Posts Tagged ‘beauty’

Ordinary Radicals

“Ordinary Radicals” is not my term, I lifted it from Shane Claiborne. It’s a gritty term, but one I imagine would make Jesus smile.  Reading Mark’s version of the gospel, I think he’d approve of the term as well, though I don’t picture him smiling. He took it all with deadly seriousness. For Mark, the grittier, I think, the better he liked it. This disciple stuff was not for the faint of heart. Tax collectors, and sinners, and sundry other unsavories. Oh, my! But now, as then, that’s where you’ll find Jesus hanging out.

Ordinary Radicals

Preached at Mt. Comfort Presbyterian Church on 1 July 2012.

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

I’m not sure why, but Leonard Cohen’s haunting song “Suzanne” feels like the perfect reflection. I love Judy Collins‘ version, and I imagine you will too.

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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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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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