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Worship Materials: Epiphany

THEME: The Interplay Between the Inner and Outer Worlds. The Journey to the place where we once began

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Out of this House

Out of this house where there is no room
For the little ones that to him belong
(He is weak but he is God)

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Topics: Belief, Spiritual Exploration & Practice, and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 4: Act As We Believe. Seasons & Special Events: Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. Resource Types: Liturgical Element, Poetry, and Readings.

The Risk of Birth, Christmas 1973

A poem by Madeleine L'Engle

This is no time for a child to be born,
With the earth betrayed by war & hate
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out & the sun burns late.

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The Outside Shed

The outside shed where Jesus lay
Was home to goat and ox;
It was a dirty place to be;
Fit for the shepherds’ flocks;

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Finding Meaning in Christmas

This Christmas holiday week I plan to slow down and reflect on the year that has passed. I will set time aside to find some peace, joy, focus, forgiveness, thankfulness, and renewal for my own soul before the next year begins. I want to take some extra time to just be, and breath, and feel gratitude and joy. The best present I may receive this year may simply be the opportunity to be present. And maybe in that presence I will more deeply experience the very presence and Spirit of my own divinity.

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The Greatest Birth Story Ever?

Luke 1:26-38, a sermon for Advent 4B

Imagine what it must have been like for the early followers of the man Jesus of Nazareth; a peasant, rabbi, radical, and disturber of the peace, executed as a political threat to the Pax Romana. Jesus of Nazareth went to his death insisting that peace through victory was no peace at all. Jesus of Nazareth proclaimed the radical notion that peace, true peace can only be established and maintained through justice.Peace, true peace, is the result of everyone having enough. Distributive justice which ensures that the poor and the powerless, the marginalized and the despised have all they need to live in peace.It was such a radically dangerous notion that the powers that be could not let it live.

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Keeping Christmas Well: a Christmas Resurrection Story

a sermon for Advent 4B

I used to think that A Christmas Carol was the story of Scrooge’s metamorphosis. The scene in the movie were Scrooge realizes that it is Christmas morning and that life doesn’t have to be the way it has always been and he does that wonderful dance and sings: “I don’t know anything! I never did know anything all on a Christmas morning!” I always thought of that wonderful dance as the culmination of Scrooge’s metamorphosis, like a butterfly bursting forth from a cocoon. But now I see it for what it really is. It is a dance of resurrection. For Scrooge was dead. Dead and gazing at his own tombstone, when suddenly, and suddenly for me always indicates the work of the Spirit, suddenly, Scrooge realizes that what he is seeing are only the shadows of things that might be. Suddenly, Scrooge knows “that men’s deeds foreshadow certain ends. But if the deeds be departed from surely the ends will change!” Scrooge is born again and is able to declare with confidence, “I’m not the man I was.” And so, the resurrected Scrooge becomes all that God intended him to be.

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A Christmas Letter to my Community of Readers

I want to express my gratitude to you for being part of this effort. The idea that we could put online a serious adult Bible study and contemporary issue subscription service that would attempt to breach the gap between the Christian academy and the Christian pew and to help us all learn how to think theologically in a new way, was once nothing more than a dream. Each of you has helped to turn that dream into a reality.

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Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

John O’Donohue, poet, philosopher, and scholar, guides you through the spiritual landscape of the Irish imagination. In Anam Cara, Gaelic for “soul friend,” the ancient teachings, stories, and blessings of Celtic wisdom provide such profound insights on the universal themes of friendship, solitude, love, and death.

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If Passion Urges Us (St. Michael and the Dragon)

From the Boundless Life collection

If passion urges us to take
Our inner dragon’s life;
If we think Michael’ s sword of force
Can quell our inner strife

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Peia “Machi”- Four Great Winds

This sacred music is absolutely ethereal and enchanting. with a voice like an angel, Peia takes us on a journey that is a meditation, a prayer and a celebration weaved into one. This song speaks of healing power and medicine of Woman, the Moon and the Earth Herself. A Machi is a medicine woman and sometime also a medicine man. May the images here remind us all what a miracle this life is. May we see that though tender and vulnerable our Earth is wise and resilliant beyond all measure. “Where there is Love there is Life ” and here there is a lot of Love. Blessed Be.

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