good friday 2015

for those who wonder – i live because Christ does. there is no other way, no alternative, however crazy this sound. every good friday, for the past 20 years or so, i think of Christ’s death. of the narratives that are read and repeated endlessly for at least 15 hundred years. whom he met. who…

give god a place

the purpose of advent is to prepare for christmas. the purpose of christmas is… what is the purpose of christmas? one answer, rather unpopular, would be: to remember that god came into the history as Jesus, and did all those great things. another answer, slightly more popular, would go thus: christmas is the time for…

opening the Advent 2014 calendar

as Dylan Thomas wrote in his Under Milk Wood, time… passes. we can hear it and we can feel it, and we have to live it. time passes. every day, every hour, every minute bring us closer to the solution of the puzzle that is life. time passes. whether we be happy, or sad, satisfied…

Twenty-four. Magic

today i happened across a tv-set, which showed some episode of the ‘blinky bill’ – apparently an australian cartoon where the main heroes are anthropomorphised coala and platypus younglings in search for a) christmas tree and b) snow to c) bring it to no less athropomorphised wombat adult. the quest ended with a christmas eucaliptus…

Twenty. Gifts

i am part of a denomination which has a very strange attitude to women. women in general are, not unlike the children of the victorian era, to be seen, but not heard. women who think about ministry, however little, are to be walked through like they did not exist at all. yes, there are few…

Fourteen. The unexpected

in the synoptic gospels, there is this narrative about John the Baptist standing in the river of Jordan and calling out to all people to stop in their tracks, think of what they are doing, and repent of their evil ways (Mt. 3:2-3etc). John was no softie. he’d grown up in the desert. he knew…

Eleven. The trouble with Jesus

he does not know too much. he knows everything. can you trust someone who knows everything about you, your life, your motives, your desires, your …whatever? he knows all that and still loves you. can you trust this person? make that leap from being unknown to being fully known? can you live with everything being known about…

Six. Increase

there is this story in the bible. actually, there are more than one stories of this type in the bible. the stories of increasing the existent food resources. (as found in 1 Kings 17:7-16; then in Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:31-44, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:5-15 – four parallel versions; and Mark 8:1-9 and Matthew 15:32-39 – two parallel…

the bit about why all religions are the only ones

there is the russian saying (at least my mother said it was a russian proverb, but the russians say it is a proverb of sb else further east) – the crow calls her little crow chick the whitest, the mother-hedgehog calls her pup hedgehog the softest. and is it not the same with religions? nobody…

the dead, liturgy, control issues and living backwards

‘when people get to pray for their dead to rest in peace,’ she said, ‘they feel more at rest.’ this was part of discussion of the things to be done on the last sunday of the church year. the argument of why there should be another worship service dedicated to prayers for the dead ran…

when all else crumbles

this remains. like the breath, like the blood that flows through the veins, like the earth under us and the sky above, and infinitely, untestably more. even when things fall apart, or when church happens to one, even then Christ is not far. he is actually very, very near. because church happened to him, too.…

the wager

In his Pensées Pascal writes: 233. Infinite- nothing. — Our soul is cast into a body, where it finds number, dimension. Thereupon it reasons, and calls this nature necessity, and can believe nothing else. Unity joined to infinity adds nothing to it, no more than one foot to an infinite measure. The finite is annihilated in the presence…

if i get lucky

interestingly enough, the idea of translating This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti seems to be a very good one, and a timely one, too. so, i’ll probably work on the translation the same way i did on The Left Hand of Darkness by Le Guin (does anyone have the question, what’s with me and darkness here? i…

the ownership, or this is _not_ my church

‘this is my church,’ she said vehemently. ‘i come here when i feel like it. and the last time i did… i think it was some two months ago, there was a woman preaching, and i do not like churches where the women are in the leadership. and she did not speak with he feeling,either,…

for the approaching synod

i still have not figured this out completely, but here are some thoughts: a) the lutheran church in latvia has reached a very unstable point in its development – a point of breaking, even. it reminds me of a willow with a lot of rotten wood, and very few living strands that ensure the flow…

a turning point

standing behind her, the god she thinks can be lost or found. standing behind her, the god she thinks she could carry or take from someone. and two angels – messengers – before her. and beyond them – an empty grave in its darkness. behind her, the unbeknown god stands up in splendour. what does…

shadows

frying chicken today (another epic event, resulting in a huge burn on my wrist), i suddenly had this memory-vision. of my maternal grandmother frying chicken, on the old wood stove, and us – my brother and me – waiting. i do not remember my mother’s mother very well. i do not have stories she told.…

for our god, too, is a destroying fire

of course, the more we talk of god, the less we say – for he is infinite, and our language, rich as it might be, is finite and lacks dimension. but seeing the infinite in the finite is a gift and a sign of being created in his image, for this is who we are,…

the beginning

i remember this song from when i was just a beginner pilgrim. not that i have moved very far from there now. things have become…different since then. i have more knowledge and less courage. some of the translucence of the first steps has been lost. some steady peace has been gained. and yet – his…

twenty-four: the shepherds

i thought of that story of the angels and the shepherds, and coming to see the infant, and i thought of it thus: when you hear the angels inviting, do come and see him. because when we gain the knowledge of the good and evil, we lose the access to eternal life. that life can…

twenty – darkness

they say it is darkest before the dawn. i have stayed up for many a night, and i say it is not true – this is one more of those things people say because darkness and dawn are such great contrasts, and one can make so much mystical meaning out of six words, lo and…

nineteen – reverence

like that first moment of truth, when the eyes of lovers meet never to be repeated, never lived again, but ever remembered as the foundation of all that was and will be  – that first breath in you extends over all my days and unslept hours. in you all colours are bright, and all the…

seventeen – peace

peace sometimes is found in most unlikely places. and the most unlikely place of all is the human heart, ever restless, turbid, unbalanced. and here is the trick: the peace in the tormented heart cannot come from within, but only from outside. and the peace from outside cannot come from created things, as those are…