When I posted on the government shutdown last week, I grabbed a photo from the closed-down Statue of Liberty. It was an enticing editorial choice: Give me your tired, your poor, your furloughed federal employees yearning to just do their damn jobs again. But it was also probably an unhelpful choice.
Years ago, I wrote a book on sin. To estimate its breadth and depth, I studied biblical and theological sources. But as much as the standard sources taught me, I was surprised to discover that I could also learn a lot about sin and grace by reading storytellers, biographers, poets and journalists.
I try to keep worship to an hour, even on communion Sundays. I keep a side-eye on the clock and move certain things along, because I want to take plenty of time when the congregation comes forward. I look each person in the eye as I give the bread.
But that morning they seemed to barrel toward me two by two.