Archives for the month of: November, 2016

This year during Advent in my morning gatherings we are considering the texts of Advent/Christmas where God speaks…. through the extraordinary, through human relationships and how we can continue to listen to the voice of God in the mania we find ourselves in at the close of 2016. As I have begun to consider the texts from the Psalms and the Gospels that I have chosen for worship, I have collected thoughts, stories and commentaries so that their assumptions about the scriptures could sit and stir in my soul.

This morning, I opened up my the Christian Century magazine, the November 23rd issue… and read the article from the Publisher this morning before I delved into Advent 1 sermon crafting. It blew me away.

34816_to_do_collection_5

This is for all of you who cannot seem to stop posting about the news. Who have nothing else to note in a world that is wrought with amazing things and awful things. Take note:
 
“Alain de Botton… (author of THE NEWS: A USER’S MANUAL) believes that in contemporary culture news has largely replaced religion as ‘our central source of guidance and our touchstone of authority.’ The news–not scripture, tradition, or inspired ritual–informs how we handle suffering and make moral choices. A desire to know what’s going on all hours of the day and night actually makes us more shallow than we may want to admit.”
 
I love these words. I hate our obsession. And I abhor my timeline right now, riddled with hate speech (all sides), negative views (all sides), and general malaise. I say: TURN IT OFF and start exercising! Make an ornament or two for someone. Go volunteer at an animal shelter. Go play bingo with some elders. Reconnect with the Divine in all things… and I believe joy will find you. I truly believe that nothing is impossible is God.

I’m preaching from Isaiah 65 this week. It’s a lectionary text, so I didn’t “choose” it to sway us towards something after this election cycle. It is one of my fave texts and garners such a vision for us to be captured by.

Look! I’m creating a new heaven and a new earth:
    past events won’t be remembered;
    they won’t come to mind.
Be glad and rejoice forever
    in what I’m creating,
    because I’m creating Jerusalem as a joy
    and her people as a source of gladness. –Is. 65:17-18, CEB

Martin Luther had a great response to people asking him if he thought the end was near. His reply? “Plant a tree.” In other words, invest in a hopeful and life giving future, even though those about you may seem to be working towards destruction.

So, my prayer for the coming days, is not a lament, but a call to hope.

Creation-Caster, we find ourselves star-gazing at the expanse of the universe, lingering in its light.

As we choose to be in a posture of love and life:
may a grander vision capture us,
may a sense of adventure move us,
may a new heaven and new earth envelop us so that we become the bearers of mercy, justice and peace.

Surprising God, we turn to You, expectant in our hope.

Amen.