Category: Ecological Posts

Trump and Christmas: Seasonal Reflections (2017)

“A shoot shall come forth from the stump of Jesse…” (Is. 11:1) In front of our old farmhouse in southwestern Maine, I witnessed a sign from heaven this past summer. Several years ago, we called in a tree-man to cut down – sadly –…

St. Francis: Notes for Three Sermons, Fall 2015

Prepared for Lutherans Restoring Creation Commentary (lutheransrestoringcreation.org) Lectionary Series B 2014-2015 September 27, October 4, October 11 A series honoring St. Francis of Assisi Note: Sunday, October 4, 2015 is the Festival of St. Francis. This series affords the preacher an opportunity to address…

Spiritual Reflections Down Under

They asked me what I thought.  An academic and church consortium brought me to lovely Adelaide in southern Australia in March of 2015 to present a paper on ecotheology and spirituality.  That I did (the paper will be published in due course).  Along the…

Lush is More? – Reflections on a Chinese Garden

During my brief visit to Australia in 2015, I had occasion to walk through the Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney, a gift in 1988 to that city from the citizens of Guangzhou in southern China. I know very little about Chinese or Japanese…

From Lake Wobegon to the Streets of Manhattan

It must have been Garrison Keillor who observed that at the gates of heaven the Jews will carry a shofar, the Catholics a crucifix, and the Lutherans a bowl of Jello. I saw signs of that Lutheran sensibility on the streets of Manhattan on…

Raking the Forest Path: A Christian Spirituality in Brief

Every late fall, I rake the forest path. It usually takes me a couple of days. I began to carve out that path at the edges of the rugged, wooded hill behind our old farm house in rural, southwestern Maine some forty years ago….

Oil in the Yard

I walked over to Harvard the last day of April from my nearby residence, to lend my tired voice to the students and faculty and alums who had gathered there in the Yard to protest the University’s failure to divest itself of its holdings…

Two Days at the End of Winter in Rural Maine: Inside and Out

The plumber called today, early. Thankfully, I thought, as I turned over in bed to grab the phone and rubbed my eyes in the morning twilight. I’d been eagerly awaiting that call, since our toilet – our only toilet – had been nearly stopped…

A Note on Scything

Scything up here in the Maine foothills of the White Mountains of New Hampshire is indeed a wonderful exercise. The exercise itself, to begin with, is good, of course. But there are other benefits. Scything keeps our large field from turning into a forest….

Spirituality, Liturgy, and the Specter of Gnosticism

I am all in favor of spirituality and of spiritual experience more generally. I discuss such matters in personal terms in a chapter of my book Nature Reborn. But not a free-floating spirituality, where anything that “works” is treasured. The specter of Gnosticism has…