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Showing posts from August, 2010

Ubuntu Unfolding

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I'm still jetlagged – awake before my children for the first time in years.  I’ve just returned from Cape Town, South Africa, where I spent a week “drinking from a firehose” – taking in the amazing social, political, geographical and cultural sights and sounds.  It is a country of contrasts.  I was amazed by the upfront honesty in the system, the recentness of the history of this country and the remarkable things that have happened and are happening in reconciliation - along with the incredible disparity that still exists, and the deeply ingrained racism that will take generations to eradicate.  But the openness about things is truly striking - and just opening the "world" section of the Cape Town paper is very telling.  The articles yesterday said nothing about wars, violence or natural disasters (what my local paper would have reported).  Instead the top stories were all snippets from other countries about racial equality, struggles for independence, leadership owning …

Homesick & Hopeful

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 Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
This week our church building was filled with an unfamiliar noise and energy.  We hosted our much anticipated Movie Camp, put on by Dean and Kirsten Seal for some teenagers from St. Joseph's Home for Children.  This space was filled with energy of youth, stirred up, excited, playful and fearful.  There were watchful adults, you could feel the yearning in them to care for these children, putting up safeguards, telling them no, while also affirming and praising the young people.  As part of their movie-making process, they looked at four parables, stories of Jesus that give a glimpse of the kingdom of God, and the one they chose to use for their movie was the Prodigal Son.  What is this story about? Dean asked them. And they identified tension between the siblings, the recklessness of going off and spending your life in bad ways, they recognized the waste and the jealousy, the desperation and the hopelessness.  They understood these things, they made complete sen…

Greed, Worry, and a Fearless Life

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Luke 12:13-21
When my grandfather was dying, after my grandmother had already passed away, my mom and her sisters began labeling things in his house.  This was different than the labels they had put up before.  The previous labels were to help my grandfather out, help him remember things:  “here is where you put your laundry.” “Here is where you keep your glasses.”  Each cupboard in the kitchen had photos of a different one of his grandchildren’s families, a family tree of smiling faces surrounding him whenever he went to get a cup of coffee or a bowl of cereal, each face labeled, “David's daughter, Megan.”  “Kara’s son, Owen.”  His living legacy plastered around him in photo paper and scotch tape.

But the kind of labeling my mom and aunts began doing towards the end was another kind.  See, my grandfather was a depression-era pack rat.  What the farmer in the parable had planned to do, my grandfather actually did, he built additional buildings to store his accumulated possessions.  …