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Lord, It is Good to Be

“Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord, my God, you are great indeed!” (Psalm 104)

I’m writing this “corner” while at the Institute of Sacred Scripture In Georgetown.  I refer to this study week as my Vacation Bible School (without the singing and crafts.  However, the snacks have been super!).   This year we’re looking at the Gospel of Luke and Paul’s letter to the Galatians.  We’re also considering some of the parallels between the Bible and the Qur’an.  Having this opportunity to “receive” and “take in” and sit at the feet of experts is truly a gift.

Today, Wednesday, the usual schedule of the day was compressed to allow participants some time to tour DC, nap, or use one or more of the University’s state-of-the art facilities.   I decided to hop the Metro and head to the Newman Bookstore near Catholic University and afterward to the National Zoo.  There I gladly wasted time without the guilt of feeling I was ignoring the files, calls, and emails that were on the desk in my office.  “Lord, it is good to be…away!”

For a pastor, the Newman bookstore is a candy store for the eye and the spirit.  Every bit of space is crammed with books on all kinds of subjects.  There are bliblical commentaries, published dissertations, religious text books, worship books of various faith traditions, spiritual writings of religion’s great “saints”, and reflection guides/journals to get a reader to focus, or broaden, or think outside their box.  One in the latter group of books that caught my eye was entitled “Well-Seasoned Living: Summer.  A Guided Journal for Increasing Your Enjoyment of Everyday Life” (Vicki Kessler and Marabeth Soneson, ACTA Publications, $19.95).  The authors invite the reader to approach the season (and in fact, every day and every experience) with “a childhood sense of adventure and curiosity”.

Although I didn’t buy the book, it accomplished its purpose.  It got me to pause and ask myself some questions.   What am I hoping for this summer season?   What does summertime permit that other seasons and times don’t?  How might I enjoy to the fullest the increased hours of daylight and the lighter load of a parish’s schedule (please, dear God)?  What in God’s great and beautiful world and in the acre of it I live and move in could I appreciate even more?   In short, how might I be better at “being”?

In this second full week of summer, I share these questions with you.  How would you answer them?

Joe Lehman is the Pastor at Our Lady of Nazareth Catholic Church located at 2505 Electric Rd (Rte 419. Visit them on the web at:

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