Showing posts from December, 2008

Stewardship and Karma

I was at REI for a few last minute Christmas gifts last week and noticed an advertisement on the front door. It read: Stewardship - Just a fancy word for Karma. The words danced over a man hiking in beautiful scenery. He seemed to enjoy the view from his perch in a high forest.

As I wandered through the store looking for gloves and a book, I wondered about that comparison. Is it fair to dumb down a word like stewardship? We hardly use it and rarely understand its broad compassion. Like any brave responsibility that is also a privilege, stewardship is both grave and joyful.

While Karma preaches a message of interconnectedness and harmony, it is also motivated by plain old self interest. We wish to do well for the sake of rewards and promotions in the next life, taking care of others because failing to do so will result in frightening consequences.

We are good at speaking about environmental stewardship as a "should". We can debate the legality of caring for God's earth and…

Winter Wonderland

It's a deep freeze week in Minnesota. My husband is glued to the weather forecast each night before bed and watches the Weather Channel each morning before work, anticipating the cold darkness of December with childlike enthusiasm. Clearly he's a native.

On Saturday we finally bought our Christmas tree, a strapping three-foot Norfolk Pine. It's potted so we can watch it grow during the year and, perhaps, decorate it again next winter. She's a beaut! We spent the afternoon wrapping presents and pulling out ornaments to adorn our little friend. Outside, the air grew cold and harsh.

Sunday gathered all kinds of people for worship despite the frigid rain. The kids' Christmas play was after the service and we huddled downstairs to see them proclaim the incarnation. And though St. John's is a grand building in the big city, there was something intimate about the church basement. It felt like the warm family of a small country church. The set was hand-painted, the cost…

Light in the Darkness

I came home mid-afternoon last week hoping to rest and lie down before evening vespers. I didn’t feel quite right and soon it was clear that I wouldn’t be preaching, let alone driving to church. A stomach virus held me captive and it was days before I could open my eyes and peel myself away from my trusty puke pot.

There’s nothing fun about being sick, especially when it wipes out all your energy and clears your calendar. Just calling in sick took strength I didn’t have and I spent most of my time in the silent living room. My big event each evening was trying to get vertical at dusk to turn on the porch light for Matt. The sound of television commercials and the sight of a computer screen made my stomach churn, so I sank into the darkness of Advent and drifted between sleep and wake.

So much for keeping watch during the season of anticipation and waiting! I was less concerned about the time lost for shopping and finding a Christmas tree. I didn’t miss the advertisements and the …