Immersed in Love: We Are Born - February 18, 2018

“What impressed Nicodemus even more than [Jesus’] speech was the quickening of his own breathing and the pounding of his own heart. He hadn’t felt like that since his first pair of long pants, his first kiss, since the time his first child was born or the time they’d told him he didn’t have lung-cancer but just a touch of the flu.”

~ Frederick Buechner

Pitching Tents - February 11, 2018

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"Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home." ~ C. S. Lewis

"To journey for the sake of saving our own lives is little by little to cease to live in any sense that really matters, even to ourselves, because it is only by journeying for the world's sake—even when the world bores and sickens and scares you half to death—that little by little we start to come alive."          
~ Frederick Buechner

Big Expense - January 28, 2018

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"If you love Jesus Christ more than you fear human judgment, then you will not only speak of compassion, but act with it. Compassion means seeing your friend and your enemy in equal need, and helping both equally. It demands that you seek and find the stranger, the broken, the prisoner, and comfort him and offer him your help. Herein lies the holy compassion of God that causes the devil much distress."

~ Mechthild of Magdeburg (ca.1207-ca.1294) 

Big Calling - January 21, 2018

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“The first words about the Christian life are not
      
about what we as individuals can experience,
but about the kind of society God intends.
The gospel, or good news, is that in Christ,
   God’s coming kingdom is breaking
    into the here and now—
    in the depths of the believer’s heart,
    but also in the world itself.
This kingdom encompasses
    economic, material,
        psychological, political,
            social and spiritual existence.”

~ Charles Moore

 

Big Light - January 7, 2018

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Preparation for Worship

When the song of the angel is stilled,
      When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,

      When the shepherds are back with their flock
The work of Christmas begins:

      To find the lost,
To heal the broken,

      To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,

      To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers and sisters,

      To make music in the heart.

           ~ Howard Thurman (1900-1981)

How We Wait: Grounded - December 24, 2017

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What the Donkey Saw
No room in the inn, of course,
And not that much in the stable,
What with the shepherds, Magi, Mary,
Joseph, the heavenly host—
Not to mention the baby
Using our manger as a cot.
You couldn’t have squeezed another cherub in
For love nor money.
Still, in spite of the overcrowding,
I did my best to make them feel wanted.
I could see the baby and I
Would be going places together.

~ U.A. Fanthorpe (1929-2009)

How We Wait: Believing - December 24, 2017 AM

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  Annunciation
    This was the moment no one speaks of,
    When she could still refuse.
    A breath unbreathed,
        Spirit,
              suspended,
                     waiting.
    She did not cry, “I cannot, I am not worthy,”
    Nor, “I have not the strength.”
    She did not submit with gritted teeth,
        raging, coerced.
    Bravest of all humans,
        consent illuminated her.
    The room filled with its light,
    the lily glowed in it,
        and the iridescent wings.
    Consent, 
        courage unparalleled,
opened her utterly.
                 

~ Denise Levertov

How We Wait: Surrounded - December 17, 2017

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Text: Matthew 1:1-16

“Was there a moment, known only to God, when all the stars held their breath, when the galaxies paused in their dance for a fraction of a second, and the Word, who had called it all into being, went with all his love into the womb of a young girl, and the universe started to breathe again, and the ancient harmonies resumed their song, and the angels clapped their hands for joy?

Jesus was the firstborn of many brethren. I stand on the deck of my cottage, looking at the sky full of God's children, and know that I am one of them.”

~ Madeleine L'Engle (1918-2007)

How We Wait: Faltering - December 10, 2017

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Text: Isaiah 40:1-11

“If everyone were holy and handsome, with "alter Christus" shining in neon lighting from them, it would be easy to see Christ in everyone. If Mary had appeared in Bethlehem clothed, as St. John says, with the sun, a crown of twelve stars on her head, and the moon under her feet, then people would have fought to make room for her. But that was not God's way for her, nor is it Christ's way for himself, now when he is disguised under every type of humanity that treads the earth.”   

                                                           ~ Dorothy Day (1897-1980)

JOSEPH: A Life of Many Colors - Learning to Say Thanks and Yes - November 12, 2017

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"Days pass and the years vanish and we walk sightless among miracles. Lord, fill our eyes with seeing and our minds with knowing. Let there be moments when your Presence, like lightning, illumines the darkness in which we walk. Help us to see, wherever we gaze, that the bush burns, unconsumed. And we, clay touched by God, will reach out for holiness and exclaim in wonder, 'How filled with awe is this place and we did not know it.'"

~ Jewish Sabbath Prayer 

JOSEPH: A Life of Many Colors - Choosing Forgiveness - November 5, 2017

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“The most characteristic feature of the humility of Jesus is his forgiveness and acceptance of others. By contrast, our non-acceptance and lack of forgiveness keep us in a state of agitation and unrest. Our resentments reveal that the signature of Jesus still is not written on our lives. The truest sign of union with the crucified Christ is our forgiveness of those who have perpetrated injustices against us. Without acceptance and forgiveness, the dark night will be only that. The bottom line will be a troubled heart.”

~ Brennan Manning