I'm Not Who I Thought I Was

I love this exchange from Alice in Wonderland. The caterpillar and Alice look at each other a long time in silence. Finally, the caterpillar asks: “Who are YOU?” Alice replies rather shyly: “I—I hardly know, sir, just at present—at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.” There are times when change happens so quickly, we don’t even know who we are anymore. On the feast day for our namesake, Holy Trinity . . . on a day with a baptism and a Jewish naming ceremony, how good to reflect on the name of a person, the name of a church, or even the name of God. Most of us want to know our roots. No wonder people are turning to

Language Matters: Gender and Church

For at least 25 years Holy Trinity has been giving careful attention to how language reflects our radical welcome. For example, in preaching, liturgical language, and an emended version of the lectionary scripture readings, we omit male pronouns for God, hoping that our children will grow up without associating God with maleness. In addition, we try to occasionally use texts that present maternal images for God. Before same-gender couples were allowed to marry we used terms like “committed relationships” and we have tried to define “family” in expansive ways. In recent years society (and also the church) has been invited to look at our language regarding gender identity. We are learning that

Staying Connected

A grandfather tells the story of taking his two-year granddaughter out for ice cream. As they were beginning to cross a busy street the grandfather offered the girl his thumb. “You have to hold it tight until we’re inside the ice cream shop, okay” he told her. “This is a busy street.” The girl took one look at the outstretched hand, wrapped her left fist around her right thumb, and said, “No, thank you. I can hold my own.” No, thank you. I can hold my own. A perfect slogan for our rugged, individualism. No wonder we distrust institutions. So politics becomes voting our self-interest. Economics: what is best for my personal portfolio. Religion: my own spiritual journey. “I am the vine, you ar

A Joy That Lasts

What is joy? The first word of a Christmas carol? A woman’s name? The formula J.O.Y.—Jesus, others, you? Something deeper than happiness? Abiding in divine love is the source of deep joy, Jesus says. And my deep joy is what will make your joy complete, he adds. When everything else is fleeting and disposable, is this a joy that will truly last? And how is this even possible in our competitive, driven, and divisive world? The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World. This book was recommended to me last year, and it has been on my shelf. But I started reading it this week with the hope that I may wise up a bit on the meaning of true joy. The Book of Joy tells of a delightful week of

© 2017 Craig Mueller