Sunday, April 30, 2006

May 28, 2006 - Year B -Easter 7

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
Psalm 1
1 John 5:9-13
John 17:6-19

What is your name, your character, your nature?

Might it be Protecter?

Might it be Eternal?

Might it be Ent? [giant tree-like creatures who have become like the trees they shepherd and protect]

Might it be Prophet?

To which of these passages are you drawn? What would be your Myers-Briggs assessment of the personality of each name or passage? If you use a different personality descriptor, what attributes would you give to each character or nature in these passages?

As you look at the communities which which you spend the most time, what is their name, character, nature and your place within such? What needs to change within yourself and your community that your name might be more clearly lived and not simply be an appellation.

May 21, 2006 - Year B -Easter 6

Acts 10:44-48
Psalm 98
1 John 5:1-6
John 15:9-17

Completed joy is something yearned for and yet resisted in light of the joy of the journey.

Conquering joy is something we know all too much about. It is the thrill of victory with nary a trace of the agony of defeat. An impulse to power and connecting that with joy excuses all too many acts of violence, including that preeminent one of war.

Righteous joy conditions us to a legal approach to living and sharing. Judgment and equity, to be joyful, must end up on our side. Any bias toward the poor can be shredded by an appeal to righteous living as evidenced by a claim to joy through property, status, or any other hierarchical system.

Ecstatic joy brings us full circle when we use it as a measuring rod for completedness.

May 14, 2006 - Year B -Easter 5

Acts 8:26-40
Psalm 22:25-31
1 John 4:7-21
John 15:1-8

To know and to be known, inside out, is a great pleasure and a great threat. As we look at these passages we wrestle with boundarys of intrinsic and shared worth.

What abides in you? An alien waiting to punch through your chest? A waiting prodigal parent? Can you abide being abided in? What then of myself? Do I live or am I but alive when lived through?

As G*D abides in me am I to so abide in others? What does that do to my control of self and others? Does being loved mean I get what I need as an infant, I get to reject it in adolescence, I can always come back to it? Is love contingent upon my response?

Where does this come into play with faithful mothers and over-protective mothers and hurtful mothers? What about the mother part of each one of us, whether biologic mothers or not?

May 7, 2006 - Year B -Easter 4

Acts 4:5-12
Psalm 23
1 John 3:16-24
John 10:11-18

Definitions define. "I am the definer", to modify a phrase.

Is my life taken or given? I am the definer.
Are my actions loving or not? I am the definer.
Am I walking through a dark valley or a green pasture? I am the definer.
Is this healing from Jesus or spontaneous regeneration? I am the definer.

Are all definitions equal, dictionary-wise? Are all definitions up for grab, Humpty Dumpty-wise? Where does my definition end and yours begin? Can I define you out if you define me in?

What needs better defining in your life and in the life of the community of faith and of living that you participate in?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

April 30, 2006 - Year B -Easter 3

Acts 3:12-19
Psalm 4
1 John 3:1-7
Luke 24:36b-48

Peace goes beyond the comfort of ignorance or being consciously deceived. A way to peace is through awareness of sin and suffering and a moving beyond them by steps, individual and communal, to a place of safety in gladness.

As the week proceeds we prepare ourselves for a holistic peace beyond a piecemeal peace.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

April 23, 2006 - Year B -Easter 2

Acts 4:32-35
Psalm 133
1 John 1:1 - 2:2
John 20:19-31

It is one thing to look toward what we might have in common as property. It is another thing to find ourselves in common regarding vision and hope.

As we follow along to find where we have our commonality it will be important to remember the differences that will help sharpen the similarities and keep them alive past any present moment of confluence.

A clue to us will be those points of humor where we recognize how silly we have been and how open the future continues to be.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

April 16, 2006 - Year B -Easter

Acts 10:34-43 or Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
I Corinthians 15:1-11 or Acts 10:34-43
John 20:1-18 or Mark 16:1-8

Sabbath is prelude. There is evening (1) and morning (2). The first day of the week begins again. A new earth and new heaven continue underway.

Easter is tied with these progressions.

Our difficulty is that of taking a snapshot and trying to see it in three- or four- or more-D. In some sense we are vaccinated, year by year, with the static theory of eggs and bunnies and butterflies. We have a devil of a time getting our minds around resurrection, whether it be resuscitation or reincarnation or some other re-.

Mark might well be our guide here with his dramatic ending of fear and silence. Without these Easter is but a variation on a bonnet parade, full of sound and fury, signifying naught.

What is your fear and silence quotient this year?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

April 9, 2006 - Year B -Palm/Passion Sunday

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
Mark 11:1-11 or John 12:12-16
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16
Philippians 2:5-11
Mark 14:1-15:47 or Mark 15:1-39, (40-47)

Passion or Palm Sunday? Some years one seems more appropriate to the situation than the other. There is also the reality of ruts and we keep focusing on one or the other, year after year.

How might we continue to hold these two in tension as we need both to walk steadily along taking events as they come (Palm emphasis) and to recognize our aversion to tough spots and to keep them ever before us as a way of looking at the world (Passion emphasis).

My bias is for Palm Sunday and to let the troubles of tomorrow take care of themselves in due time. There is a surfeit of being able to find the downside of life and a deficit of finding something to celebrate in the direst of situations.