Just as this whole year has been different, so has the season of Lent also been. At this time last year we simply had to let go of our Lenten plans. We were just trying to understand how to get together for Sundays. We had no capacity to also re-imagine our other Lenten activities.
Texts: Genesis 9:8-17; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:9-15
Humans can be aggravating. Can we all agree that this is true? We aggravate each other no end. We are positively genius when it comes to inventing new aggravations. We are so adept at aggravating, that sometimes even things we intend as good and right, end in aggravation for others.
I’ve come to really appreciate the word curate. I always used to think it’s how a museum display is put together. Now I know that the word attends to many more things, all of them beautiful.
A Pastoral Reflection, The Fourth Week of Epiphany, the Umpteenth Week of Official Pandemic Status - February 5, 2021
So this week the residents of the Village here in Friday Harbor received their second COVID-19 vaccine dose. This is wonderful news for them, and it seems as though there is a growing sense of good cheer about the place. Several people from our faith community who live at the Village received the vaccine, including my mother.
Texts: Deuteronomy 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13; Mark 1:21-28
The long light of morning sent shafts of light into the synagogue of Galilee on the Sabbath. The congregants hurried to take their places, jostling for a good view. No one wanted to miss the guest teacher. As with other synagogues, they frequently drew from the wisdom of travelling rabbis, skillful teachers trained in the tradition of one of several prominent rabbinical schools.
Pastoral Reflections, The Third Week of Epiphany, the Umpteenth Week of Official Pandemic Status — January 29, 2021
I just recalibrated how many weeks of official pandemic status we’ve endured so far. Counting from the third week of March last year, it should be forty-six. I think. Somewhere my numbers got off. Your calculations may differ from mine, but as most of you know public math is not one of my strengths. Perhaps we all agree however that it’s just been way too long.
Texts: Jonah 3:1-5, 10; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20
It may be winter still, and cold, but have you noticed the light coming back? The mornings dawn just a breath earlier and the afternoon light leans longer into eventide. As the light gently grows, so does optimism seem to take hold in our hearts.
Pastoral Reflection, the Second Week of Epiphany, the 57th Week of Official Pandemic Status - January 22, 2021
Years ago as a tour guide and bus driver in Alaska I had a co-worker who was exceedingly outspoken about the uniforms we wore. It’s true they were awful, medium-blue pure polyester slacks, white shirt, blue tie, and suit jacket. Yes, for both the men and the women.
Texts: 1 Samuel 3:1-10 [11-20]; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; John 1:43-51
Most of us were probably asleep and unaware when the power went out in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Except, perhaps, for a few wide-eyed night owls, sufferers of insomnia, or those awakened by the sound of the storm’s fury. Some awakened in the night realizing either the absence of familiar lights and sounds, or the presence of unusual ones.
Texts: Genesis 1:1-5; Acts 19:1-7; Mark 1:4-11
Have you ever had one of those conversations where you’re not sure who you’re talking to? An unrecognized person on the phone or a mysterious email? It happened to me this week. I got an email from someone who I didn’t recognize, signed only with a nickname. The note was brief and polite - Please call me to let me know when you have some time to help. Thanks so much.
The Rev. Beth Purdum Eden is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. She has served in more than 6 parishes in the Western United States for 30 years.