Joy: An Intergenerational Perspective
The watchword for this fourth Sunday of Advent
is “joy,” and from reading this week’s gospel lesson from Luke, it is easy to see why. As we read of Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth and the exchange that takes place between them, we find a scene absolutely overflowing with joy. The Holy Spirit makes known to Elizabeth that...
Loving Life, Loving Funerals: The Faithfulness of Dying Well
The Strangeness of Loving Funerals
A friend of mine who serves as a church musician attended a memorial service recently and following the event, offered reflections that needed something of a disclaimer. “I hope this doesn’t come across wrong,” he wrote, “but I really love funerals.” I love funerals, too; leading funeral services is one of the great privileges of...
Spiritual Practices: Aging, Forgiveness
Would you believe me if I told you that elders are generally more likely to forgive than the rest of us? It might sound backwards on first hearing, especially in light of the stereotypes that are so often attached to elder Americans. How often are elders depicted as cantankerous, set in their ways, bitter or downright grumpy? Think of
Slowing Down: A Spiritual Practice
It threw me for a loop when I first read Richard Morgan’s claim that the relatively slow pace of life in his 80s has been a great spiritual gift. Instinctively, I was skeptical that slowing down can be a good thing. I conjured all the memories I could of times I had been forced to slow down. There was the...
Just Keep Moving: Exercise as a Spiritual Practice
Do you remember Virginia McLaurin, the 106-year-old woman who danced with joy while meeting President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama? It was surely one of the more memorable personal moments
recorded during the Obama presidency. Virginia smiles, dances and scurries across the Oval Office with an energy most people are surprised to see in a 106 year...
Say What?: Facility vs. Community
I do not think that I’d like to live my day-to-day life in a facility. When I hear “facility," my thoughts turn to “sports injury rehabilitation facility” or “state of the art medical care facility.” To be sure, I have spent time in rehabilitation facilities and hospitals. Those places have their purpose, but none of them could ever feel like...
Ethical Wills: How to Leave a Legacy of Intangibles
Hang around enough funerals and eventually you will hear the cliché about hearses and U-Haul trailers. For those who have not heard the message, it goes something like this: “Your life is not measured by your things or by how much you’ve accumulated. After all, you can’t take any of it with you. Have you ever seen a hearse pulling...