Called to the Dance – Tom Mundahl reflects on making room. Care for Creation Commentary on the Common Lectionary Readings for the The Holy Trinity (First Sunday after Pentecost), Year B (2021, 2024) Isaiah 6:1-8 Psalm 29 Romans 8:12-17 John 3:1-17 It is a sure bet that on Holy Trinity Sunday many worshippers in traditional congregations will be singing the familiar hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” While there is something bracing about joining one’s voice in such an old favorite, Walter Brueggemann has a warning for us. “It is most unfortunate that the doxological, poetic formulation of the Trinity, ‘God in three persons,’ has often beenRead More →

Practice Resurrection – Tom Mundahl reflects on the story told by how we live. Care for Creation Commentary on the Common Lectionary Readings for the Day of Pentecost, Year B (2021, 2024) Acts 2:1-21 Psalm 104:24-34, 35b Romans 8:22-27 John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15 As he finishes one of his best-known poems, “Manifesto: the Mad Farmer Liberation Front,” Wendell Berry calls his readers to “practice resurrection” (The Mad Farmer Poems, Counterpoint, 2013, p. 21). These outrageous verses issue a challenge to rethink the tenets of standard economics. After all, calling farmers to plant sequoias and view one’s chief crop as forest that shows a profit from the twoRead More →

Ending Our Exile from Creation – Tom Mundahl reflects on owning the responsibilities of our priesthood. Care for Creation Commentary on the Common Lectionary Readings for the Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year B (2018, 2021, 2024) Jeremiah 31:31-34 Psalm 51:1-12 Hebrews 5:5-10 John 12:20-33 Finally we can begin to see our garden beds. Even though we have been able to celebrate a Minnesota winter in all of its beauty and challenge, after four months of snow we cannot help but experience a sense of exile from the rich smell of warming humus in garden beds and the ever-surprising growth of seeds into food and flowers.Read More →

Loving the Cosmos as God Does – Tom Mundahl reflects on repenting of the “windigo” way. Care for Creation Commentary on the Common Lectionary Readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year B (2018, 2021, 2024) Numbers 21:4-9 Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22 Ephesians 2:1-10 John 3:14-21 Each Ash Wednesday we make an unusually comprehensive community confession of sin. We confess “our self-indulgent appetites and ways, our exploitation of other people,” “our indifference to injustice and cruelty,” and “our waste and pollution of creation and our lack of concern for those who come after us” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2006, p. 253). While the starknessRead More →

Breathe in the Fragrance of Creation’s Renewal – Tom Mundahl reflects on faith and courage for the renewal of creation. Care for Creation Commentary on the Common Lectionary  Readings for the Third Sunday of Lent, Year B (2018, 2021, 2024) Exodus 20:1-17 Psalm 19 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 John 2:13-22 The first sentence of the appointed Prayer of the Day for the Third Sunday in Lent, Series B, sets the tone for our reflections. “Holy God, through your Son you have called us to live faithfully and act courageously” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2006, p. 28). Our texts not only show how faithful and courageousRead More →

Rejoice? – Tom Mundahl reflects on joy in the midst of grief. Care for Creation Commentary on the Common Lectionary  Readings for the Third Sunday of Advent, Year B (2020, 2023) Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 Psalm 126 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 John 1:6-8, 19-28 The Third Sunday in Advent has traditionally been called “Gaudete Sunday,” a Sunday to “rejoice” as we turn in hope and expectation toward the Coming One. While gaudete (“rejoice”) originally comes from the Vulgate translation of Philippians 4:4, “rejoice in the Lord always”, this week’s readings do not neglect this theme.  For example, this week’s Second Lesson calls Thessalonian community members to “rejoiceRead More →