Old Insights Insisting

I’ve been noticing that in middle age, it’s not so much that I have as many new thoughts as that I find myself pondering more fully a thought or insight that caught my attention — if briefly — in the past. I’m reminded of something Joretta Marshall, who teaches pastoral care, said over and over in her classes: that we were taking in a lot of information right now, in our heads, but that over time in ministry it could seep down into our hearts and our hands. Continue Reading

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How Does God Hear the Poor?

“See and be glad, you who have nothing! You who seek God, take heart! For YHWH hears the poor; God has not neglected those who are captives” (Ps. 69:32-33).

This is a refrain throughout the psalms — that no matter what injustice is afoot right now, God’s ear is attuned to those who are left out of a sharing in the abundance of life. Other psalms offer praise to God for the experience of plenty, for enough food and shelter and security from war; but threading throughout the psalms is the recognition that we sometimes pray amid poverty. Continue Reading