Showing posts from May, 2009


By the rivers of Babylon
There we sat down, yea, we wept when we remembered Zion....
How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a strange land?
(Psalm 137: 1, 4. 21st Century King James Version,,, or was it Boney M?)

Psalm 137 a picture of utter disorientation. Worship in the temple is a thing of the past.

How could these Exiles be the people of God away from the temple, away from the rituals, away from the songs of worship, away from the place where the presence of God was promised to dwell? Should they forget the LORD and simply dissolve into the world of the Babylonians? Was it all too hard? How could they be the people of God in a strange place?

Of course, something profound happened among God’s people in the exile to Babylon. Over time they discovered a new way to be the people of God away from Jerusalem, away from the ruined temple, and outside of the sacrificial system of temple worship. The formation of the synagogue system, that have in one form or another has kept Judaism alive for mi…

Middle Wife

I've been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years back.

When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they're welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater.

She holds up a snapshot of an infant. 'This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday.'

'First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom's stomach, and Luke grew in ther…