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Archive for April, 2012

Thinking about the ethics of energy usage, and the interplay of  “the powers”  in our lives …

The Transforming Power of Living Lightly on Earth, Acts 3:1-12, 16

Preached at Mt. Comfort Presbyterian Church on Earth Day, 22 April 2012.

(The file is a Windows Media Audio file – if you have problems,
right click and download the file to listen.)

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Come and See

Sunday was Earth Day. Not just “Earth Day” Sunday. It was actually Earth Day, April 22nd. Here in Arkansas it was a gorgeous, wild spring day – crystal blue skies with fluffy white clouds sailing by, and I do mean sailing. There was a real kite-flying wind coming out of the south-west and sunshine that simply wouldn’t quit.

Some dear friends of ours from the Fayetteville International Folk Dance Society, came out after church to plant a few fruit trees “in honor” of my husband, Joe, as a kind of living, growing “get-well” wish following his recent accident. It was a beautiful day, and a beautiful gesture of friendship.

We prayed over those little trees, asking for protection and blessing and a “fruitful” future (literally), entrusting the future to that which is greater than ourselves. I was profoundly touched by that simple act. We are of different faiths and know the Other by different names, and yet it is an easy congress between us. I think we all recognize a similar yearning in each other, the hope for wholeness and the quiet mind. I feel deeply blessed to have found friends like this.

I introduced the congregation to a marvelous new song in worship Sunday morning, and they picked up right away. It’s catchy, both the lyrics and the tune – it played in my head all day and far into the night! What a miracle gift, indeed.

“Come and see what God has done, the earth is alive thanks to the sun.
Every plant that grows, every river that flows, what a miracle gift of creation.”

Come and See, by Hans Peterson, (c) 2007 Dakota Road Music

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I’ve been on this mystery jag lately, devouring novels by Ellis Peters as fast as I can check them out of the library. The hero of the series I’m currently reading is a Benedictine sleuth named Brother Cadfael. They’re murder mysteries, but Peters’ descriptions of monastic life and the men who chose to be part of such a fellowship have been fascinating to me. I’m especially intrigued by “the rule” – a practical guide to living out vows of stability, conversion, and obedience. Really? In 2st century America, I’m not sure we even understand what those words are supposed to mean, much less set them up as the measure of a Christian life. And yet, I can’t shake the notion that the only way to have a Christian life is to live the Christian life – study, fellowship, prayer, and the breaking of  bread.

The Fellowship of the Cross, Acts 2:40-47

Preached at Mt. Comfort Presbyterian Church on 15 April 2012.
(The file is a Windows Media Audio file – if you have problems,
right click and download the file to listen.)

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Resurrection can be one of those confusing, embarrassing things. Not Jesus’ resurrection, of course. The problem comes when we start thinking about ours. Most people I know opt for the “death is a doorway into the next life” explanation and bypass the resurrection altogether, because why mess with this old body when you can get a new model with wings?  I don’t seem to have a lot of company, but I am comforted by the thought that when I die, I will be really truly dead. I actually think that’s the way God intended it from the beginning. But the idea of a bodily resurrection when God is ready to make good on the promise and make all things new is also incredibly comforting. A God big enough, smart enough, and powerful enough to reassemble not only my body, but my experiences, my memories, and my emotions is big enough, smart enough, and powerful enough to make good on every promise.

The Last Word, 1 Corinthians 15:1-27

Preached at Mt. Comfort Presbyterian Church on 8 April 2012. (The file is a Windows Media Audio file – if you have problems, right click and download the file to listen.)

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Three Days Before

There is a certain symmetry to life.  (Or maybe it’s our brains, searching for meaning, I don’t know.)  The gospel presents a beautiful story of an unnamed woman who did a lovely thing for Jesus three days before he died.  But that same day, three days before Jesus died, Judas decided to go talk to the chief priests about the possibility of handing him over.  I’d like it better if the hard and the sad didn’t impinge of the gentle and the joyous, but it strikes that we seldom experience life in its fullness. It’s almost like we need to see the aftermath before we can judge what came before, even if we were there.

 Three Days Before, Mark 14:1-11

Preached at Mt. Comfort Presbyterian Church on 1 April 2012. (The file is a Windows Media Audio file – if you have problems, right click and download the file to listen.)

 

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