Showing posts from February, 2012

of emptying or fulfilling our selves for Christ

I took issue with the reflection offered in the book I'm using this year this morning. Again. The Bible portion was 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 - the reflection talked about denying yourself to live for Christ. Follow the link. That's not what this portion says.

People talk about this idea of denying ourselves or emptying ourselves in order to follow Christ. It doesn't work for me.
It has taken me too long, I have struggled too hard, in order to find myself, accept my self, love and celebrate my self, to turn around and deny that self.
I am healthy and whole because I am finally fulfilling my potential as a person, I feel fulfilled in my being (or becoming). I recoil at the thought that I should empty out the fulness of my being.

But in this portion of Paul's letter, he says carry the death of Christ so as to embody the life of Christ. To me it sounds like another of Paul's exercises in trying to understand - rather than a final arrival at a timeless truth. Could we please…

telling Luke 14

This afternoon I again joined with Michelle Cook to prepare and lead gathered worship at college. Today was the final day of the Church, Ministry & Sacraments intensive and it finished with a love feast, agape meal, in the tradition of the earliest gatherings of followers of Christ. Steve Taylor blogged about it here.
We began with prayers of thanks and invocation (welcoming God's Spirit), then broke bread together (a loaf on each table of four people, and the symbolic loaf in the hands of Michelle, presiding). Then we ate lunch.
After some time for eating and conversation, we heard a story of Jesus, in the way that Jesus told stories at meals. It seemed appropriate to tell one of his dinner stories.
I added an introduction:
The evangelist Luke told recorded these stories for his community to remind them of what Jesus taught about hospitality and humility. In their time, behaviour was governed by a strict code of honour and shame. Honour - at the dinner table, there were more …

telling stories of journey through stations and ritual

tuesday 14 february. (this post has nothing to do with valentine's day)

here is bread and wine for your journey, and here is a map, take your time - the people are greeted as they enter the chapel, which is set with few chairs, half a dozen stations, the font in the centre.

stations included searching for hymns carrying the imagery of bread for the journey; maps of Paul's journeys and words from his letter to the Corinthians on hospitality; a map and part of the story of the journey of Israel through the wilderness after leaving Egypt, with a prayer for those in wildernesses of their own in our time; Psalm 19 invited us to praise with all creation, writing words, or drawing in liquid chalk on the chapel's windows (more pics on Steve Taylor's blog). Words from the Basis of Union, celebrating our being a movement of pilgrims on the journey, were scattered on the floor.

Music played throughout, and after 15 minutes, we gathered around the font for a prayer of confession to…

of healing & restoration

the skeleton for the reflection in tomorrow's gathered worship @ Belair Uniting Church  the Biblical stories are of Naaman (2 Kings 5) and Jesus healing a leper (Mark 1) 
Healing & restoration
A vase falls from the table, crashes to the floor, splinters into a dozen pieces. It is broken.
The owner of the vase carefully gathers all the pieces, sets them on the table, finds some glue, pulls up a chair, and from base to opening gradually restores the vase to its shape.
Lines transcend the pattern on the vase, evidence of the fall, and it can no longer hold the volume of water it did before; but the vase still holds flowers, fulfills the potter’s dream, and offers its gift.

There is a healing that comes when we are able to get up off the floor, having been knocked down by life’s challenges, illnesses and injuries.

There is a healing that comes through the restoring touch of someone who loves us and cares for us; through the gaze that sees the scars we bare not as evidence of weakness, but of …