We have heard with our ears, O God, our ancestors have told us, what deeds you performed in their days, in the days of old.
She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying.
Words of Grace For Today
We have received great gifts from God … many through other faithful people.
We have received the ability:
To listen …
To learn …
To listen to Jesus …
To listen to our ancestors …
What would happen if we could listen to the generations yet to come?
God has performed many great deeds, that we remember, that we can listen to as others tell the stories handed down for generations.
“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, … God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good….”
“A wandering Aramean was my ancestor; he went down into Egypt and lived there …. When the Egyptians treated us harshly … we cried to the Lord…. The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with a terrifying display of power, and with signs and wonders; and he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey….”
“In the night in which he was betrayed, Jesus took bread and gave thanks …”
God has preformed many great deeds even in our time that we can share with each other and give time to listen to and learn from.
An elderly woman’s car would not start in the grocery store parking lot. Covid 19 limited the interactions others could have with her … still a man noticed her distress, walked over and offered to help. Diagnosing it as a battery too drained to start her car, he offered and then insisted that he would run home, grab some jumper cables and set it right. She suggested instead that she could call AMA. He said it was not necessary. Within minutes her car started and he advised her to take a drive to recharge the battery. It worked.
A long term care facility was, like all others, cut off from everyone except the workers coming and going. A staff person volunteered her iPhone to allow video calls to family and the staff started collecting contact numbers for each resident. Even though many suffer dementia they are afraid and lonely. Now they are connected again regularly with family.
With the increased danger of wild fires, a resident of a spread out rural community started noticing almost no one had ‘fire safe’ areas around their properties or homes. He organized a list of the elderly who needed the help first, a list of the properties that needed and wanted help fire-safe-ing, and a list of equipment available. Coordinating it all, with safe physical distances maintained, he organized equipment, people and locations to do the minimum fire-safe work. Almost done, he’s starting a list of more thorough fire-safe-ing and wide fire break paths to stop a wildfire from spreading over more than a quarter section. Of course that is getting organized as well. Everyone contributes. Everyone is safer. There is less risk that a wildfire will necessitate an evacuation, or if it does that any property will be damaged by anything other than smoke.
What stories of God’s great deeds can you share? What stories of God’s great deeds have you listened to and learned from?
What if we could also listen to those from future generations, looking back at our time, so that we could listen, learn, and live more responsibly.
Sometimes a photo turns out just so unexpectedly more than I wanted it to, and the marvel of the light plays even deeper than my imagination,
So I want to see it, more often, and posting it to share seems a small bit of Grace.
Easter in isolation is something for us all, though I’ve been at it for a few years now.
And then, the light shines just right and plays off the moisture in the clouds and off the rolling snow.
What have you had to leave behind?
What is wrenched so out of your life by the health orders in place, so that you are left living outside the normal routines and security of things being tomorrow like they were yesterday?
How are you re-ordering your life in a manner that makes good, wonderful, life-giving sense for you and those around you?
Know that many others could use a word of encouragement, of thanks and gratitude, and of their worth in the ever changing footing we find ourselves standing on these days.
We should be able to empathize more for those who lived during the time of the plagues, for example when the Black Death, which hit Europe in 1347, claimed an astonishing 75-200 million lives in just four years, or 30% to 60% of the population. And it came back 800 years later.
The Light of Christ does not end, die with us, or need to return. It is always here, even in the darkest night, and through all our darkest times.
Be courageous. Find Beauty each day. Know Truth always. Be grateful, gracious and generous, with yourself and with the other sinners God put in your life. God forgives them, after-all. Why can you not also?
Look for the beauty no matter how small. Be guided by Beauty and Truth.
Though I write for him the multitude of my instructions, they are regarded as a strange thing.
Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’
Words of Grace For Today
Sometimes we cannot see anything straight, so blinded by our greed, envy, guilt, and anxiety. Some political satirists refuse to use Trump for material anymore. His lies are no longer at all humorous. Asked on Jan 22 whether the US should be concerned about a pandemic, he responded: “No, not at all. We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” Trump’s lies have deadly consequences. As I write this predictions give 100k and 240k deaths in the US, alone. But before we defend this man, or attack him further, Stop. Think. Confess.
We all do this out of anxiety, guilt, envy or greed. We lie, even to ourselves. God speaks, we regard God’s Word as a strange thing, in order that we can carry on in our sinful ways.
Jesus came into the world to testify to the truth. No matter who we are, or what we say, no matter what we believe or disbelieve, Jesus was born to demonstrate the truth to us at it’s core. God loves us, all of us, even when we lie to ourselves and others about real important things in life. God sent Jesus to save us from our own lies, so that we can listen once again to Jesus’ voice: Love one another as yourself, even your enemies.
19:00 hours: One Minute to Be Silent, Then One Minute to Be Connected – Separate yet Together
Covid-19 has separated us physically from one another, or rather we have separated ourselves in order to protect ourselves from SARS-Cov2.
But we need not be socially or spiritually separated from one another.
Take a minute at 19:00 hours (7 pm) to say a prayer or keep silence or remember others.
None of us are in this alone. Most all of us can reach out to others. Do what you can, for yourselves and for others. Be careful, respectful, and courageously hopeful.
Take a minute at 19:01 hours (7:01 pm) to say, by making noise, creative and loud noise (so that others know), you are there and well.
If you are in a car, honk!
If you are at home, set up music to play loudly!
Or set off your smoke alarm (test button only, not smoke- be smart!)
Or have the children join you in loud singing their favourite song, or hooping and hollering!
Be creative, coordinate your noise making with neighbours, so that there’s cooperation in the music or noise.
Then at 19:15 listen in quiet, unless …
At 19:15 if you need help now it’s your turn to make some noise.
If you need help urgently, if it is an emergency, make the three long noises, three short noises, and finally three more short noises for the Morse code for SOS.
Listen, and respond, with care to keep from passing contagions between people, households, or neighbours.
Consider that every day we are inundated with Covid-19 news, most of it alarming. To keep this in perspective, perhaps limit one’s news gathering/listening to the news to shorter periods at most 2 to 3 times each day.
Take a minute at 07:00 hours, or the beginning of your day, as at 19:00 hours, to say a prayer or keep silence or remember others.
Colour the beginning of each of your days with Courage, with Compassion, with Creativity, and with Hope.
Dorothea Sölle gave the usual list of the 5 basic requirements for life:
appropriate clothing (not fashion, but function: safe from the environment.)
shelter to these she added two more:
love – being loved and being able to love others. And to that I will add that one needs
culture: art like music and photography. Tonight, after a day of church and work continuing to set up a campsite for the remainder of the allowed 14 days before breaking it all down and moving off for 72 hours, we decided to go for a walk. It was after supper, so with a few tools, we headed out on a trail rarely used, and apparently not at all for the last year or so. As we went we cleared it so that coming back would be easier, and others could use it. There is a great deal of good fire wood to collect, that will otherwise rot. The temperatures out are a comfortable 20⁰C dropping to 17⁰ before we got back just as the sun set orange out over the lake.
So I have much to give thanks for:
Air the air is clean
Water there is plenty of clean water to drink and to clean with.
Food there is for this day nourishing food.
Clothing I have good clothing for living in the woods and for this walk enough deet spray to cover my shoes, socks, jeans, and a special hat that has flaps down over the ears and the back of one’s neck. Sprayed with deet that hat keeps the bugs off the entire head. And gloves, oh so crucial, leather gloves to protect the hands from all the brush and mosquitoes!
There is a very cozy camper to return to, in which no bugs survive for long, it is temperature controlled, with a place to write, sleep and wash up.
Meaningful Labour This work of clearing off the path took just the right amount of work, soaked my shirt with sweat completely, and did not over tax any of my aging muscles. And the benefit of our labours will be enjoyed by countless people.
Love, given and received! This I all got to enjoy with the love of my life, who loves me unconditionally, who I can safely love unconditionally. No, we are not perfect nor are our lives, but we are both kind, and kind to each other. And we dance delightfully together, with our own kind of stepping marvellously in tune to the other, with the ability to start and stop and change the step to a great variety, so as to allow the aging bones and muscles a variety of movements to not freeze up from repetition, yet alone to leave one’s mind frozen in one count or hitch.
Culture That is always a bit of culture, that remains a joy for both of us, and most all who witness us at graceful play. So on return I got to enjoy: a great option to clean up with hot water! A great hot cup of spice tea, with just the right amount of milk added, which somehow reminds me of growing up with 5 brothers and 5 sisters, and taking an afternoon break with my dad, who always had a cup of tea, and easily allowed us one as well if we added milk. Along with the tea just right I had some lemon yogurt, just the right mix of sour and sweet, the pucker power reminds me of my youngest son who loved lemons, just so. As we puckered up and said it was great vitamin C!
Music The greatest part of the evening is to return with enough solar power collected to allow an hour of so of music, from my playlist. Notably (which means these pieces evoke some of the deepest most thorough joy I have known): Good Lovelies, especially and starting off with Lie Down Beside Me, to be reminded of the goodness of love and of it’s loss. Rufus Wainwright singing Cohen’s Alleluia, a haunting reminder of God’s presence in the darkest times of my life. Over the Rainbow by Israel k. Just goodness of life! The Proclaimers’ I’m On My Way [to Happiness] which always gets the base turned up, the volume up too high and smiles, reminders of many a dance step of grace, enjoyed by us and the band that noticed us. A great number from ABBA Take a Chance on Me, Fernando, of course Mama-Mia, and Cohen, not least of Take this Waltz, Anthem, and Closing Time. I toss in a bit of Mozart French Horn, the beauty of brass, even though I played the Euphonium, I always envied the French Horn players. And to top off the end of the music before too many volts are consumed: The Proclaimers’ 500 miles, a simple and thorough statement of being a man who will live ‘in love’, which we know is a choice of health!
But the photography that is always there is the desktop I’ve chosen recently of a photo I took this year on 19th July at 21:34.
It haunts me every time I see it, even though I am the photographer whose taught for years. This photo keeps me from getting right down to work each time, but the time is not wasted.
Right there the essence of culture meets my mind no matter the colour or gray of the day: There is light at play from all sides collecting on the birch logs and waves, but pulling attention to the clouds on the horizon spanning from tree to tree with the blue of the water countered with the orange of the setting sun!
The photo haunts even me the photographer.
Why is it so haunting? Clue a panorama so that the light and wave patterns are just normal enough and yet out of place to be intriguing, if you do not discount it as a panorama.
There is nothing quite like it: spice with milk, lemon with sweet, the fresh air, clean hot water, the mosquitoes kept at bay, the cozy camper a home not quite a home, a path nearly cleared, all this shared with a kind person who loves me without guile or selfish demands, and spiced milk, sweet lemon, and the best music selection short but good enough to change one’s heart from set and hard to lively and inspired. Life is great!
It is a miracle to be somebody, somebody who knows how to enjoy life fully, with so little, but with everything that makes for a full life.
How’s your days measuring up? Are the daisy’s still down? Can you still dance with grace through all the challenges that come your way each day? Do you know God’s love is so assured that it need not even be mentioned as part of the essentials of life? Do you have music that inspires you to love all of life completely, to a 4/4 two step, or a 3/4 waltz? What are you missing? Ask and you shall receive, for God gives us all that we need, just not everything we ask for!
Be Somebody: share the essentials of good life everyday with someone new. Everyone needs them! And smile, God created you, and us all, to be able to enjoy the deep based line of nature’s best music.
The owl may hoot every night, but I am not the one tagged for death, I am the one tagged for extraordinarily important things to happen around and because of: It is enough to see one’s love dancing to the Proclaimers’ “I am going to be the man who will grow old with you. I will walk 500 miles and I would walk another 500 miles just to be the man who walked one thousand miles to fall down at your door.”
repetitions and sections needing tightening, deleting, or rewording,
the essence is there though.
looking though the woods and trees to see the light.
Our Names are Written in Heaven
came out to the airport as she often did to watch Matt take off for
his day’s work, crop dusting. This time Matt seemed to avoid
getting off the ground, working around Steve’s plane instead. Then
as Steve rolled out on to the grass runway Matt came over to Jane and
asked her if she’d like a cup of coffee. He then stood with her,
each with a cup of coffee in hand as Steve took off and began to
spell out in the sky: S … U … lots of loops and crossing back and
for forth for each letter E … M … A … … R … R … As Steve
began the Y … Jane turned to Matt, knocking both their cups and
spilling coffee freely, and hugged him, with a loud YES, and as Steve
finished the … M … and the final E with the added touch of a ?,
Matt came up for air from the long kiss he had planted on Jane to see
the all 18 employees of the three businesses at the airport come
outside to see, first Jane and Matt, then the trailing away letters
Steve had written, and then to gather around Matt and Jane clapping.
As Steve landed and ran over to join the crowd Matt and Jane were
still shaking the hands of the people in line, taking their
congratulations and well wishes, and answering they didn’t have
solid plans yet but Jane was quick to say the wedding was going to be
in their church, and long before it started to snow. Matt agreed, but
the honeymoon would have to wait until winter.
marvelous flight, after years of joy, tears, and struggles Matt and
Jane each knew that this day was wondrous, a dream come true.
Everything about their lives was changed that day and again as they
said their vows before the altar Jane’s great grandfather had
built, covered with paraments made by her great grandmother. Over the
previous 4 years, since they had started dating as teenagers, their
lives had changed. No longer alone, everything took on a new
perspective, the perspective of love.
their struggles they had learned that loving each other was wondrous,
but also a lot of work, took a lot of patience, required a lot of
forgiveness. The coming years would test the limits of their
forbearance, their commitment to love and be gracious, and their
ability to empathize for each other and other people for things they
did not understand.
The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela
18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013
Mandela stands tall at 80 years old, the first black president of
South Africa, not a Black South Africa and not a white country
gripped and choked by apartheid, but a country started on the
difficult journey to reconciliation. He had spent 27 years in jail,
been finally set free, and reunited with his wife Winnie. Time apart
and Winnie’s other love drove them to separate and then divorce.
Madiba was leader of a nation while still in prison, and then he’d
been a leader not elected but negotiated with, and then the elected
president tasked with bringing together a country of people separated
by hatred and terrible atrocities against each other.
filled with love of many kinds he was NOW the most lonely person on
love is as devastating as love is equipping and empowering to take on
Nelson Mandela falls in love again with, Graça Machel, the widow of
Mozambican President Samora Machel. He marries her on his 80th
birthday! She is a leader in her own right already at 57.
Work of Love
not free: it must be worked at each and every day.
work at being the person who behaves ‘in love’ with your spouse,
you will love your spouse, as delightfully, marvelously, as
colorfully as the first day you fell in love. Not being in love with
the person you are married to, or being in married to someone who is
unkind, or refuses to work at love is often a living hell. Being
alone, for most people, is a great challenge.
both work at being in love with each other, Look Out! Being in love
with the person to whom you are married makes life simply awesome!
The hurts roll off your back. The challenges are met as best they can
be. The responsibilities are met as if they were freedoms. And the
joys multiply all by themselves through the years. This is how God
intended us to experience life!
that love to each other, and then to all the people who your lives
touch: that is what the Kingdom of God is about!
What does that mean for us?
the Kingdom of God has come near, what does this mean for us?
Quote from Mother Theresa
Teresa said, “Our work is constant. The problems of the poor
continue, so our work continues. Yet everyone can do something
beautiful for God by reaching out to the poor. I see only people
filled with God’s love, wanting to do works of love. This is the
future—this is God’s wish for us—to serve through love in
action, and to be inspired by the Holy Spirit to act when called.”
Book of Peace: Finding the Spirit in a Busy World
(London: Rider, 2002), 74.
bring us past all pretensions and lay bare the necessities of life
and the awesome source of life’s great goodness, Grace, Love and
Hope. These are the reality of the Kingdom of God.
What does that mean for us? What are we going to
do in response?
the Kingdom of God has come near, what does this mean for us?
are we going to do in response?
The Gospel for today is clear: share the Good
News, Prepare the Way
responses are our lives, every minute, every choice, every action or
inaction. Today’s Gospel clearly turns us, as Jesus did the 70, to
go out into all of creation, to all people, to prepare the way for
our Lord, healing and sharing the Good News of God’s Grace for all
Responses of bringing the Good News
will accept and grow from the nurture of God, like the nurture of a
prosperous city, the city of Jerusalem.
will reject us and the peace and love of God that we bring. Still the
message is the same: the Kingdom of God has come near!
Other lessons, what Good News will we share?:
OT: Always God is there for us:
other lessons we hear what Good News we have to bring.
people to whom Isaiah writes, as they return from Exile, we can share
God’s promise of nurture, comfort, delight, and peace. We can share
the comforting image of God as a Mother nursing us, carrying us,
dandling us on her knees!
The Jerusalem of the/to day
writes to people who had lost the Jerusalem they had known. They have
returned, but what they find is not the Jerusalem they knew. It is
gone. They mourn it’s loss. What they find is not yet the New
Jerusalem that God promises them; it is still to come, a promise of
God for the end of time.
Result for us:
in the Jerusalem of the present, and for us we may say, even in the
the city, country, or Land we live in now: Here and now God will make
prosperity flow like a river, full and flooding it’s banks
distributing silt and soil for all in it’s vicinity.
hearts can rejoice. Our bodies shall flourish.
God there for ALL of us, as the past is gone, the
promise of tomorrow not yet
we respond to God’s gifts now and the promises for the future? We
rejoice, even as we mourn the loss of the old Jerusalem, the way it
was in the past. Even as we mourn that our churches are not like they
were in the past, brimming Sunday Schoools, bustling with children,
abuzz with activities for all ages, providing learning, and sometimes
real Gospel and real Grace of God, and real love of God.
we mourn the losses of time passing we look with hope to the new
are lots of ways to try to create false hope, a false return to the
past that is gone, to deny the reality of God’s grace in the
present. Sarah and Abraham repeatedly tried to force their claim on
God’s promise, and what suffering has arisen from the split of the
family between their son Isaac and and Abraham and Hagaar’s son,
Ishmael; between Jews or Christians and Muslims.
little more foolish, obviously ridiculous than a 70 year old male
(think Trump and others), a man of power and corruption, divorcing
his wife of his youth, and claiming again and again a yet younger
woman, in an effort to remain youthful. This stereotypical man vainly
tries to deny his age, tries to mourn what is lost by denying it is
GONE, DONE, PASSED. Instead he tries to buy, with wealth gained by
corruption, an image of being younger than the actual OLD of his age.
course there is the woman, just as foolish who does the same. Or the
woman who reaches for wealth and prestige by marrying a man old
enough to be her father or grandfather. These self deceptions are
equally foolish and destructive to all sorts of people.
destructive perhaps are all the faithful but untrusting people who
look to the past of the church (denying the change of culture around
us away from church participation) and expend great energy trying to
recapture what is lost, past, or dying; instead of working to be what
God makes us able to be today.
out on the opportunities to work in the real world, from the real
stories of each other’s lives. Like ostriches, we bury our heads in
sand, unable to see the GOODness of creation. And we suffocate there,
hiding from reality. God cannot nurture us there: no comforting, no
nursing, no dandling on God’s knees.
of us, God, through the prosperity of the City of God, the City of
Peace, nurtures, comforts, and provides for us.
who have returned home from exile,
who have deserted home for better efforts elsewhere
who, like the older son of the prodigal father, have remained, worked
diligently at home, and are envious of the returnees given free
grace, we receive grace even though we have come to rely on
ourselves, our works, our merits … though they may be something,
they are nothing before God,
NEED God’s Grace.
through the prosperity of the City of God, the city of peace,
nurtures, comforts, provides for ALL of us, just like a Mother
provides for all her children.
love: God’s Love for us and our delight in God. Responding to God’s
love we sing for joy, with praise and adoration, even as we mourn the
losses of the past.
The truth of love
truth of God’s love for us is that it is unconditional. In love
with us, each of us, even you, God writes our/your name/s in heaven.
that God fulfills our dream of all dreams and our hope of all hopes.
God makes everything right for us and for God!
claims, names, and commissions us, sends us into the plentiful
does that mean for us? What are we going to do in response?
Confused Paul in Galatians:
Galatians Paul, as is too often the case provides, in poor koininia
Greek, confused words. He writes: bear each other’s burdens, and
then all must carry their own loads. If we read carefully we can
decipher that he likely meant, as we each sin, the rest of us carry
that person with gentleness. Afterall we each will sin, we each will
have our turn of needing to be carried by the others.
we work in our vocation and as we work to share the Good News with
everyone we each should carry our own load, to provide necessities of
life, for ourselves and for others.
comforts, nourishes, and promises us that all will be well. But we
still get to work like the dickens to make life good for ourselves
and our community, and those in need.
care does not supplant our own labours, but rather God enables us so
that our labours can be productive.
joy in diligent, hard, directed, purposeful labour. A necessity of
life: air, water, food, clothing, shelter, purposeful labour, and
love (giving and receiving). As others bring us the Good News we
should provide for them so that they can share the Good News without
concern for their survival.
As we work: remember God’s promise: most
work we remember God’s promise that our names are written in
heaven. This promise is more important than our ability in Christ’s
name to heal, to feed, to care for, to love others, to forgive, to be
gentle with each other.
Jane reading her own name in the sky God has acted, named us, written
our names in heaven!
miracles to see in this creation. But the greatest miracle is God’s
Grace which names us as God’s, claims, names, blesses, and equips
us. God nourishes us, comforts us and carries us; and most of all God
Loves us as we are and for who we really are!
names are written in heaven is not because of a fluke, not because of
our work, not because of our correct faith, not because of our
hanging on to or our letting go of our histories.
names are written in heaven simply because God wants it so, out of
love for us.
the Colours set for our Names to be revealed.
Biden praises current Vice-President Pence as a decent guy.
reminded that Pence is the most anti-GLBTQ elected leader in the US.
So Biden walks
back his praise for Pence.
reminds us of a reality we have known about since our first conscious thoughts,
which we often think we have forgotten about, but which we cannot escape.
While Biden is
reminded about the sin of another human, and how it has terrible consequences
in our world, today’s Gospel reminds of God’s fantastic goodness and glory,
which also has consequences in our daily lives. Those consequences are awe-fully
frightening and wonderful. And we are sent to bring those consequences to bear
on those who need them the most, the poor, the disenfranchised, the reviled and
rejected, and the hungry; and most of all today the Gospel reminds us that
Jesus sends us to bring the consequence of whole health to those caught by the
demons of our time, not only but also people captive to even the worst mental
God from Cloud
Followed by exorcism, or demonic healing
The natural, or willful, consequences of transfiguration are Healing,
whole life healing
We are different
Sinners also saints
Assured children of God, we
enter challenges differently, confidently as bring God’s blessings, even to the
worse experiences, the worst human behavior.
We behave so as to bring blessings, healing, health to all whom we
encounter, even the most unfigured, chaotic, chaos creating people.
The extraordinary Transfiguration
Figuration- Three are present, Jesus, Moses, Elijah
One from the present, two
from the past,
God’s will is known by two who come from being in God’s presence, God’s
will is given a figure or concrete vision for disciples to see.
Jesus, the one of this world, our daily reality, encountering E and M is
disfigured, changed to dazzling white. Bedazzling might be the better
Unfiguration – Peter coming to full alertness/consciousness from dozing,
tries to give meaning to what he sees, simple booths, temples, shelters, from the
Festival of Booths or Tabernacles, housing of God’s presence in this world.
Peter misses, so simple it is not, and the figures with Jesus dissolve
into the cloud.
Jesus shines bedazzlingly so and God’s voice speaks directly, to whom
this is: this is God’s son in whom God is pleased.
And the transfiguration changes all present:
They are different.
2016 Working Preacher: Cláudio Carvalhaes, Associate Profesor of Worship, Union
Theological Seminary NY, NY
Consequences in mundane world
Mandela, against abuse of white guards, of white racism in apartheid, of
degradation in prison for 25 years: not revenge, not anti-apartheid;
Mutual respect, reconciliation processes
Chaos, Creation, Corruption-Chaos, Recreation as Blessed
Consequences for Jesus
Heals the boy, drives out the demons
Consequences for Peter
Still denies Jesus,
But eventually comes to be leader of the church of Jesus’ Way.
We go out to encounter all we can, to bring blessing and healing and order/creation
– and awareness of God,
Imagination of literature
Speaks reality, makes part of reality available to us not previously
Like Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Augustine, Luther, Star
Wars, Star Trek, Invictus, West Wing,
we bring the gift of imagination of reality which reflects God as
creator, Jesus as his son, the Holy Spirit as our guide, comforter and
Our imaginations recognize God’s real blessings in us, in our lives, in
Imagination of literature (fiction) helps us know reality
force be with you: HS, dark side: evil
We learn to see mimetic truths
That message of Jesus was more so: no more scapegoating, sacrificing
others, Only forgiveness
Mysteries of faith
We proclaim that Christ is present in the Bread and Wine, n our hearts,
in our lives,
Creating blessed life
Creating saints out of sinners who remain always sinners.
for example, one of the most awarded TV programs ever, presented a
reality that ought to have been, a caring, vulnerable, brilliant and wise
president, not without limits, so real
But really capable of leading and being the leader of the free world,
addressing illnesses, and making possible the rising to succeed him, a Latino
president. Not presented in any widely consumed media, the brilliant wisdom and
the example of a Latino president, paved the path for the first actual
non-white president to be elected: Barak Obama.
What does this mean for us?
Us sinners made Saints only by God’s grace?
Everyday God present,
Whether we feel it, know it, recognize it
We can trust it
We can dare to bring healing to most chaotic situations and people
Even love our enemies
Yet, We are not in control
Not Jedi controlling the Force
Not wizards with wands controlling the elements of magical world
Not writers of reality, like a screen writer, controlling other people
Not God, nor gods, not controllers of god’s will
We are reflectors, conduits, instruments of Christ’s light, Christ’s
healing presence, the Holy Spirit’s empowering sinners to be saints.
We are not in control; we surrender control to God’s will
We are not people who impose our wills on others, or each other
We are listeners, we are earthen vessels of wisdom, a wisdom that we
cannot control or fully contain, restrain, or realize.
We are beggars, waiting, praying, hoping, acting out blessings, sharing
what is entrusted to us.
We are those who watch for, notice and point others to see the power of
God transfiguring us, all of us,
We are transfigured to be what God intended us to be, that sin has
stolen from us, bound us away from, blinded us to seeing and being,
This process is unending; we never arrive or are done.
We always learn more, anew, how God intends us to be blessings for each
other, for the poor, hungry, enslaved, the ridiculed … especially our enemies.
To see the figure of God, to watch it be disfigured, and then
un-figured, and then transfigured is a frightening experience,
A daily experience if we do not shut ourselves out of Gods’ creation.
And Christ comes and calls us, do not be frightened.
Instead surrender to the new creation that Christ brings, be bold, even
bold enough to sin in our incomplete efforts to be blessings to others.
Here is Christ’s body. Here is Christ’s blood.
Eat and Drink, for we are the body of Christ, we bring his life force,
his blood, to the world, to heal it of all its ills and ailments.