I once knew someone who was a leader in the congregation. At one time or another he had filled most (if not all) of the important leadership positions in that church. More than that, however, oftentimes he was the one who would volunteer for those tough, dirty jobs that no one else wanted: washing dishes after a potluck supper, helping to teach the confirmation class, stacking shelves at the food...
2. The King's Children
In the first scene of William Shakespeare's King Lear, the old king summons his three daughters to tell them he is to retire and wants to distribute his power among them. Before doing so, however, he wants some clear declaration some reassurance of their love and devotion.
Two of his daughters, Goneril and Regan, are quick to give him what he wants. Goneril declares: Sire, I love you more than wo...
3. Is Your Heart In It?
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Frederick Buechner imagined a youngster learning to play the piano. "The child holds her hands just as she's been told...she has memorized the piece perfectly. She has hit all the proper notes with deadly accuracy. But her heart's not in it, only her fingers. What she's playing is a sort of music, but nothing that will start voices singing or feet tapping."
When it comes to faith and life, let me...
4. Should I Go or Should I Stay
In his autobiography, Telling Secrets, Frederick Buechner recalls the story of an evening visiting his mother in Manhattan. To welcome her son, she prepared and served a gourmet meal then the phone rang. A friend of Buechner was calling from the airport where he was waiting for a flight to join his family who had been seriously injured in an accident. The friend wanted to know if Buechner could co...