My nephew is a walking question mark. What’s for dinner? When will my daddy get a job? Will Grampa live to be 100? He does not know it, but his questions sound a lot like the ones that pop up in my news feed: How safe is our food supply? What will happen to the economy? Can Medicare cope with the rising number of baby boomers entering the system?
I am among those called to lead people in confessing sin and announcing God's forgiveness in the Sunday liturgy, an essential action never altogether free from the threat of routinized going-through-the-motions. This action is anything but routine, however, when it occurs in the setting I described in my lectionary column for the Century on this week's Gospel lesson.
I am often at a loss for words when people ask me what I think. To me, thinking—making clear and linear progress through my mental swamp—is drudgery that I perform only when it is necessary. But if someone says, “Tell me a story,” I am in my element.