Thursday, May 31, 2007

"Trinity" Sunday – C3

"Trinity" Sunday – C3

Years C
Romans 5:1-5

Paul has here an interesting progression that begins with suffering and ends with G*D's love. I'm sure there is good legal reasoning in the context of the times of its writing for moving in this direction, but it feels odd.

If we begin with a completed state of action (we are justified), how do we then enter into a series that seems to begin with the incomplete. Suffering qua suffering doesn't have much going for it. Suffering needs something else to complete itself - endurance. This goes up some ladder to character, to hope, and to G*D's love. It is almost as if one needs to be sure to suffer in order to be able to move toward G*D's love.

If we are going to build on the completedness of justification, it would seem to be stronger to begin with the completed assurance of G*D's love that has already been poured into our hearts (might that be all hearts as part of a universal salvation). Then, growing from G*D's love we will be open to hope in every situation. This hope becomes our basic character allowing us to endure every disappointment and crucifixion, even suffering, with a hope built on the surety of G*D's love already and ever present. G*D's love results in a sense of wholeness in every other part of our lives.

It's a little thing, but sequence can be of the utmost importance and this is a significant sequence to see which way around works for you and yours.

= = = = = = =

wisdom spirituality calls experience
wonder of life
in all its complexity
to dance and live fully in this world
to choose life in all its abundance

trusting God’s grace and wisdom
embrace life in its many dimensions
joy and sorrow
peace and conflict
living and dying

grow seeds
in every encounter

[Note: this is a reformatted comment found on the Process and Faith website.]

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"Trinity" Sunday – C2

"Trinity" Sunday – C2

Years C
Psalm 8

The first seven Psalms are prayers for help. Symbolically that would be all the prayers for help that would ever need to be prayed. Then comes Psalm 8, a hymn.

It seems appropriate to have this be a hymn, for, after praying prayers for help, we do finally have to give that over and simply sing for yet being alive. We begin to catch a glimpse of how our prayers for help might be settled without divine intervention.

First, to recognize the gift of creation - vast and venerable. There is a soft, far-off hymn of creation and new creation going on independent of ourselves. How, then, can we keep from singing?

Second, to claim an important spot in relationship to gods and angels. We have authority to make a difference in the situations we find ourselves.

Third, to know such importance does not mean domination. Our dominion, care, is not exploitative of creation nor over one another.

When these three become clear, we sing our little hearts out.

= = = = = = =

a name is not a name is not a name
it is very significant
signifying both potential and completion
it is very magnificent
magnifying this moment and opportunity

what creation has been
what creation yet is becoming
these call back and forth
each responding to a line in play
a veritable variation upon variation

rising from the ground
we care for the ground
tilling it with sweat
that it might become
sweet soil for all

rising from the ground
never loses touch with the ground
lest our groundless anger
be lethally grounded
in another's sweet song

[Note: Try a goldbergian variation. To try some more go to and try those that end in ".mid".]

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"Trinity" Sunday – C1

"Trinity" Sunday – C1

Years C
Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31

In verse 30, one word 'amown identifies three different ways of being with G*D: "master worker", "nursing child" or "confident".

It is important to play all three parts, as well as some others. If we find ourselves confined to one relationship with G*D we are as poor as when we have a single relationship with those dear to us.

These can cycle within a day, week, or month. If we lose track of one of these for more than a month, we may have lost it for a goodly amount of time.

It may be time for another refrigerator door chart that indicates a date and the categories of "master worker", "nursing child" and "confident". At the end of each day, reflect back about how often you found yourself in a particular category. At the end of the week, reflect on what this tells you about your relationship with G*D and how it might need to be tweaked.

The same exercise can be done in your relationship to family, community, nation, creation. Again, how healthy/whole is that relationship and what might enhance it?

= = = = = = =

a Lord has acquired me
at the beginning of this week's cycle
before the details and import
of the days ahead is clarified

assignments have been given
tools and gifts distributed
energy and authority granted
time to get to work

sabbath time comes regularly
nursing us with assurance
pleasure comfort and promise
time to pause and plan

from what we learn
we turn to teach
confident in received confidence
time to refine and evolve

another week established
another day circled
in the face of too much future
we receive rejoicing and delight

Monday, May 28, 2007

"Trinity" Sunday – B

"Trinity" Sunday – B

Years B
Isaiah 6:1-8
Psalm 29
Romans 8:12-17
John 3:1-17

It is so obvious that six wings divided by twos equals trinity. So we force our concepts into places where they should fear to go.

For the moment, presume Isaiah and the Psalmist are Trinitarians. Note the outcome and who cares about the labeling - freed from guilt/sin blotted out, strengthened people/blessed with peace.

Note the Trinity in the Romans passage: ourselves - G*D - Christ. Now aren't you excited enough to go share a glory of release with those you come in contact with!

= = = = = = =

poor Nicodemus
he has lost his metaphorical thinking
and doesn't know where to find it

of childhood he remembers not
only age and size count
that will change, but not yet

flesh gives birth to flesh
spirit to spirit
and both rejoice in each other

where were you born
where will you be born
conceive a womb without walls

life is pregnant with us
should we have eyes to see
and G*D is midwife

so far we are up to 70x7 births
with more to come
for a metaphor never ends

throughout life we play each part
interacting with others
assisting one another's birth process

at the last Nicodemus
finds a 7th next birth
as a bringer of myrrh and aloes

[directly inspired by "God: Beyond the Colouring Book" by Peter Barns]

Sunday, May 27, 2007

"Trinity" Sunday – A

"Trinity" Sunday – A

Years A
Genesis 1:1-2:4a
Psalm 8
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Matthew 28:16-20

It is easy to see how we can get to a Christian doctrine of Trinity from the Christian scriptures. This does seem to be significant jump from the Jewish scriptures and their focus upon G*D being one.

It is next to impossible to tell whether Trinitarian language rolled trippingly off the tongue of Jesus or was put in his mouth. It is possible to tell that this is a uniquely Christian doctrine. As such it has gotten in the way of Christian talking to Christian as well as between someone who is a Christian and someone who is not.

Ultimately this construct, no matter how helpful some think it is, needs to take a back seat to an appeal to live in peace (2 Cor. 13:11). This peace begins to be seen with three key (but not exclusive or exhaustive) descriptions of peace as grace, love, communion.

= = = = = = =

heads trip on making patterns
where none is to be found

hearts trip on breaking patterns
where too many are present

Friday, May 25, 2007

Pentecost – C4

Pentecost – C4

Years C
John 14:8-17, (25-27)

In prayer and in fear we ask for assurance. Just show us G*D and we'll be satisfied! Of course we would like to do Moses one better and see more than G*D's hindquarters. How about a glimpse of G*D's hand, that would satisfy us for a while. Then, perhaps, a glimpse of a strong right arm....

We ask the same things of Peace, Justice, and some Patriotic Way. Just show us -- for our dualistic thoughts keep compartmentalizing life in such a way we are blinded to what is already present. To see G*D in another is not a lesser seeing than face-to-face beyond dim mirrors.

Pentecost stories continue in a transformation of fear and separation into honor expanded to all and satisfaction in who we are. In this presentness we move forward into ways and works deemed impossible just a bit ago.

= = = = = = =

A Satisfied Mind
Nortons - 3 minutes
A Satisfied Mind
Ben Harper & Blind Boys of Alabama - 9 minutes

Written by J. H. "Red" Hayes & Jack Rhodes

How many times have you heard someone say,
"If I had his money, I could do things my way."
But little they know that it's so hard to find
One rich man in Ten with a satisfied mind.

Once I was winning in fortune and fame;
Everything that I dreamed of to get a start in life's game.
But suddenly it happened, I lost every dime,
But I'm richer by far with a satisfied mind.

Money can't buy back your youth when you're old
Or a friend when you're lonesome or a love that's grown cold;
The wealthiest person is a pauper at times
Compared to the man with a satisfied mind.

When life is over, my time has run out,
My friends and my loved ones I'll leave, there's no doubt.
But one thing for certain, when it comes my time,
I'll leave this old world with a satisfied mind.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Pentecost – C3

Pentecost – C3

Years C
Romans 8:14-17 or Acts 2:1-21

A bowed head can indicate either prayer or fear. Either way, Lift up your head!

Hopefully our prayers can deal with our fears and we do not remain with bowed heads. We can talk about the dynamics needed to move beyond fear and to move forward in prayer in many different ways. Sometimes it is helpful to visualize this head-raising.

Here is an exercise from one of the listserves I monitor regarding the lectionary to see what can happen when we are honored to be connected with G*D and Neighbor: "A few years ago I made a "Pentecost Person"--a small salad-dressing bottle with a balloon over the opening, and vinegar in the bottle, and baking soda in the balloon, so that when I lifted up his head, the baking soda fell into the vinegar, there was a chemical reaction and it filled his head, so he was no longer despondent, but full of purpose (the Spirit) [honor]. I had drawn a face on the balloon before installing it; I put a 'robe' of white paper on her, even had a little red ribbon like a stole over her shoulders, and it was cute and effective. I can't remember how much baking soda in proportion to the vinegar--perhaps someone can help out here--but it sure made a good children's story."

Try it.

= = = = = = =

a heritage back to creation
an anticipation forward to paradise
we find ourselves in good position
honored by both
honorably living both

when in a good position
we can afford good posture
lift up your head
arise fearful one
arise prayerful one

in grace we find connection
backward and forward
move on
in common cause
deeper and wider

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pentecost – C2

Pentecost – C2

Years C
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b

All creatures look to G*D for sustenance in due season. Different feedings for different creatures.

A first reflection about due seasons: they always seem more overdue than they are. We hunger and thirst for food and justice and drink and peace on a regular basis and find that they are available on a sporadic basis. So, is G*D overtaxed with these sorts of details? Are we on a different schedule than G*D, with a short-term view of a long-term process?

Second, food is a broad category for the filling of a hunger. In light of a Pentecostal room with folks tucked away in prayer - fire might be food, wind might be food. We are strengthened again and go forth to speak in terms of another's language rather than insisting on our own experience.

Are you due some food from G*D? Are you sure?

= = = = = = =

meditate pleasingly

avoid the imposition of past meditations
avoid the rule of traditions

please G*D and please neighbor
please self and please enemy

please without pleasing
please within pleasing

meditate on pleasure
meditate in pleasure

pleasingly meditate

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Pentecost – C1

Pentecost – C1

Years C
Acts 2:1-21 or Genesis 11:1-9

Trying to take control in order to be on top leads inevitably to confusion. Take a look at any political process, even dictatorial ones, and it becomes apparent that common interest soon loses out to partisanship. We can claim we are after the same goal and even use the same words to describe it, but when the day ends we are suspicious of the others for wanting to succeed so desperately. We know our suspicions are well-founded because, given half-a-chance, we would be glad to take the lead among equals.

We don't need to have G*D enter the picture to deliberately set folks at odds with themselves, they do plenty well all by themselves.

The real trick is to keep a focus on our differences that might be mobilized in the same direction. When our differences can be brought to bear on a subject we are able to make better decisions than when we are assuming we are all on the same page only to find we are not.

The value of Pentecostal language is its appreciation of the different languages and the perspectives they bring to the table. To try to tell someone else what is so very important to you when they obviously speak differently, is to better pare down to the most important what we have experienced.

What, then, is so important that you would be willing to learn a new language to be able to share it? Or is it only important enough for you to repeat it and repeat it in your own personal language with no concern whether or not it is heard?

= = = = = = =

god and adam and eve
talked each evening
there was agreement
and yet
a babelsnake
was able to confuse
them about one another

farsi english and swahili
yuwaalaraay hindi and aymaran
blue white-collared and monied
child teen and adult
and yet
a babelfish
enlightens our differences
with a gift of a new brainwave

[Never mind that Douglas Adams claims, "Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers between communications, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in existence."]

Monday, May 21, 2007

Pentecost – B

Pentecost – B

Years B
Acts 2:1-21 or Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
Romans 8:22-27 or Acts 2:1-21
John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

There are many things yet to be learned but they are beyond our current bearing of them. Until we can come to grips with this basic understanding of more to be learned - bones remain dry, labor pains continue, and we remain trapped in our current-sized room repeating ourselves in a single language to one another.

A needed breath of new creation, a new spirit, is needed as catalyst to transform what we don't know into an important category of life and renewal for us. Without this we are dusty dust, groaning groaners, sorrowing sorrowers.

Continuing the oneness image of I in you and you in them, the new comes to the old, unbidden. Consider this as a definition of Glory as well as an expression of Grace.

= = = = = = =

step out in faith with fear and trembling
a new vision comes beyond what we know

cast a new vision beyond what is yet known
fear and trembling become solid enough to stand on

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Pentecost – A

Pentecost – A

Years A
Acts 2:1-21 or Numbers 11:24-30
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13 or Acts 2:1-21
John 20:19-23 or John 7:37-39

How manifold are G*D's works! So many languages, so many gifts, so many prophesies, so many locked doors walked through, so many "Peace"s, so many breaths, so many rivers of living water.

This is a time to remember how these have been loosed in the past, to talk about how they are currently ebbing and flowing all around us, and to anticipate more blessings than can be counted.

While we can get caught up in the mechanisms of all this we are basically dealing with a song of hope and faith and love all mixed up in its themes and meters and keys.

A part of our task is to stand and proclaim, "What you are experiencing is real - don't deny it by blaming it on excess of one kind or another." More is going on than this world knows.

= = = = = = =

languages speak what they know
today is a day to focus on what we are saying
how we are saying what we are saying
going beyond whom we usually say what we say
there is a drive to communicate
we will even learn another language if need be
we will talk with our hands and our eyes
until our tongue connects with an ear
in camp or out of room
we will join gift to gift
forgiving past separations
calling Peace where there is none
until there is

Friday, May 18, 2007

Seventh Sunday of Easter – C4

Seventh Sunday of Easter – C4

Years C
John 17:20-26

To finish a season of resurrection we hear that Jesus, Resurrected One, is one with you and me (and all? following John 1:3). This unity, oneness, passes on not only creation but resurrection and ascension (binding earth and heaven together as per Jesus' Prayer). We are blessed with life, with life renewed, with life eternal.

To extend this to another four-letter word: we are blessed with love, with love renewed (forgiveness), with love eternal (steadfast).

Even though the language goes round and round, the point it makes is pretty straight-forward. A good way to bring the season to a close.

= = = = = = =

Here is a visual prayer fragment known as a mandala

The description of this mandala is:

The ellipse signifies an opening – opening into fresh and deeper insight, suspended between heaven and earth.

The sun ['son?] is inserted between the letters reminding us of light, warmth & forgiveness.

'i am' in the lower case, shelters in the strength of the great 'I AM'. The poet e.e.cummings always refers to himself in lower case letters.

The flowing water acts as a mirror reflecting the letters. Jesus says 'I am the Living Water'.

The reflected letters read 'NOW'; 'iam' is Latin for 'now'; more living water reveals 'I VOW'.

You may be interested in the source information that has more about spirituality and stillness and the round of I in them and you in me and ....

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Seventh Sunday of Easter – C3

Seventh Sunday of Easter – C3

Years C
Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21

What is omitted in this reading? "Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood." And, "I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book; if anyone takes away from the words of the book of prophecy, God will take away that person's share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book."

One way of justifying this elision is that this is Easter-time. This is a time of new life. It is enough to have a positive pull toward the water of life. A push away from a tree of life is not threat enough to make a needed difference in people's lives.

The omitted portions run contrary to a jail's open doors. In fact it relocks them. It denies the effectiveness of Jesus' testimony in the lives of people, his having been joined with people, and the divisions in the omissions would be a division of Jesus himself.

There may be times when focusing on punishment would be an effective tool, but it runs so contrary to the Easter message that it, here, gets in the way.

Questions: What other scripture passages need to be silenced during a season of Easter? Would that argue for their being silenced during other seasons as well, or would they be acceptable during a penitential season? When are we not basically in an Easter season?

= = = = = = =


come echoes

come comes

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Seventh Sunday of Easter – C2

Seventh Sunday of Easter – C2

Years C
Psalm 97

An upshot of G*D in heaven and all with the world being one, in a holistic sense, is an interplay of light and joy. These two intertwine each other in such ways that the warp and woof of life can hold all manner of patterns together. Light and joy are spirit equivalents of physics time and space. Just imagine the lightness-of-being fields that lift just where gravitational fields reshape our ground.

Light and Joy bend our lives, our journey trajectories, toward steadfast love. They do so in measurable ways so that we can begin to use them to further explore a vast universe of righteousness and justice ready to be employed in any number of ways.

In like manner, Righteousness and Justice bend our lives, our journey trajectories, toward steadfast love. They do so in measurable ways so that we can begin to use them to further explore a vast universe of light and joy ready to be set loose in any number of life's arenas.

= = = = = = =

let the earth rejoice
prisons be opened
righteousness and justice
shaken to their foundations
shaken until light and joy
burst forth in the dark
calming fiery fears
igniting thanks

Ascension of Jesus Christ – A, B, C - 4

Ascension of Jesus Christ – A, B, C - 4

Years A, B, C
Luke 24:44-53

Remembering the empty grave scene, after the Acts version of ascension we hear two guys in white as a Greek chorus telling folks to move on, there's nothing to see here, and as you saw him go so he will return.

Here in Luke we see a bit more about how Jesus went - opening their minds and blessing all the way home.

If we see Jesus in this fashion of open blessing, rather than the great police eye-in-the-sky waiting an opportune time to drop in to arrest and eternally imprison, then we need to pay attention to these signs of Jesus' return and our day-by-day living.

Where did you see openness going on this past week? Where was blessing present? Jesus was there, returned, remembered.

= = = = = = =

let's see

Jesus leaves
after opening minds
and blessing lives
disciples take their blessing
and bless G*D in return
in the temple blessing
still in the temple blessing
until it is a blessing cocooned
a potential blessing entombed
until two dressed in white
drop by to ask an explosive question
why are you looking up blessing heaven
when so much blessing is needed next door


back to prayer-filled rooms
rather than inward looking temples
this slight movement
changes everything
neighbors must be encountered
in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria
opening of hearts and minds and doors
is again the order of the day
adding blessing to blessing

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Ascension of Jesus Christ – A, B, C - 3

Ascension of Jesus Christ – A, B, C - 3

Years A, B, C
Ephesians 1:15-23

Not ceasing in our prayers, we bring blessing upon blessing to person and situation. To be rapturously caught in the act of blessing is a double blessing.

Wisdom, revelation, hope, and calling are good blessings to be strewing willy-nilly into the lives of those in our vicinity. They are needed.

Note that it takes some wisdom, revelation, hope, and calling to focus on these as the needed blessing of this and every generation. Rejoice that someone has blessed you with them that you might, in turn, pass these blessings on.

This might be what it means to live from above.

= = = = = = =

far above
all rule and authority
and power and dominion
is the simplicity of blessing
knocking the underpinnings
out from under said
rule and authority
and power and dominion
for they fade in the face of
wisdom and revelation
and hope and calling

Seventh Sunday of Easter – C1

Seventh Sunday of Easter – C1

Years C
Acts 16:16-34

Ahh, the unintended consequence. It rises up on a regular enough basis. You can practically guarantee, however, that it will show up fairly quickly when acting out of annoyance, fear, or spite.

Ahh, the unexpected opportunity. It, too, rises up on a regular enough basis. However, we can't count on it in a pinch. Sometimes, as here, we refuse the opening offered and an even larger opening comes along. Sometimes we don't catch on quickly enough to our opportunity or refuse it in hope of a larger opening coming along behind, only to find it quickly gone.

As you go through the day, pause in your annoyance and anticipate a further consequence; listen in the presence of your opportunity for the necessity of a quick or slow response.

= = = = = = =

here we go again
old mr doing what he doesn't want
using religious power
to no particular good end

what an old old story this is
including an even older story
of a second chance
not to chase but import spirit

moving from causing wounds
to washing wounds
we recapitulate our faith journey
again and again

Monday, May 14, 2007

Ascension of Jesus Christ – A, B, C - 2

Ascension of Jesus Christ – A, B, C - 2

Years A, B, C
Psalm 47

Note from The New Interpreter's Study Bible: "God has gone up led Christians to associate the psalm with the ascension of Jesus to heaven; with the sounds of a trumpet led Jews to associate the psalm with Rosh ha-Shanah, New Year's Day."

Ahh, how a perspective one brings along determines what one sees and hears and experiences.

So, is this the best of the Psalms to associate with Jesus' ascension? Probably not, given the overlay of subjugation that is present. It simply adds into to our propensity to turn the ascension metaphor or experience into unredeemable judgment. Somehow we keep turning G*D's little artistic touches into additional excuses to subdivide people, losing many along the way.

Ascension is in some way a confirmation of our orphan-hood, we are no longer simply disciples being filled, but a next generation of folks attending to and pointing toward G*D's presence. Time to get on with it without trying to get everything to fit into a nice, neat package. Time to risk what it might mean to take another step in perfecting love.

= = = = = = =

everywhere we go
people want to know
who we are
so we tell them
we are trumpeters
we are shouters
we are journeying

they scratch their heads
and still want to know
what in the world
we are trumpeting
shouting and where
we are going

and we jump up and down
and trumpet our shouts
the louder
repeating and

our shouting
their scratching
our jumping

shifting strategies
everywhere we now go
we whisper along the way

what's that - they now say
and we pause to talk

finally joy

Seventh Sunday of Easter – B

Seventh Sunday of Easter – B

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

We get so caught in tradition, particularly new tradition. For whatever reason, Jesus had twelve male disciples/apostles (let's not argue about that).

Imagine them all in bed and someone calls out, "Roll over." And they all roll over and Judas fell out. What to do! What to do!

Obviously roll back the other way and add one more in. The form of twelve is at this point more important than anything.

By the time we get to chapter 12 and James is killed by Herod, there is no repeat of the selection of another twelfth. Are we learning that it is not so much the form that is crucial in G*D stuff as it is function? [although another way of coming at this is that we didn't want Judas to be a martyr and so we simply replaced him, James' death we could use in another way to our benefit and so we remembered him. - play with replaced and remembered for a bit]

= = = = = = =

sanctified in truth
protected from whatever
evil "one" approaches

happy in G*D's presence
planted by whatever
stream flows by

chosen or not
life is present
minister through it

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ascension of Jesus Christ – A, B, C - 1

Ascension of Jesus Christ – A, B, C - 1

Years A, B, C
Acts 1:1-11

Conversation about the presence of G*D is a good thing. We can huddle up and cuddle up a little closer for forty days and still not be assured that all is already well and all will be well again (no, it is not a contradiction to have them both going at once).

Carrying on so intense a focus on our center spot is almost like worrying at a zit until we pop it. Something has to give. Jesus popped right on out of there exclaiming that healing power would soon be present.

Well, such a surprise. We were dumbfounded! What just happened?

Note to disciples: Move it. Enact the conversation you've been having. The next stage of life will come just as quickly as did this one. Be so focused on being the presence of G*D that you will be just as surprised when it actually shows up around you as well as in and through you.

The return of Jesus is not deserved judgment - it is our establishing the presence of G*D on earth as we have imagined it in heaven.

= = = = = = =

still standing around?
start walking around!

still talking about?
start living about!

still here?
start here!

start here!
still here?

Seventh Sunday of Easter – A

Seventh Sunday of Easter – A

Years A
Acts 1:6-14
Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35
1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11
John 17:1-11

In due time exultation. (1 Peter 5:6)
"Is this the time?" (Acts 1:6)
"Glorify me, now!" (John 17:4)
Sing to God. (Psalm 68:32)

Prooftexting is fun. We are always doing it, so it's good that it's fun.

Peter suggests humility now, to later receive exultation. Who wouldn't want to be exulted? So, some humility now may well be worth trying. In fact, if we do it well enough, we may even hurry the exultation.

Of course there is a tension between humility and constantly looking around to see if this is the time of exultation. Now? Now? Now? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Indeed, it is time for exultation. We have glorified God, time to get our reward in kind. Have we done enough humility and glorification, yet, God? Surely so.

I guess not. Let's sing another round.

x x x

On the other hand, exultation is always on its way. This also suggests it is always here as well.

Is this the time? When else, pray tell.

Didn't you know you were already glorified.

So let's sing a new song

= = = = = = =

sometimes we get the feeling
time is running out on us
it has been almost 40 days
or is that years
almost twice what we need
to begin a new habit
or break an old one
almost midlife crisis

something ought to be happening
'round here somewhere
what do you think?
has it happened
and we missed it again?
about to happen?
eventually, right?

well, let's hang in a bit longer
we haven't hit bottom quite yet
let's try praying once more
perhaps another refrain
what's our discipline say
when lion-sized doubts arise?
protect one another

Friday, May 11, 2007

Sixth Sunday of Easter – C4

Sixth Sunday of Easter – C4

Years C
John 14:23-29 or John 5:1-9

The Holy Spirit is to teach us beyond what we know. A part of that presumes being an invalid - blind, lame, paralyzed in our knowing.

We keep waiting for insight and thinking it need come from the outside, that there should be authorization for standing up with a vision. So we wait for credentials that never seem to come and get weaker and weaker. Someone else is the lucky one to break new ground, to get the part we wanted. We're just not lucky enough to catch opportunity's time and place.

As a result we are not at peace. Our hearts are troubled and we are afraid the assurance we need will never be granted. Our anxiety at not being specifically chosen gets in our way of taking any part at all.

One of the invalids in our still patriarchial culture are mothers. You may want to check out "Motherhood Manifesto" CD and PBS program. Mothers are hearing the healing word to pick up their lives and walk on without getting their healing certified. [To see this portrayed, try Bev Betters and rise up.]

= = = = = = =

M is for maturing past past limits
O is for opening options beyond heritage
T is for teaching truth from experience
H is for healing hopes from the inside out
E is for exciting escape to a preferred future
R is for radical reform needed now and always

papa Institution counsels a mother of all wars
mama Jesus leaves us with the mother of all peace

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sixth Sunday of Easter – C3

Sixth Sunday of Easter – C3

Years C
Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5

The Cold War of recent days brought about a Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line of radar installations. This would make it possible for us to "duck and cover" for the longest amount of time should a nuclear warhead be headed our way. This DEW Line strung across the cold belt of North America from the Aleutians to Greenland.

Imagine being Spirit carried to the DEW Line to get an extra early glimpse of what was coming. We set things up with our Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) thinking so what we would see would be exactly that destruction on its way. Often times folks read Revelation in exactly that way, as a spiritual DEW Line anticipating destruction.

Here, though, what we catch a glimpse of is not destruction, but an illuminated city with open gates built on honor and glory given (to G*D and Neighbor). Here we don't feel the polluted rain falling for years that Malvena Reynolds wrote about (listen to Joan Baez singing without the distraction of the background video) but living water and healing leaves.

What is your Distant Early Vision about - destruction or healing? What about what's on your forehead - numbers or grace. Odds are you'll see what you want to see - foreseeing and foreheads are sort of like that.

= = = = = = =

imagine Ron Popeil as an angel
showing / marketing
all New Jerusalem's features
one "wait there's more"
piled on top of the last
until we reach forever
and ever

doors open for you
a light left on to guide
ionic sanitizers at the gate
books of life larger than life
flowing crystal water
straddled by a tree of healing
and more

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Sixth Sunday of Easter – C2

Sixth Sunday of Easter – C2

Years C
Psalm 67

May G*D be gracious to us. Let all the peoples praise G*D.

May G*D continue to bless us. Let all the ends of the earth revere G*D. Or...
May the earth yield her produce. May all people everywhere hold G*D in awe.

Thoroughly plural in nature, the Psalm moves from a time of sowing to a time of harvest hoped to extend sufficiently to a next harvest. There is a sense of timelessness within time.

At the same time it gives direction from the "us" of the chosen to the "us" of others. Here time runs its usual sequence: first me, then you.

This interplay of creation's fecund increase and human's unequal participation in love or healing brings us to the usual paradox of praise - praise in anticipation and praise in response. Praise is not just praise but also technique to get some other goal met.

It might be helpful to question whether or not your sense of praise these days is that of anticipation to be completed or that of result accomplished and established. A hunch says, wait a bit - it won't be long before it switches and we will need to operate out of the other mode in order to make any sense out of present circumstances.

= = = = = = =

selah music
makes light of
tosses aside

selah praise
breaks patterns
connects across time
calls to account
drives onward
keeps a beat
raises questions
brings us to all
and all to mind

selah living
finds sabbath everywhere
harvests where it does not sow
praises in disaster
heightens paradox
looks beyond today
sounds like silence
slows a tango
speeds a polka
and rests

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Sixth Sunday of Easter – C1

Sixth Sunday of Easter – C1

Years C
Acts 16:9-15

Lydia prevailed upon Paul. Not much prevails upon Paul except visions. Lydia must have been quite a vision in her purple [grin].

With Mother's Day coming up it might be that what Lydia heard from Paul was a vision from a Prince of Peace that was a precursor to Julia Ward Howe's 1870 Mother's Day Proclamation and something worth spending some time in jail over when cries of "foul" are raised by the economic powers of the day.

Mother's Day Proclamation

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have breasts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:
"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: "Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

= = = = = = =

preparation for council
is as important as council itself
preparation for prayer
is as important as prayer itself

in our preparations we feel
beyond our restrictions on feeling
limits of what is possible are released
from their position of sergeant-at-arms

deep hurts and pains
despairs and destruction
dance in our heads
and we on their graves

deeper joys and hopes
loves and resurrection
dance through us
and we dance on

having prepared open lives
we eagerly enter council
listen and speak in prayer
steadfastly instigating peace

Monday, May 07, 2007

Sixth Sunday of Easter – B

Sixth Sunday of Easter – B

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

While Peter spoke - something beyond words came to folks. There was an active crossing of boundaries - words restricting us from one another were left behind. Acknowledgment of our commonness was made. Whenever such boundaries between people are reduced it is a time to confirm such changes.

Baptism is an act of affirmation. Re-membering a Baptism re-minds us of our connection beyond tribal connection re-binding us to a common journey expressed in a multitude of keys and tempos - a seeming babble of tongues only understood in acting out a movement from servant to friend (others and ourselves).

These moments always come as a surprise, while something else is going on, and as a shift in expected outcome. Here we move from a specific witness to a universal one, from a known God to an unknown.

= = = = = = =

sing a new song
G*D remembered!

sing a new song
help G*D remember!

sing a new song
past the past
beyond tomorrow

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sixth Sunday of Easter – A

Sixth Sunday of Easter – A

Years A
Acts 17:22-31
Psalm 66:8-20
1 Peter 3:13-22
John 14:15-21

"Now, who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good?" (1 Peter 3:13)

It's probably that old unknown God Paul stumbled upon and defined in one way. Unfortunately, unknowns are multivalent. They can roughly slouch in many directions, not just Bethlehem or Empty Tombs (to mention one set of parentheses).

It may even be that Advocate of a Spirit of truth, not receivable by the world.

In these instances we find harm set in opposition to good, very Greek. Our Hebrew Psalter brings another perspective that harm is not from something other than "our" God, but is directly related to G*D. We are tested and tried, burdened, trampled, overcome, and, yet, brought to a spacious place beyond such duality. [Yes, there is a duality here of ourself and G*D that needs to be furthered looked at on another day.]

How do you understand your own state of being these days? Particularly if you are finding it confused or adversarial?

= = = = = = =

praying without iniquity
a heartfelt desire
trips me up every time
for steadfast love continues
too rooted for one
with a head full of clouds

making up offering after offering
I plot an acceptable sacrifice
of property or guilt
attributing it to this god or that
searching for someone to receive
that which I don't understand

Friday, May 04, 2007

Fifth Sunday of Easter – C4

Fifth Sunday of Easter – C4

Years C
John 13:31-35

This is bedrock evangelism - Love One Another. It is bedrock for every on-going faith group (and probably any group one finds worthwhile).

Without this there is no Christianity - Love One Another, Just As I Have Loved You. This is our definition - G*D's/Christ's/Jesus' love, for us and through us.

Without this enactment there is nothing to say to anyone about any doctrine, even a doctrine of loving one another.

This is also not a commandment in the old "rule" or "demand" sense. It makes "commandments" new in nature and should have a new name. Today I'm not up to attempting that naming, but would value any attempts you would be willing to offer.

= = = = = = =

betrayal becomes glorification
in chronos

glorification becomes betrayal
in kairos

what do you become?
in your time

by these statements and question
we become more than we know

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Fifth Sunday of Easter – C3

Fifth Sunday of Easter – C3

Years C
Revelation 21:1-6

Connecting this revelationary passage with the Acts passage recounting Peter's conversion to inclusion, we might extend the language of "unclean" to mere "mortals." The Revelationary exclaims, "G*D is among mortals." G*D is among the unclean - already, before we knew it.

It is exactly here in the midst of evolutionary-choiced creation and discriminated-against creatures that we hear about all things being made new. Pray tell, where else besides the indeterminate and the outcast might newness have an opportunity to break in. For those who have control, everything is just fine the way it is, thank you. For those who are the measuring rod for everything else, there is no standard beyond the present.

So we can't just go from Mayflower descendants and think Alpha dogs have the market cornered on prestige. The latest immigrant (legal or not is completely beside the point here) and some later Omega point also need consideration. When we find ourselves between beginnings and ends we are open to newness, to a spring of the water of life still bubbling up within and without us.

= = = = = = =

a first April and the last one
have passed away
their showers are no more

now another holy month
May arrives flowering
toward some new end

earth adorned with beauty
mortals putting on immortality
G*D's dwelling place

the showers of April
drunk deep within
birthing pains

and now a newness
flows into the breast
completing promises

Alpha and Omega
April and May
weave a new paradise

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Fifth Sunday of Easter – C2

Fifth Sunday of Easter – C2

Years C
Psalm 148

Praise G*D! What is created is created. This is a reason for praise - creation has happened. The response of the created to be as they were created, is high praise.

A second stage of praise goes beyond being as we have been created. A "horn" (figuratively, first chair of the trumpet section) has been raised to move into what it means to be created in G*D's image. Here we have a foretaste, a prefiguring, of themes yet to come.

Praise G*D! What is created is not all that is created. This is a reason for praise - creation is happening and will yet happen. As is repeated several times in the recent movie, Meet the Robinson's, "Keep Moving Forward."

= = = = = = =

Today, instead of using your eyes on word phrases, listen to the following soundclip of "Breathing Earth". Listen until you hear more than you hear. You may have to slow down your hearing, as this clip has been speeded up, to have your thinking slowed down. But down there, deep down there, when you can hear praise, you will have a new definition of that wondrous word that goes beyond our ability to define it.

Breathing Earth (02:02 / 1.9MB)

In this clip, we hear a swarm of Indonesian earthquakes as recorded in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (left channel) and Tennant Creek, Australia (right). Many of these quakes are large enough to set the planet "ringing" in its natural modes of vibration. One the most fundamental of these modes is the so-called "breathing" mode (oSo), in which the entire planet expands and contracts rhythmically once about every 20 minutes. I've accelerated this recording to bring this "breathing" mode in synch with the average human respiration rate (once every 5 seconds). As you listen, know that your breath rises and falls along with the rising and falling of the Earth itself.

Time-acceleration = x245 (1 second = ~4 minutes Earth time; this 2-minute recording captures about 8 hours of real Earth time).

You can hear more sounds of earth at

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Fifth Sunday of Easter – C1

Fifth Sunday of Easter – C1

Years C
Acts 11:1-18

We just love to interpret G*D to G*D as well as to others who obviously don’t understand G*D or they would more quickly agree with us. So our constant surprise is that the limits we have set on G*D are surpassed. Constant, that is, if we are constant in attending to such matters. Otherwise we have periodic big jumps of understanding that are as dramatic as Peter’s vision.

Without constant attention we have to be called to attention several times before we catch what is going on.

With constant attention to whatever new thing G*D is up to we tend to lose track of what is happening with our neighbor and are surprised that they are either much farther behind or ahead than we had last noted.

So it is - our understanding of what it means to love G*D and Neighbor always seems to be lagging behind. While we pay attention to one part of that equation we miss something going on in the other.

This is a reason community is so important - helping us correct our understanding more quickly as someone else attends in a different way than we do and is up to sharing that and we are up to being shared with.

All along the way a key to attention is stretching forth to sense, follow, and implement a next stage of inclusion.

= = = = = = =

we are known
by our uncleanliness
accepted as sin

we know others
by their uncleanliness
yelled as sinner

the boundaries we set
are our limits
of perception

quickly we see differences
slowly we push them back
to find a new grace

by profanity we hedge round
our fears and their behavior
never open to other possibilities

our profane labels
capture baptism
for ourselves

relabeling cleanliness
pulls distinctions apart
revealing new gifts