by Paul Lang on July 3rd, 2020
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of...  Read More
Simple Gifts
by Paul Lang on May 13th, 2020
This time of year I like to sleep with the window open.  I love the brisk night-air which only makes the warm bed more luxurious.  And then, still dark-early, in the words of Gerard Manley Hopkins -- "Oh morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs" and I begin to hear the morning songs of the newly arrived birds who, having returned from their southerly migration are setting up home again in Nor...  Read More
by Paul Lang on May 6th, 2020
I have been thinking about Sabbath-keeping.  One day in seven, traditionally Saturday, we stop what we are doing and return our thoughts to God.  I know some of you will be thinking, "I thought Sunday was the Sabbath day."  There is not room enough here in a blog-post for me to fully illuminate the sad choice the church of the Middle Ages made to conflate The Lord's Day with the Sabbath Day.  I wi...  Read More
God's Grandeur
by Paul Lang on May 5th, 2020
I am a little behind in posting a poem and my pondering more than a week after Earth Day (April 22), but late is better never I suppose.I am guessing you have seen the photos I have been seeing -- our world and its pollution prior to the pandemic next to contemporary photos.  The changes are stunning.  Here are a few examples: Or this from New Dehli... One of Gerard Manley Hopkins best poems speak...  Read More
Returning to the Wild
by Paul Lang on May 4th, 2020
Returning to the Wild IIThe best reward in going to the woodsIs being lost the other people, andLost sometimes to myself.  I'm at the endOf no bespeaking wire to spoil my goods;I send no letter back I do not bring.Whoever wants me now must hunt me downLike something wild, and wild is anythingBeyond the reach of purpose not its own.Wild is anything that's not at homeIn something else's place.  This...  Read More
Ambassadors of Reconciliation
by Paul Lang on April 30th, 2020
The apostle Paul tells us that we are ambassadors of God's reconciliation, following in the work to which Jesus was committed.2Cor. 5:16   From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way.  17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, ever...  Read More
Pied Beauty
by Paul Lang on April 29th, 2020
Glory be to God for dappled things -   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;   Landscape plotted and pieced - fold, fallow, and plough;      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.All things counter, original, spare, strange;   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)      Wit...  Read More
God in the Ordinary
by Paul Lang on April 28th, 2020
It doesn't have to bethe blue iris, it could beweeds in a vacant lot, or a fewsmall stones; justpay attention, then patcha few words together and don't tryto make them elaborate, this isn'ta contest but the doorwayinto thanks, and a silence in whichanother voice may speak.                                                              -- Mary Oliver Now that the weather is warm enough to be outside ...  Read More
by Paul Lang on April 27th, 2020
Poets David Whyte and T.S. Eliot. DISAPPOINTMENTis inescapable but necessary; a misunderstood mercy and when approached properly, an agency for transformation and the hidden, underground, engine of trust and generosity in a human life. The attempt to create a life devoid of disappointment is the attempt to avoid the vulnerabilities that make the conversations of life real, moving, and life-like; i...  Read More
To Be Or Not To Be (together)
by Paul Lang on April 23rd, 2020
To open up the country and return to business and worship as usual or not — this question has been on your pastor’s mind.  As a partner in a commercial business, I see how the need for social distancing is affecting our economy.  It is a legitimate concern, and one I feel as I wonder (and if I’m honest — worry) about nearly every day now.  What if the economy collapses and the value of my commerci...  Read More
The Lamb - William Blake
by Paul Lang on April 20th, 2020
    Little lamb, who made thee?
    Dost thou know who made thee,
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed
By the stream and o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice? 
        Little lamb, who made thee? 
        Dost thou know who made thee?    Little lamb, I'll tell thee;
        Little lamb, I'll tell th...  Read More
Pandemic & Poetry
by Paul Lang on April 20th, 2020
Introduction To A New Series Of Devotions —  Pastor Paul Ponders Pandemic & Poetry     You'll forgive my amateurish alliteration <grin>.     I will be writing occasional devotions in the coming weeks / months as we live with the reality of COVID19.  You may know that the Hebrew word for "prophet" is actually best translated "poet."  I won't explain the series of translating events which led us to ...  Read More