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Showing posts from December, 2013

Happy Childermas!

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This morning, my google calendar alerted me twice that today, December 28, is "Childermas." (in the Western Church, December 29th in the Eastern Church).  I had no idea what that meant, so some research (aka, time-with-google) revealed that Childermas, or the "Feast of the Holy Innocents," is the fourth day of Christmas, commemorating the baby boys killed by Herod in his search for Jesus.

Matthew 2:16-18,
When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men.Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: 
‘A voice was heard in Ramah,
   wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
   she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.’
These baby boys are considered the first martyrs, in this feast day dating back to the 5th century.  Mass is celebrat…

The Being With (Waiting in Wonder, Week 4)

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(Isaiah 7:10-16)
Matthew 1:18-25
We’re spending Advent in wonder. I wonder about how God chose to come into the world. There is a lot about the WAY that God chose to go from being God almighty to becoming God WITH us, that mystifies me.
The first week of Advent we zoomed out to the cosmos, to find hope in the one who holds the big picture and promises the future. The second week we began moving in a bit to peace – the future hope is leading us to- the radical righting of everyday wrong in natural and social order, in the person of Jesus. The third week joy confronted us with it’s bombastic, all-out celebration of rightness, that comes to us in fits and bursts, and points us forward to enduring peace, and to the hope that carries us to that peace. This week we look at love, and wonder together what exactly love is and what it means that God comes in love.
On Christmas Eve we’ll get to the event itself - the moment God enters in to become God is with us. But before we zoom all the way in, toni…

Anyway Joy (Waiting in Wonder, Week 3)

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(Luke 1:46-55) Isaiah 35:1-10

Joy is a nevertheless kind of thing. It’s an anyway, despite, and in the face of kind of thing. Joy is defiant, ridiculous, and a little bit out of control. Joy doesn’t say, “excuse me” “pardon me”, and “would you mind…?” and then wait its turn. It’s an outburst, an immodest, bubble-up rush that overtakes you. Joy is unexpected pleasure, unrestrained contentment, gratitude out loud and in the midst.
At the “wrong” time and place, it’s quite a thing for someone else’s joy to roll out in front of you all raw and real, pulling you in too.Like tears unbidden or uncontrolled, joy is unprocessed and vulnerable, too close to the heart of things.In fact, it is the heart of all things, refusing to remain silent and tucked away. As Anne Lammott says, Peace is joy at rest, and Joy is peace on its feet.”
We don’t make joy, and because of its exuberance and spontaneity, its all-out nature, there is very little as creepy as faked joy. Joy comes from God, from our very…

Peace, Enduring and Unafraid (Waiting in Wonder, Week 2)

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 Isaiah 11:1-10
This week I saw a heartwrenching video that began like a typical nature show, a cheetah hunting in the wild, stalking its prey, finally dashing out and snatching a baboon by the throat and dragging it off.When she drops it, blood on her mouth, she suddenly notices there is an infant clinging to the dead baboon mother. The cheetah approaches it, teeth bared, mouth open and sniffs the tiny creature.Then she picks it up in her mouth and eventually takes it into a tree.She sets it carefully down on a limb and lays down next to it. The baby slips, and she tries to snatch it back up with her paw, finally climbing down and boosting it back up from below.  For five minutes this minute attention goes on, and all the while, you are aware that the cheetah could eat this miniature animal with one gulp.That, in fact, she had already hunted and killed its mother, and left that meal behind to focus on this tiny creature. Here she is, with a defenseless and weak prey in her giant paws. A…

Zoom (Waiting in Wonder, Week 1)

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Isaiah 2:1-5 Matthew 24:36-42
Why does Advent always begin with apocolypse?Why, dear God? In one way, I appreciate it because we are already well into our consumeristic coma – spending and pressure and Christmas cheer and family guilt and to-do lists and baked sweets all swirled into a frenzied frapaccino that I, for one, almost never hesitate to guzzle. Nothing like getting slapped awake by a little bit of end times terror on the first Sunday in December.
As a kid, I always heard these apocolayptic texts with a kind of fear and foreboding. I wanted to grow up and get married and have kids and grandkids and accomplish lots of great things and be super old and ready to die before Jesus came suddenly like a burglar to snatch me out of the world.It was a toss-up, which was less desirable, actually, being left behind or being taken up. What a massive disappointment to God I would be, because of my reluctance to be reunited forever, and what a massive disappointment God would be to me, if I…