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[Robert Hall] A few thoughts over breakfast

My father is a very recently retired United Methodist minister, and he sent this to my brother and me Christmas morning.  It reads as poetry, and also like the terse outlines from which he gave his hundreds of weekly sermons.  I asked him if I could share them with profligategrace readers, this Second Day of Christmas. – ALH

A few thoughts over breakfast.

1 Kings 17. The Ravens, God told Elijah, would feed him bread and meat. Elijah went on this assurance. As simple as that for him. Believing that a bird could be told what to do.

Righteous Raven.

Landing on his shoulder and waiting for Elijah to take it from his beak.

Coincidence: In “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a raven inhabits the Building and Loan. George, a good man, at war with the evil, greedy banker. Raven flapping, flying, perching, cawing.

Why a Raven? Old Elijah’s story travels. No sentimentalized version of this miracle/legend. Just trust, hope, stay the course, obey, take sustenance as it comes.

Give us this day our daily bread. However it comes and by whomever. Whirling, moving creation, like tiny ants we inhabit this little sphere.

Provided for. Some can only wait for the promised ravens. Some of us are piggish and store away the bread and meat, stolen from those who can only hope and pray.

And yet we say, Come, Lord!  Whenever. Meanwhile: Ravens with full beaks, for every thing which takes breath, carbon based vulnerable ones. And bread and meat for soul as well. Can’t survive without both.

Visible and invisible provisions.

And I feel fine . . .

Best wishes for a happy New Year – and a joyous Christmastide – from your friends at!

While listening to a recent Christian sermon on Daniel 3, I had two thoughts. First, I noted that the preacher moved very quickly from Hebrew apocalyptic to individualistically pastoral. (Do not pass the Holocaust; do not collect a 100 reasons to be confounded.) And, second, I kept hearing that fabulous Beastie Boys song. Each time the preacher said “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,” I heard the beat the Boys stole from Sly Stone. (I am not sure which is worse: being critical of another preacher’s lack of depth or finding myself repeatedly distracted by a riff from “Loose Booty” . . . )

For the past week, I have had another college-days song running through my head. Of course, from REM.

I have jotted down notes for all sorts of clever posts (trust me) on news and life in the last few months. But I have been teaching three classes, mothering the fabulous Green Street girls (now including 3 bitches; we got a puppy), and trying to concentrate all of my writing and editing energy on the upcoming issue of the Muslim World that I am co-editing with Danny Arnold. The essays are now all in, and mostly edited, and I am now facing concerted, focused work on completing my own essay for the issue. Hence my need for a blog post on something else. Read more

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