Progressive Christian Lent Course 2015

How do you account for / explain the different versions of the same event? To what extent does it matter in your understanding and experience of Jesus that the details that describe such a fundamental event in his life are not an agreed Gospel record across Mark, Matthew and Luke? Why did John ignore all the details of the baptism of Jesus?

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The “End Times” Scenario

Creation through God, the Divine Force — humans look to the facts
As I write this, even as you read it — those are certain human acts

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Word Jazz

To be recited with the accompaniment of a saxophone

In the beginning is the Word
W-O-R-D
And the Word is with God
And the Word is God
And the Word is the bird
That Jesus talked about

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Worship Materials: Transfiguration

From the Festive Worship collection

THEME The Vision that Transforms
THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION
1. To see Christ in another human being is illumination. To see Christ in all human beings is transfiguration.

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God Is the Rock

From the Boundless Life collection

God is the rock of mystic presence,
Christ is the rock that points the way,
Earth is the rock that births our life-force ,
Flesh is the rock where lovers play.

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Life to the Full

In being baptised by John, Jesus recognised that a new phase of his life was beginning. John was also publicly acknowledging that a new abundant phase of life for the world was also beginning

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Worship Materials: The Baptism of Jesus

THEME: Awareness of Divinity –
Access to our Inner Well.
Immersion in water –
Immersion in the Earth’s life.

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Seven Things We Forget When Our Resolutions Fail

Our resolutions fail around the sixth day of January—or maybe the fifteenth if we’re really disciplined and really imaginative and really motivated—not because our inner child/artist/ is injured, or because we don’t actually want to change.

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Eve, Adam, and Self Transformation

The theme for this month’s e-bulletin is transforming our lives. Probably the most famous statement of self transformation in western culture is the Yahwist narrative of Eve and Adam in the Garden of Eden. The story describes what we might call a negative transformation- the pair “fell” from a state of childlike innocence and were banished from paradise. Understanding that transformation, however, can help us to reverse it. Here’s the story.

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Transformation

Jesus called on people to change. Not just a little, but dramatically. The ‘kingdom of God’ is the term Jesus used to express his vision of a profound transformation of human beings and human institutions—social, political, economic and religious—to fully express the character and nature of God—a God of love. To accomplish this vision, Jesus worked toward the creation of a new kind of community dedicated to values of compassion, generosity, peace, and justice. He was creating a movement for change, a people engaged in a vast conspiracy of love.

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The Need to Transform

I find it fascinating that an institution which at its very core is about transformation, does all it can to resist change. Ironically from its earliest manifestations, the Christian path has always been about transformation. The Jesus story is first and foremost about changing our perspective, our purpose and ultimately our lives. What else but transformation could the story of a poor peasant who becomes a respected rabbi, a teacher of a new way of living, mean? How else can we interpret the intent of Jesus’ actual teachings like breaking down social barriers, forgiving our enemies and loving abundantly without qualifications than with steps to an inner and social transformation? What could being spiritually born again mean other than transformation? What does the symbol of resurrection mean other than transformation?

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The Bible as Personal Transformation Guide

The Bible is, in my mind, the best witness the Western World had to the evolution of human consciousness. That is a story in itself – I’m working on the book. However, what is true on the grand scale of one tradition’s journey toward wholeness is also true as a map for our personal growth. We can see the ages and stages of our own lives against the background of the biblical story. I will touch on some main points.

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