Glories Stream – JOY – December 16, 2018

Glories Stream – JOY – December 16, 2018

“All the nations that you’ve made will come and bow down before you, Lord; they will glorify your name, because you are awesome and a wonder-worker. You are God. Just you. Teach me your way, Lord, so that I can walk in your truth. Make my heart focused only on honoring your name. (Psalm 86: 9-11)

Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.” – (Luke 2: 8-20)

The shepherds got quite a wake-up call that night when the sky lit up “like a Christmas tree” (so to speak). Awe at the transformative glory of what God can do in our lives is the focus this week. Glories are streaming every day if we only have eyes to see. How would our lives be renewed if we saw the world and our lives through the lens of wonder?

Redeeming Grace – LOVE – December 9, 2018

What came into being through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light… The Word became flesh and made his home among us. We have seen his glory, glory like that of [an] only son, full of grace and truth… From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace; as the Law was given through Moses, so grace and truth came into being through Jesus Christ.- (John 1: 3b-5, 14)

The presence of God in human form is the “dawn” of redeeming grace, says the hymn’s third verse. God so desired to be “up close and personal” that God came to live, breathe, feel, teach, touch, and love. Made in the image of God, we are called to nurture relationships that birth, multiply and radiate grace in the world. What would the world be like if “love’s pure light” was at the center?

Sleep in Peace-PEACE – December 2, 2018

The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it. Many peoples shall come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. – Isaiah 2: 1-4

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined… For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting [Parent], Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. – Isaiah 9: 2, 6-7

One of the most famous stories about this beloved hymn took place in World War One. British and German soldiers on the front lines called a truce on Christmas Day. So close where the encampments from which they were fighting one another, they could hear each other in the peaceful quiet of the truce singing “Silent Night,” each in their own language. This prompted the soldiers to come out and meet on the battlefield, without weapons, and they spent the day playing soccer and exchanging small gifts–whatever they had. Humanity is the holy infant for whom God so desires a heavenly peace. Is it possible to bring calm and bright to our own corners of this world?


Healing Relationships – November 25, 2018

Healing Relationships – November 25, 2018

“Dear friends, if God loved us this way, we also ought to love each other.No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God remains in us and God’s love is made perfect in us. This is how we know we remain in God and God remains in us, because we have been given a measure of God’s Spirit.” – (1 John 4: 11-13)

We live in sacred relationship with every other living thing. Our food, our health, our homes, our vocations are all part of an interconnected community. Creation hangs in the balance when we forget this connection. We acknowledge that our species and the entire earth community depends upon the healing of harm already done, moving toward sustainability for the future, and harmony that offers live-giving coexistence for all. Can we embrace our responsibility to care? Now is the time, if we want a future.

Glorious Diversity – November 18, 2018

“Then God scattered them from there all over the world. And they had to quit building the city. That’s how it came to be called Babel, because there God turned their language into “babble.” From there God scattered them all over the world.” (Genesis 11:9)

Creation Spirituality rejoices in and courageously honors the rich diversity within the Cosmos which is expressed in every individual and embodies multiple cultures, religions, and ancestral traditions. Creation is rife with theme and variation and yet fear has driven us to try to tame, label and homogenize it. What do we lose when we privilege dominant voices and limit perspectives?  Diversity is another name for God and should be celebrated!

Sacred Creative Vocation – November 11, 2018

Then I heard the Lord’s voice saying, “Whom should I send, and who will go for us?” I said, “I’m here; send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)

Made in the image of the Creator, every one of us carries within us the capacity to be a mystic, to be creative, to be visionary, and to be an agent for positive change. It is our responsibility to say “here I am, send me” and to cultivate our capacity to benefit the earth and all it’s creatures. What are we creating in this world that will cause positive ripples into the future?

The Paths of Life – November 4, 2018

“You changed my mourning into dancing. You took off my funeral clothes and dressed me up in joy so that my whole being might sing praises to you and never stop. Lord, my God, I will give thanks to you forever.” (Psalm 30:11-12)

The spiritual journey can be understood as a dance moving in and out of four mystical paths, each with their own gifts: awe and wonder; letting go; creativity; compassion and justice. These “cycles of life” are born out of the seasons of the planet and remind us that there is a time for everything and that fluctuations of the spirit are part of being human. Can we accept the Holy invitation to move fully into all the rhythms of life?

Spirit of Compassion – October 28, 2018

Spirit of Compassion – October 28, 201

Jesus said, “The first [commandment] in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.” Mark 12: 29-31)

It is through the work of spiritual practice that we move beyond fear into compassion and discover our deep and true selves. Engaging in spiritual practices–whether that looks typically religious (like praying) or not (like walking) have intentionality in common. They draw us closer to the Creator and who we were created to be–free and compassionate beings. What practices in your life draw you closer to your true essence and closer to compassion for others?

Creation as Blessing – October 21, 2018

Creation as Blessing

In the beginning God created… and saw that it was good. (Genesis 1: 29…24)

The Universe, and all life within it, is fundamentally a blessing, fundamentally good, and created to flourish–including us. This doesn’t prevent hardship and difficulties, but it does strengthen us as we go through tough times. It allows us to deepen in faith and spirituality without fear. Life in all its joys and struggles is a blessing–which means, it is something worth sharing. How might moving through our days with an eye for recognizing goodness and blessing transform our experience of life?

What if…we do something extraordinary? – October 14, 2018

What if…we do something extraordinary?

You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous in every way. Such generosity produces thanksgiving to God through us. Your ministry of this service to God’s people isn’t only fully meeting their needs but it is also multiplying in many expressions of thanksgiving to God. (2 Corinthians 9: 11-12)

Synopsis: Our generosity is multiplied when we look at enlarging our capacity and stretching our commitment, expanding our influence as we give constant thanksgiving to God. We give not just to meet needs, but to do something extraordinary. We challenge the congregation to extravagant generosity and to bring their pledge cards next Sunday.