Nurturing Hope: Christian Pastoral Care in the Twenty-First CenturyThe Power of ListeningJoy Together: Spiritual Practices for Your CongregationSabbath Keeping FastingPrayers of the Old TestamentPrayers of the New TestamentSabbathFriendingA Garden of Living Water: Stories of Self-Discovery and Spiritual GrowthA Renewed SpiritualityDeath in Dunedin: A NovelDead Sea: A NovelDeadly Murmurs: A NovelPersonality Type in CongregationsBeating Burnout in CongregationsReaching Out in a Networked WorldEmbracing MidlifeAdvent DevotionalDraw Near: Lenten Devotional by Lynne Baab, illustrated by Dave Baab

Grief AND thankfulness in the Christmas story

Lynne Baab • Thursday December 12 2019

Grief AND thankfulness in the Christmas story

As a child I loved the carol “We Three Kings of Orient Are.” I loved the song’s two main themes: the perseverance of the wise men in following the star and the symbolism of each of the three gifts: gold to crown a king, frankincense to anoint a king (Messiah means “anointed one"), and myrrh for burial of the redeemer of the world. I understood the significance of the themes of this song by late elementary school. Even in junior high and high school, when each year I grew more distant from God, “We Three Kings” would remind me of the...

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Grief AND thankfulness in the Apostle Paul’s prayers

Lynne Baab • Friday December 6 2019

Grief AND thankfulness in the Apostle Paul’s prayers

In several of his letters, the Apostle Paul prays for the people he’s writing to. Ever since I memorized the prayer in Colossians in my early twenties, these prayers have been helpful and instructive to me. They have shaped the way I pray.

For this series of posts focused on the idea that mature people hold grief in one hand and thankfulness in the other, I decided to look at some of those prayers that have been so important to me. I saw something new. Take a look at these two prayers:

“For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have...

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Grief AND thankfulness in the story of the ten lepers

Lynne Baab • Wednesday November 27 2019

Grief AND thankfulness in the story of the ten lepers

As a young adult, I disliked the story of the ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19. I read it as describing one more thing we should do. I had been raised with an enormous list of “shoulds,” and I had found freedom in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A life-changing book of the Bible for me as a young adult was Galatians, where the Apostle Paul lays out so clearly that we are free from the demands of the law.

Even in my forties and early fifties, when I discovered the power of thankfulness (which I wrote about here), the ten lepers was...

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Grief AND thankfulness: Wow, I just found grief in my favorite passage on thankfulness

Lynne Baab • Thursday November 21 2019

Grief AND thankfulness: Wow, I just found grief in my favorite passage on thankfulness

I have long collected biblical passages that call us to thankfulness. Now that I’m on a journey of holding thankfulness in one hand and grief in the other, I’m exploring the ways grieving is built into some of the passages. I had never seen this before.

Consider Colossians 3:12-17, a passage my husband and I chose for our wedding ceremony, and a passage I have preached on at several weddings I have performed.

“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other;...

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AWARD WINNER - To be a Neighbour Must Include Listening

Lynne Baab • Friday February 5 2016

This article won a 2017 award from the Australian Religious Press Association for the best social justice article. Social justice didn't cross my mind as I wrote the article. I was just thi...