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Showing posts from December, 2016

Launching into Luke

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Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word,  I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.  Luke 1:1-4

A New Year is just around the corner...and for the first few months of 2017, I want to invite you to embark on an adventure with me through the Gospel of Luke.  Launching into Luke will take us on twists and turns through Jesus' life.  Luke is a master storyteller.  Luke is often credited not only with the Gospel bearing his name, but also the book of Acts (the history of the early church).  Luke's opening offers us several insights:

1.  He acknowledges that there are other accounts of Jesus' life.  In addition to the t…

Christmas morning

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May the holy mystery of this day stir in your heart.
May the star light soak your skin and drench your soul.
May the promise of God enter in...
Rummage around...
Find room to take root...
And radiate from your life as the star shone down on this silent night.

May you be steeped in the sacred, silent, holy night
And may that be true every night in 2017,

Let the hope, peace, love, and joy guide you and ground you in the days and weeks to come.

Blessings ~~

Converge Part 2...Almost There

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The outline the stable door is just ahead as the stars overhead cast shadows dancing.
The soft cry of a baby creeps out from under the door.
We might now want to interrupt, but something keeps beckoning us both inside and outside of us.
We step closer to the door and see the unmistakable outline of shepherds;
Those who were considered outcasts and even thieves by some.
We put our hand on the door and hear the words of foreigners from the East;
Why would they be here?
But either group might say the same of us.

Stepping inside the warm straw tickles the tips of our toes.
The smells of the stable remind us this is no mansion;
The manger in the center captures our attention.
How can we claim that God was laid in a stone, cold, feeding trough?
That seems unusual.
How can we claim that God entered into our world barely noticed by anyone?
That seems unusual.
How can we celebrate a truth that for days and years afterwards the world didn't heed?
But our unusual, unexpected God has often t…

Converge Part 1

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The colors converge, culminate, come together
Flowing, flooding, and fading into one another.
It is difficult to discern where one ends and another begins.
Just as the...
Past and present and future converge, culminate, and come together on Christmas Eve.
On a holy, silent, star-filled night, we remember that God is still creating, crafting and loving the world into being.
When Hark the Herald Angels Sing above O Little Town of Bethlehem,
We remember that God is not finished yet.
And our own story converges in the mystery of God laid Away in a Manger.
Our past...hopes and fears of all the years.
Our present moment...when we sense a peace that surpasses understanding in our soul.
Our future moments...when we need God's love and joy to guide us.

This threshold called, "Christmas Eve."
This converging moment when we sense God who was, is, and will be with us and for us.
God who called to Moses from a burning bush.
Who inspired Miriam's song.
Who interrupted Samuel'…

Inching Closer

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Words like love and joy fall from our lips this time of year;
We sing them in church;
We send them in cards;
We let the stir and simmer in our hearts;
They are drenched with our prayers that this time they might take root.

We know that these are more than words;
They found life and breath and expression in the life of Christ.
We know that these are more than words;
They are God's vision, prayer, dream of what our world can still be.

Can love find space in a world where words are tossed around so carelessly?
Can joy find a place in a world where there is too much pain, hurt and need for healing?
The response to God on Christmas Eve is an emphatic, "Yes!"
But not in a way of might makes right.
God's "Yes" was a weak force of a stable, under starlight, barely noticed save a few shepherds...
And who would believe them after all?
God's "Yes" was a weak force of wise ones from the East, foreigners, who got lost following the star...wound up on Hero…

Peace part three

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I question how silent that first Christmas was?  I've been there when a new baby cries, unable in any other way to communicate.  I question how peaceful that first night of Jesus life was?  Interrupted by knocks at the door by shepherds and wise ones who didn't even think to bring a tuna casserole.  I question if all the words we sing are more about us than recording history.  We long for hope to dance in eyes, peace to still our souls, love to be embodied and joy to be shared.  We long for angels harking and sheep softly sighing.  We long for a cuddly Christmas.

But maybe the truth is messier than we can imagine.  A child crying finds peace in the embrace of a mother tenderly and timidly holding that infant.  A child longing find hope in parents willing to be there day-after-day.  A child searching for love is reassured in those moment when the deepest, widest meaning of unconditional is experienced as you help with homework and make them eat the green beans.  A child who se…

Peace part two

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Not on the shelf;
Not in the store;
Not in any place;
Were there is want for more.

Not in those homes where words are thrown without care.
Not in the countries where people are treated unfair.

Not only for me, myself and I,
But for everyone who longs for and tries.

Peace is not something we can manufacture or create.
We don't micromanage or even make.

Peace is the flow
Peace is the gift that settles in slow.
Peace comes from within and without,
Sometimes with nary a shout.

Peace comes, enters in, and makes an arrival.
Peace comes, enters in, and is what we need for survival.

Peace to you, me, family and friends.
Peace to the whole world that never ends.

May this peace that surprises and draws us near
Find you this day in ways that you believe God cares.

Let peace be in our hearts, our homes, and our world.
Let it come.  Let peace furrow.

May it be so for you and for all.

Blessings ~~

Peace part one

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I enter the stillness of the moment.
Begin to explore and experience the silence.
Let the quiet wrap around, enfold me.
Sometimes the stillness comes at the beach with the sun shining bright and sand between toes.
Sometimes the stillness comes at night with a single candle burning before my eyes.
Sometimes the stillness even comes in traffic
Like a surprise guest knocking at my door.
Stillness even here at a red light?

But this peace is deeper than quiet or silence or stillness.
This peace that nourishes my hungry soul is shalom.
Shalom as well being.
My mind, body, soul in harmony.
Shalom as bigger than me too.
The world is at peace.

In A Christmas Carol Scrooge sees is taken by the hand by the Ghost of Christmas Present to scenes on a sea.
He seas people in boats, out on the seas of life, toasting Christmas morn.
This fleeting, fading too fast moment when peace is shared.
Peace connects us.
Peace is the shared dream for the whole creation.
Peace where the lion and lamb, the old div…

Hope in a Stable??

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Can hope really be found in a stable where the wind whipped through the cracks in the walls along with the flies?
Can hope really be found in a place where cows and sheep and humans all crowd together to keep warm?
Can hope really be found in a cramped space and dirty, dusty place?

God's wisdom is not our wisdom.

Because if hope is found in a cold stone of a manger filled with soft straw, maybe hope can be born in our hearts cold with fear.
Because if hope is found when the wind moves through flimsy walls, maybe hope can be born in the flimsy walls of our communities and homes.
Because if hope is found with an eclectic gathering of two unwed parents, ragtag/outcast shepherds, and foreigners...maybe that calls us to where hope is still be born again.

Not necessarily in neat, tidy churches, but in the messiness of life.
Not necessarily in people who think and look like us, but in the harmony of those who sing differently.
Not necessarily among the elite and powerful, but among the …