Jesus, Gandhi, and MLK – A Very Salty Trio: a sermon for Epiphany 5A

  Rereading this sermon from 2014, I am struck by the power of Jesus, Gandhi, and MLK’s saltiness to address our current need for seasoning! In the wake of the tragedy at the Islamic Cultural Centre in …

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Looking For, or Looking?

It’s an epiphany – the biblical Greek word for a sudden appearance or manifestation – to discover the difference between looking for and just looking. When I’m just looking, I see things I miss when I’m looking for.. like incarnations of God.

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An Epiphany Prayer

O God of Light and Life:
We are thankful that you illuminate our dark places

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A Progressive Prayer of Christ

O God, our Divine Parent, may your presence be ever revered. May your peace and justice dwell among us. May your love and compassion live within and between us. Nourish us daily with the necessities of life; sustenance for our bodies, and inspiration for our spirits.

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O Sapientia — Wisdom’s Feast

The butterfly lives in a seamless realm, a matrix, poetically in the palm of God/dess’s hand, not alien or estranged. Is it possible for us to find that kind of confidence, or trust in the nature of the Universe itself? Let’s take a moment or two to think about Wisdom, and our place in the Universe. What kind of liturgy, or worship experience, would celebrate the kind of inclusive, nurturing community the butterfly knows without thinking about it?

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Three Faiths Carol

Hymn words by Shirley Erena Murray

Now the star of Christmas
shines into our day,
points a new direction:
change is on the way –

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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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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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Who is this Herod in my heart

From the Boundless Life collection

Who is this Herod in my heart
That seeks to kill the child?
It is the one who measures life
Till all is weighed and filed;

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Glory Everywhere (Matthew 17:1-13)

Jesus was executed by the Romans and died a tragic death. But then afterward, we hear the voice of God’s messenger telling the women who had come to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ dead body with spices: “He is not here, He has been raised.” God validated and vindicated Jesus’ life, message, and ministry by raising him from the dead. God had not abandoned Jesus. God was with Jesus through the whole ordeal. And when we get to the end of Matthew’s Gospel the cosmic Christ tells the disciples, “I will be with you through everything, even until the end of the age.” The Really Real, the risen Christ, the cosmic Christ, the Holy Spirit (use whatever name you prefer) is with us through all of life, in times of joy and hope, and in times of pain and disappointment.

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Appalachia Poster Child for Systemic Injustice: West Virginia A Theological Challenge for the Third Sunday After the Epiphany

In Matthew’s midrash of Isaiah’s prophecy, Jesus tours all over Galilee, teaching in the synagogues, curing all kinds of diseases, and proclaiming that God’s kingdom has come. The verses in Chapter 4 selected by the creators of the Revised Common Lectionary for the third Sunday after the Epiphany are the preface to Matthew 5:1 through 7:29, the great Sermon on the Mount. Jesus walks by the Sea of Galilee, and invites his disciples to leave their nets and become “fishers for people,” traditionally interpreted to mean saving souls from hell. But John Dominic Crossan, points out that Jesus could have brought his message anywhere in Roman occupied Judea. Why Galilee? Why Capernaum?

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Food for Thought: February 2 – The Presentation of the Lord

In the midst of the liturgical progression from Epiphany to Lent, tradition calls the church back to the mundane details of Jesus’ infancy. Luke’s Chapter 2 fills in the story from birth to circumcision to presentation as the first-born son to the coming-of-age of a gifted religious leader anointed by God. In The First Christmas (HarperOne, 2007), Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan suggest that Luke’s purpose was to set up the birth of the Jewish Messiah as a counter to the birth of the Roman Caesar – also hailed as the “Savior, Redeemer, Son of God.” The scene in the temple in Jerusalem confirms the child Jesus as the expected one who would redeem Israel from bondage to imperial injustice and oppression.

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The Three Wise Men’s Boogaloo

Written 23 December 1990

High steppin’ camels one by one
See the wise men boogaloo
Down to Bethlehem to have some fun

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LIfe Our Vision

In this New Year, let us lift our vision of what we can do and what we can achieve:

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The Wise Men Visit

1. Ancient stars would shed their light,
Shining bright, both day and night;
Heralding some wondrous birth
Of some god’s descent to earth;

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Theology from Exile: Commentary on the Revised Common Lectionary for an Emerging Christianity: The Year of Luke

The Year of Luke is the first in a series of commentaries on biblical scripture found in the three-year cycle of Christian liturgical readings of the Revised Common Lectionary. Instead of interpreting these readings as a precursor …

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