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Showing posts from December, 2013

redemption rips through the fullness of time

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in a cry of a tiny babe

The Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew the 1st chapter!
Today we come to the very last moments before the manger will bear the Living Word, Jesus. Today we get to hear the last details of those final precious moments before that fateful birth...
The truth, though, is that I don't really need to work too hard at commending this story to you, do I?
No, this story needs no cranky pastor exhorting we read, and take seriously this story. No, this is a story needs no help captivating our attention.

Why is that? Why is this is a story that "sticks in our craw" as the expression goes? Why is it is a story that comes to life for us like no other story?
In fact, it is a story that I find, again and again, takes little teaching. I'm always struck how our youth don't need to be taught how to notice this strange holiness within the story.

This story even manages to fiddle with our all too ordinary, and busy, days as adults.
For as well as we pretend…

& for a while things were cold

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they were scared down in their holes
The Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew the 11th Chapter!
I'm tired; I'm tired of another school shooting, I'm tired of the short, dark days, I'm tired of the Christmas ads peddling the faux-good news of consumerism, I'm tired of fighting with the furnace, I'm tired of worrying about the budget, I'm tired to watching people work hard, do the right thing, and struggle day in and day out, I'm tired of all the disappointed hopes, I'm tired of how it seems to get harder and harder just to keep up hope, I'm tired of how Christmas always promises more than it delivers;
because the truth is; the same promises of Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All which prompt us to rejoice during these cold, dark days of Advent, are the very-same promises that make this time so difficult.
I'm just tired, and at the end of the day, I guess what I'm truly tired of is wondering if Jesus is the one...

I'm tired, sisters and brothers, and to…

you have filled the hungry with wonderous things

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"You have cast the mighty down from their thrones, & uplifted the humble of heart" ~The Magnificat

Canada's WestJet Airlines has a brilliant holiday commercial...
Mary has to be one of my most favorite figures in the Bible; she is thoughtful, thoroughly human and remarkably faithful. Truth be told, the thing that made me fall for Mary is the song she sings after the angel visits her. Contrary to what we'd expect, living under the thumb of a cruel empire & now bearing an unplanned pregnancy, Mary sings that this work of God is a blessing. Here's the thing about this blessed work of God, though; Mary sings that this miracle is a blessing that is good news, not just for her, but for everyone; everyone.

The WestJet commercial gets us in the gut; these unsuspecting flyers all land at their destination and, lo & behold, Santa has delivered. That's the kind of Christmas miracle we all want.
After the warm glow of the commercial fades away, the hot chocolate is fi…

when the wilderness

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turns to paradise The Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew the 3rd (1-12) chapter!
Shall we have a story?

A friend had told me I needed to hear this prophet of God preaching...

Now, I've never been much for these prophets;
and when I found out this prophet was carrying on the wilderness, well, I just didn't have the patience to go all that way just to hear some crying about how mad God was.

My friend wouldn't stop, though, she kept going on and on about this John guy.

Finally I just gave in; to get her to be quiet if nothing else.

After a journey of a few hours we were finally there
right, exactly, in the middle of nowhere;
and when I saw the prophet I couldn't believe my eyes,
this guy didn't even have the sense to pretend to be respectable;
he was wearing clothes made of camels hair, and when I leaned over and told my friend this guy looked crazy enough to eat bugs;
well, she just looked at me...

Apparently that's what this prophet did, ate locust and honey.
Jeez.
As if gett…

the future descending

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like a bright chandelier
The Gospel of The Lord!
*Strikes hammer against metal It's a sort of surprising sound, isn't it? And it certainly isn't a sound we expect to hear here, right now; is it?
*Strikes hammer against metal No, the sound is a little too abrasive for this calm service. This sound is not fitting here, now.
*Strikes hammer against metal The sound we expect these days is the gentle ringing of the jingle-bells. Yes, that sound is more suited for the season...
As Christmas approaches, we anticipate the coming feast with jingle-bells, not the sound of metal upon metal; but Isaiah tells us the Prince of Peace comes *Strikes hammer against metal with this sound; *Strikes hammer against metal the sound of weapons being beat into gardening tools...

Just as the sound of metal upon metal isn't what we expect to hear; this God destroying weapons instead of enemies, is not what we expect either; it surprises us... God has a way of doing that, of always surprising us.
No, God's…