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Showing posts from February, 2012

Monday Prayer: For Healthy Appetites

Give me a good digestion, Lord And also something to digest.  Give me a healthy body, Lord,  With a sense to keep it at its best.  Give me a healthy mind, good Lord,  To keep the pure and good in sight,  Which, seeing sins, is not appalled,  But finds a way to set it right.  Give me a mind that is not bored,  That does not whimper, whine or sigh.  Don't let me worry overmuch About the fussy thing called "I".  Give me a sense of humor, Lord,  Give me the grace to see a joke,  To get some happiness in life,  And pass it on to other folk.  - Sir Thomas More (1478-1535)  Braybrooke, Marcus.  1000 World Prayers .   John Hunt Publishing Ltd, Hampshire, UK. 2000. p. 140 

Not a Metaphor (Sermon for Lent 1)

Lent 1 (Year B, Narrative Lectionary) 26 February 2012 Mark 10:17-31             One of the keys to reading, understanding, pondering, and obeying the written word of God, the Bible, is being able to tell the difference between what is a metaphor and what is not. Jesus is the Lamb of God= metaphor Render unto Caesar= not metaphor The four horsemen of the apocalypse= metaphor Love your neighbor as yourself= not metaphor             As a rabbi, a teacher, Jesus is excellent at using metaphors and stories to catch the attention of his audience and to help them view God and God’s expectations in a new way. Consider Jesus' use of the lost coin, lost sheep, and lost son (Prodigal son) to illustrate God's desire for restoration and healed relationships with creation.              Jesus can work a metaphor. However, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” is not a metaphor. Since

Is God visible to you? (Ash Wednesday Sermon)

Ash Wednesday (Year B, Narrative Lectionary) 22 February 2012 Isaiah 58:1-17, Mark 9:30-50             What’s the smallest unit of measure in any society? The individual… Individuals make up our families, whether by blood or choice. The solo person gets added to more solo people and then we have a group… a congregation… a town… a state… and so on. There is no such thing as a self-made individual because everyone has some help along the way. No one makes himself or herself from the ground up. What’s the smallest unit of individual? A child.             In our society, Western society, the child is the smallest individual. When we look at children, we see the possibility of a future productive individual, so we spend our energy in shaping that person. “What about the children?” is such a central question to our way of thinking that we easily miss what Jesus is saying by using a child as an example in this gospel lesson.             In this period (and for well beyond

Keep Me Burning

One of the things I do each week is put a fresh candle in the Eternal Lamp. I counted once and I estimate that I've already done this over 150 times. Same motions, same prayer... No matter how many times I will do this, the thing that keeps me doing it is knowing that it's not really me keeping the flame alive. Welcome to Lent.

Monumental Transfiguration (Sermon 2/19)

Transfiguration (NL, Year B) 19 February 2012 Mark 8:27-9:13               I’m going to Washington, DC at the end of March for a church conference. What should I see while I’m there? (Vietnam Memorial, Washington Monument, etc) What are those things for? They serve as markers and reminders ( monuments ) to events and people of the past. They help us remember things we have promised not to forget and things we might try to forget and things we truly want to remember. Monuments serve as markers for the best and worst parts of our human nature, which is part of why we build them. Other people in other countries make the same effort, showing birthplaces and homes of famous leaders, historic places of worship, sites of battles and deaths.              Knowing how likely we are as people to erect monuments and ( now ) to make attempts to preserve historic locations, can we really blame Peter for his desire to build a tent on top of that mountain? After all, throughout the H

I'm a Religious Voter, Too!

Lately, as the primary season ramps up, I've heard the phrase "religious voters" more and more often. Usually this is shorthand for a certain type of conservative voter. Among other feelings, the phrase "religious voter" used in this way makes me angry because... I'm a religious voter, too! The American College of Catholic Bishops does not speak for me. Dr. James Dobson doesn't speak for me. Neither Rick Warren nor Rob Bell nor Barbara Brown Taylor speak for me. The current presiding bishop of the ELCA, Mark Hanson, (a man I respect and admire), speaks for my denomination, but does not speak for me. As a clergywoman, I would not presume to assert that I speak for those who worship within the congregation I lead with regard to most political issues. (This congregation is also  full of religious voters.) As a religious voter, I care about: The health of all Americans - This means, among other things, that I have concerns about the affordability

God's Punctuation (Sermon 2/12/12)

Epiphany 6 (NL, Year B) 12 February 2012 Mark 7:1-23             Some of you may remember George Burns and Gracie Allen. Some of you may have heard of them. Some of you may have no idea what I’m talking about. Burns and Allen were a comedy duo couple in the first half of the last (20 th ) century. He was the straight man to her comedy lines and they were very successful on the radio, on stage, and on television. Their television show was on from 1950- 1958. After having some heart trouble, Gracie decided to retire. George attempted the show without her for one year, but it didn’t work without Gracie. She died of a heart attack in 1964. When George went through her papers, he found a note she wrote to him, which included the line, “Never place a period where God has placed a comma.”             Never place a period where God has placed a comma. George Burns took this reminder from his beloved that his life on earth wasn’t over yet. He went on to continue acting,

Friday Five: LOVE

Over on RevGalBlogPals , revkjarla writes: Hey RevGals.... It's Valentine's Day on Tuesday.... So, Share 5 Valentines you would like to give this year, and why-- but here is the hitch,  Can't give them G-d, Jesus, Holy Spirit... or your mom, your beloved, your sweet child(ren)...tell us about the other amazing  beings in your life.  Valentine the First: This one goes out to women whose labor did not goes as planned. I spent a lot of time with C-section regret, even though it was an emergency. Even at the time I knew it had to be done so that we both could (and did) live. Still, it can be hard not to feel like I failed. I didn't. Other women have this same experience or other birth scenarios that don't goes as hoped. Some women go home empty-handed for a variety of reasons. Mother's Day can be hard for all kinds of reasons, so one this day I give a free hug to all moms of all sorts, however you became a mom, whatever happened when you

Sunday Sermon: Not Dead Yet

Epiphany 5, Narrative Lectionary B 5 February 2012 Mark 6:1-29             I am an adventurous eater. This past Monday, in Progreso, Mexico, I walked through the town and I was in search of one of my favorite foods: ceviche. I adore the combination of raw fish, with cilantro, onions, and tomatoes, marinated in lime juice. It gives me the shivers to think about it. So there I was, with a friend, in the center of the town market, where only locals were shopping and eating. I find a stand that sells ceviche and I buy an enormous plate, with homemade taco chips and a Mexican coke. My friend is a vegetarian and wouldn’t touch my plate of citrus shrimp with a ten-foot-pole. She watches as I scoop up the first bite and put it in my mouth and roll my eyes in delight.             As I try not to make a spectacle of myself, I tell her that I will try almost any food at least once. There are some foods the origins of which I would prefer not to know until I eat them, but I will