United Church of Christ

Devotional Subject: Community

A hundred children crowded around tables at First Congregational United Church of Christ, bagging up stuff to give away. Except for the national TV cameras, it was just another busy summer weekday at the church in downtown Elyria, Ohio – a small city facing rural as well as rust-belt challenges and blessed by multiple gifts.


I have heard a lot of stories like this, from people who wear a comma pin or carry something that points to our church.


Let this day, this Ash Wednesday, be a day for fewer words all day long. Let it be a day for some stillness, for paying quiet attention to mystery, to beauty, to the sacred.


This story cracks me up. Simon's mother was very ill, consumed with a fever, but Jesus was able to cure his friend's mother, to literally "raise her up." What a moment that must have been.


On airplanes, I dread the conversation with the person who finds out I am a minister and wants to use the flight time to explain to me that he is "spiritual but not religious." Such a person will always share this as if it is some kind of daring insight, unique to him, bold in its rebellion against the religious status quo.