us want so much more
than we can have.
As a people we are dissatisfied
with almost everything we do have.
In our nation,
depression has reached epidemic levels.
We just want more.
There is an ever-growing gap
between the haves and have-nots,
and I am witnessing a spiritual impoverishment
created by that gap that is overwhelming many
and is deadly for the soul.
Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one
of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine,
you did for me.”
The one who wrote this Psalm tells us,
that he, and by extension, we,
have, “God’s more-than-enough.”
God’s more-than-enough: we all already have that.
Day to day, as we wade knee-deep
through a world of
people who are spiritually depressed,
who desperately need the Joy offered by this
more-than-enough God,
we should be dancing.
We can offer the very thing they need—
God’s more-than-enough.
We can teach them this dance.
We might not notice we have
more than enough,
but, by the grace of God, we do.
The commission we are given
by God is to be dancers of Joy,
proponents of the idea
that there is more-than-enough for all,
This week let us introduce those around us
to the idea of more-than-enough—
and dance.


Advent 2

I seem to be behind this season. My apologies. I will try to publish Advent #3 later on today to catch myself up. I pray your advent season is full of miracles, and your time of waiting is a time of beauty. Hilary

Psalm 55:4-8 — The Message
My insides are turned inside out;
specters of death have me down.
I shake with fear,
I shudder from head to foot.
“Who will give me wings,” I ask—
“wings like a dove?”
Get me out of here on dove wings;
I want some peace and quiet.
I want a walk in the country,
I want a cabin in the woods.
I’m desperate for a change
from rage and stormy weather.

# # #


It seems we are drowning in chaos.
We shudder from specters,
and dwell in a land where fear rules,
with no set rules, no guidelines but
greed, meanness and distrust and money
absolutely rule.
Here, in this place, at this time,
here, we are surrounded
by people who propagate this madness.
“Truly I tell you,
whatever you did for one of the least
of these brothers and sisters of mine,
you did for me.”
Again, we are them.
They are us. They, we,
are that least that
Jesus claims is he, himself.
Holding Peace in the midst of chaos
is in a very real way holding
Peace within our own spirits.
This is the Peace that can wrap
around cold hearts like a soft comforter,
a warm quilt—
we can snuggle in this Peace,
centering on the center that is
Peace itself ̶ the center of the world
we know as Jesus.
If we hold this center
we can stand in the midst of chaos,
in Peace.
We can be the Peace for those for whom
chaos is their life.
If we are they and they are us
then if we hold Peace in us
we are holding it within their chaos



Sheep and Goats
Matthew 25:31-46

Matthew 25:31-46 — New Revised Standard Version

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
# # #
The Chapter titles for this scripture are
either non-existent,
or they show the editor’s biases.
“The King Will Judge All People.”
“The Judgment.”
“Judgment of the Nations.”
“The Son of Man Will Judge All People.”
“The Final Judgment.”
“The Sheep and the Goats.”
The one I am most familiar with is,
The Judgment of the Nations.
Any way we consider it,
we are going to get judged,
and the implication
is that it will be a very harsh judgment.
I do not actually think that there is,
or can ever be,
any judgment at all —
by God, anyway.
If God demands
that we care for helpless and hopeless people,
how much more is God to care for us?
Still there is a judgment,
of sorts.
Not of nations,
or goats,
but in the lives
we create as a result of our actions,
a better way to say it is,
our quality of life
is determined by the choices we make.
I just read a short piece on
Fred Rogers of
Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.
You must remember the tune,
“It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood”?
He would suggest to his “television neighbors,”
that when they were frightened,
or when bad things happened,
to look for the “helpers,”
the caring people of the world.
But Fred Rogers was not just for little kiddos.
Just as the parable is about
teaching people
how to become good followers of Jesus,
Mr. Rogers was about
teaching children how to be good adults.
Are you a helper,
one of the caring people?”
This is what seems to be the meaning of the parable:
if we are going to be followers of Jesus,
we are to be helpers.
To me they are both the same.
It seems that a beautiful day
in the neighborhood
is also a beautiful day
on the path that follows Jesus.



Psalm 69:6The Message (MSG)
Don’t let those who look to you in hope
Be discouraged by what happens to me,
Dear Lord! GOD of the armies!
Don’t let those out looking for you
Come to a dead end by following me—
Please, dear God of Israel!

Being Hope to The World:
It doesn’t seem to matter what
you do for a living,
what church you belong to,
what your political affiliation is,
who you know or what you think of yourself.
What seems to matter
what seems to really count,
is that we find a way be Hope for the least of the least.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one
of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine,
you did for me.”
The word “least,” here,
becomes a category meaning
not just me,
not just them,
not just you,
but all of us.
We are the least of us all,
in this context,
are Jesus.
We are the most needy who will show us the way.
We are the most wounded,
the craziest, most lost, the poorest,
the really scary,
the meanest bullies.
These are us?
This first week of Advent is about Hope.
How do we receive Hope?
How do we give Hope?
How do we be Hope?
How do we make Hope happen
in a world that desperately needs Hope
all the while doing everything in its power
to subvert any chance of it?
is our spiritual birthright.
is our inheritance.
is how things are, not how they appear.
I think it begins with an invitation we can offer.
Stop thinking hopeless.
Stop participating in conversations
that pander to hopelessness,
Start working for Hope.
Start speaking for Hope.
Vote for Hope.
Sing for Hope.
Dance for Hope.
Breathe for Hope.
Pray for Hope.
in the reality of Hope.
Really be
Hope for all.