“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled….so all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.”
Earlier this year, Mike and I stumbled upon a tiny shop in Helen, GA where they had an array of hand-painted Russian nesting dolls. Beyond the common Matryoshka variety, they had one that began with the Nativity scene. Of course I needed to see what was inside. Wouldn’t you?
It has been almost two years now since the first cases of Covid began to be identified and our lives are still not “back to normal.” (Hello there, Omicron.) It’s been 18 months now since the death of George Floyd and the work of racial justice and equity still looms large. It’s been almost a year now since the January 6th uprising and still we struggle to reckon with the truth of that day and all that led up to it. And then last week, another tragedy of gun violence—this time at Oxford High School in Michigan.
This morning for the first time in my life I finally had the chance to re-enact one of those famous NYC movie scenes where the person stuck in Manhattan traffic finally decides she is going to have to make a run for it and bursts out of the cab to jog the last mile in heels, suitcase in tow, scarf flowing in the wind. Let me tell you, it looks more romantic on the silver screen than it feels in real life. But the good news is that I’ve both made my train to Boston (with seven minutes to spare) and been offered an audition to replace Meg Ryan in the Sleepless in Seattle sequel.
It’s true that last month I managed to lose my belongings all over the country. (Indeed, I’m planning a return trip to St.
Three years ago, I enjoyed a wonderful fall semester at the University of Notre Dame teaching a preaching class and writing Let’s Talk about Truth. When the semester ended and I was moving out of my apartment, I passed on those unavoidable pantry odds and ends to a dear colleague in the preaching department, Karla. I can’t remember what all I gave her. Probably a shaker of salt, some ketchup packets, and a half box of granola. But definitely there were five small purple potatoes in the sack.
I’ve been on the road for two solid weeks now and it has been a little bit rocky. I’ve managed to lose my remote power point clicker; leave my iPad in New Harmony, IN; and show up for a speaking engagement without any pants. (Well, I should clarify…. I showed up without any dress pants and had to teach for two days in my yoga gear.) But of course, my journey has been smooth in comparison to that poor fellow on the journey from Jerusalem to Jericho in this coming week’s reading of the Good Samaritan.
This afternoon I’m doing what I call a “hard pack.” This is not the kind of packing one does when going on a day trip or will just be away overnight.
With the new school year beginning and concerns for the safety of our children rising, I’ve found myself pondering again that beautiful passage from Mark 9:33-37 that will once again appear as our Sunday Gospel reading in just a couple of weeks from now:
It was such a shock to go walking the other morning and see a youngster standing on the corner with a back pack and a lunch pail. What was this? Could it really be that school was starting up again already? Wow.