anger on the altar

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Last Sunday in worship, we wrote down what we needed to leave behind, let go of, before we could take the next step Jesus is calling us to. I wrote “anger.” There has been resentment wearing away at my heart, for a couple months, and I know I can’t keep letting it rot in there.

Of course, several times this week — while thinking, while cooking, while showering, while driving — I picked the anger back up again. I told myself, “You left that on the altar. Don’t pick it back up.” But old habits die hard, and thought grooves get worn down in our brain, ’til those neural pathways are hardened arteries.

One thing that helps is doing a breath prayer, which I started right around the time the resentment began. I breathe the word “mer-cy,” one syllable per inhale, the other for ex. So when I tense up in anger, I remember I’ve already left it behind, and breathe through the prayer word instead.

I have about an 8% success rate.

Let it Be with Me – an Advent song

I know it’s Lent, not Advent, but we just performed this song live on March 2 and I thought it could be worth sharing:

These lyrics were written in the hopeful early days of thinking about a child and expecting one. I would get up early each morning, go down to the basement, sit on the floor, and sing.

so Lent begins

Kate Bowler Ash Wed

I watched a grandmother take her toddler granddaughter up for ashes. The priest said, “From dust you came, and to dust you shall return.” Afterward, the little girl kept wiping her eye. Some black dust must have fallen in.

I watched the grandmother carry the girl, wiping her eye, back to their seat.

“We are creatures destined to die,” says Stanley Hauerwas. And mothers consent to give birth to such creatures.

on death, part II

Should you put an app on your phone that will remind you, five random times a day, that you will die?

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photo credit: The Christian Century

Just finished this essay by a man who installed the app to finally gain power not over his life and death, but over his iPhone. It achieved all of the above.

“And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?”

– Jesus, Luke 12:25