Sunday Best – March 14, 2021


Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.
– Michel de Montaigne

 

Dear ones, on this spring-forward Sunday, I leave you with this simple quote from Montaigne, in honor of my dear HDS professor Ralph Potter.

May we rejoice in all that is present today.

 

 

*****

Friends, If you find yourself wanting to reflect on this past year, or to contemplate better times to come, we hope you might consider turning to Month of Sundays, which can be found at all of your favorite booksellers. One newly vaccinated friend recently mentioned that she’s bought a stack of books to gift as she begins to reconnect with loved ones who have been apart, as a way to say, “welcome back.”

Thank you to those who have supported this endeavor to date, where proceeds have allowed us to give more generously than usual to some of the most vital nonprofits around.  We designed the book to be evergreen, and hope it will bring comfort and connection through times of ease and times of challenge alike.

Sunday Best – March 7, 2021

 

Somehow it has been a whole decade since the magnificent Rev. Peter Gomes has passed away, and I spent some time this week listening to recordings of his sermons. In one of my favorites he reminds his listeners, mostly university folks, that the purpose is “that we not simply grow smarter, but that we grow better.” And then he describes the three ingredients to help us do so: reverence, humility, and courage.

I could write on and on about the wisdom of Rev. Gomes’ words, but what struck me even more strongly this week is the impact of hearing his unmistakable voice. The deliberate pacing and phrasing made me sit up straighter, and his dry delivery of gently sarcastic remarks made me laugh out loud.

Feeling this presence so vividly, I was reminded of a time several years ago when my cousin sent me an old voice message from our grandfather, who had passed away months earlier. I was walking down the street scrolling through messages, and when his voice came flooding into my ears I was so overwhelmed I had to sit down on a total stranger’s stoop to catch my breath.

Dear ones, our brains are such wonderful processors, able to consider ideas like the ones in these sermons and to reason deeply with their concepts. But somewhere deeper inside, where our brains attach to our bodies and souls, there is so much more. 

The next time we feel a flutter upon seeing a loved one’s face, let’s linger in that flutter.

The next time a wafting scent brings a flashback to childhood, let’s reminisce.

The next time a voice from the past brings us to tears, let’s let them flow.

In doing so, we may become both smarter, and better.

 

*****

I am happy to report that you can find Rev. Gomes’ sermons on your favorite podcasting service by just searching his name.

*****

 

This week also marks the anniversary of the pandemic’s first impacts for many in the U.S.  If you find yourself wanting to reflect on this past year, or to contemplate better times to come, we hope you might consider turning to Month of Sundays, which can be found at all of your favorite booksellers. One newly vaccinated friend recently mentioned that she’s bought a stack of books to gift as she begins to reconnect with loved ones who have been apart, as a way to say, “welcome back.”

Thank you to those who have supported this endeavor to date, where proceeds have allowed us to give more generously than usual to some of the most vital nonprofits around.  We designed the book to be evergreen, and hope it will bring comfort and connection through times of ease and times of challenge alike.

Thank you for asking how to further support this project!

  • Spread the word – on social media, and to friends and colleagues. We are @mofsundaysbook on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, or you can always reference @honeybeecap.
  • Write a review on Amazon (this is easy, and matters more than you’d think). Just scroll down the book listing to the “reviews” section and there are easy instructions for adding your own.
  • Gift a copy to a friend (or two or ten).

 

Sunday Best – February 27, 2021

“It wasn’t a subject to Plato, it was a way.”

 

C.S. Lewis received this gentle reprimand when wrestling with faith in a purely intellectual way. He’s read every book and debated every rationale, when two of his own students – somewhat ironically – reminded him that thought and study would only get him so far.

(Of course one of these students was Bede Griffiths, who was a Benedictine monk and later a noted yogi, so perhaps Lewis was fortunate to be surrounded by a particular kind of wisdom just when he was contemplating that particular kind of question.)

Friends, this is so often true, especially when the issue is a real mystery. We want to research and analyze and debate until we reach some sense of rightness. But we aren’t only computers with legs – we can also feel and hope and imagine and love and be and do.

Dear ones, if we are stuck with one of life’s big riddles today, it’s fine to bust out our favorite philosophers or databases or experts, and they can all add plenty to our knowledge.

But then, let’s quiet our cleverness.

Let’s go for a walk, or pet a dog, or sit with a cup of tea and no screens before us.

Let’s learn what we already know.

Sunday Best – February 21, 2021

 

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.       – Hal Borland

 

This time of year, we start to wonder if the winter will ever end. The mornings are cold and grey, the sunset still arrives before supper, and the snow just keeps coming.

After receiving some tragic news this past week, I stomped through the Common with nothing but snow-sleet and sorrow as far as the eye could see. But then, right on the edge of the park near my favorite bench, a tiny spark of yellow glinted through the grey.

Though it’s still deep winter, underneath the cold and the dark and the exhaustion and the grief, the light is already growing.

Dawn is creeping in earlier each morning, the witch hazels are starting to bud, and every so often we wake to a bluebird morning, blinding bright light glinting off the snow.

Dear ones, there are days when the grey sorrows seem endless.

Let’s seek out the sunbeams, whether humans or plants or songs or ideas,

knowing that they are always shining beyond the clouds.

 

 

This week’s post is dedicated to Monica and to Queenie,

whose lights will never dim.

 

 

Sunday Best – February 14, 2021

 

“What? You too? I thought I was the only one.”

     – CS Lewis on Friendship

 

It is a time to celebrate love, in all its forms.

There are some differences between friends and forests, lovers and mountains, families and prairies, communities and seas… but one thing is constant. All connect us to this world. All confirm connection, turning islands into archipelagos.

Dear ones, let us love.

Let us be loved.

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