View from the Mountain

As ordinary people, seldom do we sustain the euphoria of a mountaintop experience in our everyday life.

Counting the Cost

When we grieve the death of one we love, sooner or later we realize that if we are to survive and live forward, we must rebuild our life. Like any good estimator, we sit down and count the cost.


When one we love dies, it is not unusual to feel separated from God, at least for a while. Suddenly adrift in our life, we feel unmoored from all that is familiar. Often we are lukewarm about our faith, either unwilling or unable to pray and seek God, “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot” (Revelation 3:15).

Face First

In the build-up to a significant Remembrance Day last week, I felt the familiar rumbling of memories that evoke sadness and joy, longing and gratitude, and grief refreshed and renewed. How could it be otherwise when a great love is distant yet ever present and always near.

Darkness and Light

Presumably each person poised to see the recent eclipse possessed some understanding of what happens when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, blocking the view of the sun as it passes. Yet seeing the eclipse was different for each person. No two people saw exactly the same thing at exactly the same time. No two photos look the same. During the four minutes of totality, likely each one viewing the eclipse had some private, personal experience, whether intellectual, visceral or spiritual, whether joy, awe, wonder, or a profound sense of the vast universe set in motion by the God of all creation.

Hope at Easter

During this week when much of the world observes the sacred days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter, the underlying theology of each holy day centers on the power of death, the intensity of grief, and the hope of redemption.

The Journey

Grief is a journey we had rather not take. With the death of our loved one, suddenly we are on a forced march through unfamiliar, uncharted, foreign territory.

Relief in the New Year

Relief is surely not exactly what the angels had in mind when they proclaimed the good news of great joy that is Christmas. But in truth, we have created a secular culture around the holidays that is more about worldly celebration than sacred rejoicing. We set ourself up for emotional disappointment with expectations that have little to do with reality, seasonal experiences that never quite measure up, and gatherings that leave us feeling dissatisfied, wanting more or better or whatever. Small wonder that relief is usually so welcome.

A New Year

When we grieve, we’re not suddenly “new” just because December 31 turns into January 1. Our grief may be too fresh to even care much for the promise of a New Year. No mere turn of the calendar can dictate that we suddenly move from disbelief and shock to the reality of life without the one we love. Grief creates its own calendar, one that defies the rhythmic structure of ordinary time.

Live in Light

As the light of God shines into our grief this Christmas, as children of light may we claim the gift of God’s love in the certainty that Emmanuel—the light and love of God’s eternal presence—is with us always. 

Love Light

At this time of year, many of us struggle to reconcile the push/pull of seasonal happiness with our own deep yearning for something deeper, something richer that adds meaning to our relationship with God and creates a more personal experience of God present to us in Christ at Christmas.

Grace Light

Whatever your understanding or expectation of Christmas, Advent is a time to look within, be silent, and listen for the voice of God, especially for those who grieve. During this season of waiting, we reflect, meditate, and prepare our heart to experience the love of God alive and present to us in the world in the person of Jesus, the Savior sent to redeem humankind.
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