Saturday, December 3, 2016

update: 90s songs for sermon titles

9/11/16.   “Losing My Religion” R.E.M. (1991)  

9/18/16 "Nice Guys Finish Last" (1997) Green Day

9/25/16 "Heart- shaped box". Nirvana

10/2/16 "Don't look back in anger, Oasis

10/9/16 "Save yourself" - Stabbing Westward" (1998)

10/16/16 “How Do You Talk To An Angel” The Heights (1992)

10/23/16. Better Man Pearl Jam (1994)

10/30/16 "Take Me To Your Leader" Incubus 1996

11/6/06 "One Fine Day" Mariah Carey Boys ll Men 

11/13/16 “Paradigm Shift” Liquid Tension Experiment (1998)

11/20/16 “If you could only see” Tonic 1996

11/27/16 “Semi-charmed kind of life” - 3rd Eye Blind

12/4/16 “Long December” Counting Crows 1996
12/11/16 "Welcome To Paradise" Green Day 1994
12/18/16 "Holiday" Get Up Kids 1999
12/25/16 at AFUMC
1/1/17 "Feats Don't Fail Me Now" Little Feat

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Advent I - Semi-Charmed Life (Third Eye Blind)

As I indicated last week, I'm posting my Advent sermons in this series on Creation referencing Diana Butler Bass' book, Grounded.

“Advent of Creation - Grounded” 
Advent 1 - Semi-Charmed Life (Third Eye Blind, 90's songs for sermon titles)
(note, We at ACOB, tend to have some discussion and answers to questions in the message. Some are more rhetorical than others. I've noted questions in color to indicate answers were welcome.)

Immanuel, God is with us. 
These words are the centerpiece of what we proclaim at Advent. (7:14 and 8:8) 

If God is with us, —these 2,000 years after the birth of Jesus— we should spend time reminding each other of the places we ‘see’ and ‘hear’ and experience God…as being WITH us.

I have noted that here, in this congregation — as is true in many others,— the places most named when we speak of experiences of the Divine are intimately tied to creation. 
Congregation: (Name a few of them now:)
This year our Advent celebration - will also be tied to Creation!
…it’s more appropriate than you might think.
our Christmas traditions are tied to greenery and candles, evergreen trees and scenes of snow. Yet it was the bright sun of CREATION that lit the underside of remaining leaves on fire as it crested over the horizon on this 1st Sunday of Advent.

This summer just past, the ‘BookWorms’ (our church reading group) read Diana Butler Bass’s Grounded. If you didn’t read it with us, but want to, this month would be a good time.

In her book, Diana Bass makes some observations, (many of which we are already aware.) 
Observations about church and unchurched people in the 21st century. And 
observations about people who classify themselves as ‘spiritual but not religious’. 
(you’ve heard that phrase before..)

ASK: What would you ask someone who self-classifies as ‘spiritual but not religious’?

Bass’s observations do not bemoan the loss of these people from our congregations, 
nor does she offer suggestions to get them back — IF they were ever ‘churched’ in the first place.
Her conclusions are more practical. 
She observes a ‘shifting conception of God” in the last decade from UP THERE to …well closer. 

The shift is also From a God who is mediated by pastors and priests, or at least thru the church itself—
—to a conception of God that is “unmediated and local.” 
“One that animates the natural world and human activity in profoundly intimate ways.

The God we worship today is the “heartbeat at the center of things”.

This may not seem surprising to you. Yet it is far different than the structures of Christianity as they have traditionally been practiced.
The intimate connection to the Divine was once only experienced by the mystics YET now seems to be the dominate way large numbers of people experience the Holy.
How does Diana Bass know all this? The answer is in the words we use
“People who self-identify as #SPnotR or those who are unaffiliated with a denomination, use a vocabulary of theological intimacy…as do many of us in more traditional faiths.”

Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Certainly we don’t consider ourselves to be the gatekeepers of God, do we? 

The prophet Isaiah that we just heard from, spoke of a reality where God’s word, found in the TorAH’s instruction, “is not only for Israel, but for ALL the nations.” 
Many nations will go and say,
“Come, let’s go up to the LORD’s mountain,
to the house of Jacob’s God 
so that he may teach us his ways
and we may walk in God’s paths.”

“God’s word and law are NOT the exclusive right of any particular people, but are ‘spoken’ for all who Stream towards the mountain of God.”

Perhaps what Isaiah foretold so long ago, is coming about NOW, in our time!
.  .  .
Bass says, “People are leading their own theological revolution and finding that the Spirit is much more WITH the world than we had previously been taught.”
ASK: What were you taught or what was implied about WHERE God is?

Bass also made the point that for generations past, people’s questions were about God’s intention towards them, or their people. (For instance, what does God intend for Israel?)
But since a time in the 20th century, (really after WWI and II), people began to ask, WHERE IS GOD? 
Where was God when the holocaust happened?
Where was God when Hitler was elected by the German people?
it’s a different question

Back then, People understood God to be in control of a more “vertical faith” or “elevator religion” where God is up, we are somewhere in the middle and Hell is down.
That is not the way most of us experience God today. (Even tho we still sing about God this way in our most beloved hymns and sometimes we talk about God in heaven and EVIL in hell.)

In the past, “God was omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient; 
All powerful, in All places, and All knowing. 

The God Bass now calls, “Grounded”, “is a God in relationship with space and time as the love that connects and creates all things, known in and with the world.”

(For me, these are words I’ve been waiting to hear since I first read, Gene Robinson’s book, Honest to God - written in the 60’s. A book I discovered as I wrestled with a call to ministry, 
to follow a God whom I no longer thought of as “up there,”— —
But until I could place God, in some small way of my own understanding — I couldn’t imagine following ANYWHERE.)

In spite of these modern revelations—- In advent —of all seasons, we often revert to an ancient understanding of God in order to listen again to our favorite Bible stories. 
 do we need to?
***ASK: Do we need to have a magical, ‘semi-charmed’ life in order to believe the Biblical stories of Christmas? ***
Is Advent about putting REALITY aside so we can enter the stable?
Do we merely need to open our eyes to see ALL life as ‘charmed’ and infused with the holy?

The stories all thru the Bible tell us of a “God who comes close [to humanity] who is compelled by a burning desire to make heaven on earth (up comes down) and occupy human hearts.”
In Abrahamic, Buddhism, Hinduism and Native faiths, there is a rich tradition of the HOLY coming near to touch humanity with all that is DIVINE.
From the promise to Abram and Sara to the burning bush and Moses, thru the reign of King David, to prophets like Isaiah, thru exile and return, —-again and again, 
God comes near, calls out, reaches thru, 
blinds and unblinds people to the point where they can see the Holy right before OUR EYES.

In a way, this revolution about God is a “RE-enchantment of the world” as we locate God everywhere and in everyday life.

In Advent, we again celebrate God ‘showing up’ here among us.   

ASK: isn’t it just when we most need the Lord of Hosts to be with us?
ASK: Where do you most need God to be right now?
This —is— Immanuel, God with us - 
 “God in stars and sunrise, 
God as the face of a neighbor, 
God in acts of justice, 
God as the wonder of love. 

The changes we experience “reveal not a dreadful, distant God, but that intimate presence of mystery that abides with the world
a spirit of compassion that breathes hope and healing, into places big and small. 

The 20th century horror of the Holocaust and the 21st century horrors of Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Orlando and Charleston, South Carolina, and 
the injustice coming to light in our legal system that punishes people of color more than those seen as ‘white’ — 

—ALL these tragedies are not places bereft of God. Nor are they scenes of horror that a Heavenly puppet-master caused. 
But in each one, God can be found - 
among the victims and the rescue workers. 
In the small and large acts of compassion shown by human for human. 
Where is God? 
in unselfish acts of heroism or unrecognized stands for justice
THESE are the “places where faith is being re-birthed “from the Ground UP!”

It’s not just the unchurched who have discovered the intimate ‘God with us’. —We have known this God all along.
we celebrate God With Us.

God is with us as We keep moving toward the hope we have in God’s future  by the choices we make today.. 
our personal, relational, political, and communal choices …made as we walk in God’s holy light.”

I WELCOME a theological revolution that GROUNDS us in the holy one. 
God, the ‘ground of all being’.

whose coming was promised and fulfilled in Jesus
whose presence is with us still.
Come let us adore him, now and always as we celebrate the Joy that comes into THIS World! 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Waiting, MORE Waiting? and where is HOPE?

I haven't posted. It seemed that my posts and rants have been more appropriate for Twitter than the fullness of a blog.
So I think I will post my Advent Sermons here.
Based on some work with Diana Butler Bass's Grounded.

Creation and Advent
The Advent of Creation - yep, it's appropriate right?

Since I HATE the saying, "God is in control." and I refuse to believe that all the hate and racism and ugliness that has been reported lately (but has always been out there) is in anyway part of God's desires for humanity.

So a walk into creation as we prepare to hear again the stories of Christ's birth seems so very delightful..although you can guess it won't be all sweetness and light. After all, we know John the Baptist will show up someplace!  After all, it's ADVENT.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Jesus 4 President

Jesus For President: I was just wondering about how popular Jesus would be in the climate of today's elections. Here are a few quick thoughts I've had. I welcome your comments - which may get edited since spam does accumulate..

  • Humility - while some of our scriptures indicate more openly that he is the Son of God, others have him referring to himself as the Son of Man. or “Human One”. Even instructing his disciples (when they figure out his references) to keep quiet and not tell anyone. I think ‘Son of God’ might get him more votes.
  • Commander in Chief - would be a problem. He never tried to ‘take anyone’s swords away’. He did stop his disciples from using them at the time of his arrest so it is doubtful that he would have sent troops to war. So he’d lose the hawk vote, and also lose the ‘strong defense’ vote.
  • War on Poverty - I do think he'd resurrect LBJ’s war on poverty and commit significant resources to eliminating poverty and hunger. Like “Bread for the World” says, we have the resources to end hunger RIGHT NOW, all we have to do is allocate them better. Jesus would do that.  (If congress didn’t stop him.)
  • Security - I do think Jesus would be for strong encryption. He spoke in parables that we are STILL trying to understand, so I think he would have very strong encryption to all communications. But he might freely share the encrypted messages and let the world try to understand. This would certainly take care of leaks and hacking…
  • Appearance - We don’t know about how he would dress in today’s world. Certainly the sandals and robe would be an interesting look over pants. Being an middle-easterner, he might be used to head-covering, although the images created in the last century show long flowing hair. His middle-eastern origin and distinctly Jewish features might divide the vote along ethnic lines. (Of course his birth certificate would prevent his running. But this is all hypothetical anyway.)
  • Demeanor - We also don’t know if he smiled enough, or too much, or had straight white teeth. And we all know how important are these finite details of presidential demeanor.
  • Life - Although he is pro-life, his definition of how to stand up for life is a bit different that we are used to hearing in 2016. And he seemed willing to let people act in private according to their conscience- he didn’t pick up the first or last stone… I’m not sure the “religious right’ would vote for him at all.
  • Pardon - Certainly his proclivity for forgiveness would turn off the ‘law and order’ vote.
  • Immigration - He liked to freely move between regions and lifted up the immigrants and social outcasts of his day, so we have to think open borders would be part of his platform.

No PAC funding - 
But we know Jesus could never be elected. Even without all the above lost votes, his constant barrage against those with money and great wealth would eliminate any donations from business, wealthy, PACS and the like. Without such funding, how would he secure any but his own vote.

And whether or not Jesus would vote??? Well that’s another essay.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Update on 90s songs for sermon titles

9/11/16.   “Losing My Religion” R.E.M. (1991)  - Luke 15:1-10

9/18/16 "Nice Guys Finish Last" (1997) Green Day - Luke 16:1-13

9/25/16 "Heart- shaped box". Nirvana - 1 Timothy 6:6-19

10/2/16 "Don't look back in anger, Oasis - Luke 17:5-19 & 2 Timothy 1:1-10

10/9/16 "Save yourself" - Stabbing Westward" (1998) - Luke 17:11-19

10/16/16 “How Do You Talk To An Angel” The Heights (1992) - Genesis 32:22-31, Lk 18:1-8

10/23/16 "Better Man" Pearl Jame (1994) -  Luke 18:9-14, Sirach 35:12-17 

10/30/16 TBD

It's fun and there are so many to choose from. The challenging part is figuring out where I'm going in enough time to pick the title. I had to google this last one but once I watch the video I remembered it. Here's one of the videos. 


Monday, September 12, 2016

New Week, New Idea

I came up with the inspiration last week of naming my sermon "Losing My Religion" after R.E.M.'s 1991 hit. Then I wondered, "What if I named all my fall sermons from 90's song titles?" Just going through my iTunes I found loads of options and created a potential list. But if you have a favorite, send me the title.
Meanwhile, maybe I can create a sidebar for the list. Next week's could be

By the way, I linked to the official music videos but haven't watch them lately or yet. So I can't vouch for the content. :-)

Off to lectionary group to see how this idea flies!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Spiritual Time Off - a gift for fall

I just wrote someone that time off is sometimes the best spiritual gift!. September is such a busy time for families and workers. Everyone seems to feel the "Back to school/work/session". I wonder if we feel it more in Washington DC?

This week actually feels a little better than last week, but there's still so much to do, just not as much running around. Since there is so much sitting, reading and typing to go along with planning and fall events, I am trying to keep up a daily workout that became more part of my life in July when I was on vacation. It feels good. But it sure is hot, so I'm going to an AC gym thanks to Arlington's 55+ "Gold" plan and their senior/community centers.

Funny how much of the work I'm doing will include recommending people take time for spiritual outings, spiritual classes, etc. So this Friday we cancelled a Young Adult meal and discussion. Perhaps the time will be the best spiritual gift of all.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Sermon Writing

After a month of wonderful community worship where I preached once and shared leadership for worship one service, I'm now back to study and writing a message. How quickly one gets out of the habit. Fortunately, our lectionary group kept meeting during this month. Each Monday we reviewed the scriptures and shared observations, insights, and ideas for preaching. What an awesome group for which I am very grateful.

Meanwhile, it has been a 'catch-up' month for visits and admin. I should no longer be surprised that then end of August through September is some of my busiest time. Planning for fall. Even though the days of "Rally Day" kick-offs at church are long gone. (I am old enough to remember them.) There is still an increase in programs to plan, even for a small church. We have the re-start of Intergenerational Sunday School once per month called "Big Sunday". Regular classes on Sunday resume and since we are small, it is a challenge to create some function form of Christian education that appeals and works for most people, while maintaining enough of the 'old school' classes to satisfy those who prefer the familiar ways. And our twice a month podcast Dunker Punks Podcast  continues. So life is full.

I'm trying to maintain an increased level of physical workouts that I managed for a good bit of the summer. That too is a challenge. Yoga at church on Wednesdays (5:45 pm) helps because Wednesdays are always full to overflowing days.

I keep getting notices on my Apple Watch from a project app that I have 67 "To Dos" awaiting me. Guess I haven't cleared those in a while! (Like maybe all summer?) I'm afraid to look.

I do enjoy planning worship, a lot! It may be my favorite thing of all. So now, that I've completed most of my reading, if I can create a message that challenges and brings us closer to God.  No small task.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Great Days fade fast

Last Friday's retreat day at National Cathedral was wonderful. I "wasted" a little time recording a podcast that didn't record properly but it was still a lovely day. This week, back to meetings, conference calls, visits, appointments, planning...but not a full sermon for one last week of Community Worship. It has been delightful in so many ways.

To see a full sanctuary each week, to visit a different church and hear a different preacher, to get to know others from our neighbor churches, this is the delight of August in Arlington, VA. So many have told me they want us to continue to do this! and perhaps best of all, the choir! A real community choir of full strength (for small churches) is a real gift.

This coming Sunday (27th) we meet at Lubber Run Park Amphitheater followed by a picnic at the pavilion. Another delight.

Meanwhile there is so much fall planning to do. I'm still struggling to design some meaningful Christian education in a format that works for today's churchgoers. How do I structure time beyond Sunday worship when it is so hard to get people to come any other time? (Unless there is food or a service project involved.) So we are working on some book group ideas that alternate, using Brethren Voices TV, maybe a Bible study where people bring their questions for us to wrestle with, and some engagement with Messenger magazine, our denomination magazine. Planning this (along with monthly "Big Sunday" which is Intergenerational) takes more time than I seem to have. But that's the work of summer's end and early fall. = Always!

For now, memories of a day of sabbath rest, worship, and quiet.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Spiritual Retreat

Spiritual Retreat Days are a part of my contract. I am to take one per month. I love the idea of renewal and refreshment on a monthly basis...but it doesn't happen. When your week is portioned out by scripture groups, regular visits, stops at the gym for fitness, evening meetings, weekly study of scripture, sermon writing, worship planning and scheduled appointments, it is hard to find a whole day to free up. Somehow that seems a luxury for which there is never enough time. What do I give up? Who do I put off, not visit, when does the sermon writing happen? and How can I write a sermon without spending a day reading and studying the scripture and other resources?

But today I plan to go off on retreat.

It's only a day, or maybe part of a day. (Just heard about impending traffic snarls this afternoon.) But I'm about to pack my backpack with writing, and some reading, some earphones and lots of water. I so need a time of renewal to take away the snarky negativity that has built since Annual Conference. Feeling that this is more like a doctor appointment that's needed than excited anticipation. That tells me a lot!

Here goes...

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday Mornings

Some Sunday mornings you are surprised by a call; major sickness in a member.
Some Sunday mornings you sit in prayer and then review your sermon.
Some Sunday mornings you read the central point...and realize you might have failed to actually make it your central point.

Thanks Eric Barreto.
“The Way” is a powerful metaphor for Christian identity. Instead of being identified by a set of beliefs, these faithful communities were known by their character in the world

Christian faith was a way of life and one that impelled individuals and communities to leave the safe confines of home and church to walk on the road God had set out. “The Way” suggests that faith is a living, active way of life.” (


Monday, March 21, 2016

Holy ---Holy Week, Batman!

I often wish I had super powers when Holy Week arrives. Or at least the enhanced capabilities of Batman. Perhaps better would be the BatCave in which to retreat! (but that's for next week)

Feet washing at ACoB
I am working on a Love Feast service for Thursday that will include stories from others and from years past. I wish I had all the replies I'm looking for, but perhaps today and tomorrow will pull it together. It will be hard to top last year's where we had characters from the past tell their stories.

Our focus has been "Telling Our God Stories" thanks to the Rev. Sarah Dorrance DMIN project, adapted for Lenten texts and Brethren peculiarity. We still have one more Sunday and some small group studies to complete.

Good Friday is an ecumenical service with our partners Bethel UCC and Arlington Forest UMC and will include all the scriptures readings plus scents and sounds. Now to find all the sounds I need. Yup, lots still to do.

But today is Easter Sermon writing at the Buzz Coffee shop. Our Lectionary Group has been so wonderful and these marathon sermon-writing days have been really helpful. It's a very supportive group that keeps evolving as friends move and 'calls' change.

Happy Birthday to Cinda Brucker who gets to have a birthday in Holy Week on top of it all! whew.

Friday, February 26, 2016

A Sermon in Pictures - Psalm 84

David Moulton

“Spirit of all holiness, come to our aid today, that we might walk with prayerful passion during these forty days wherever we go, may we know we are always with you. Lord, hear us as we pray in the name of Christ, amen”

Edward Hays Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim (Leavenworth:Forest of Peace Pub, 1989) 138 “Lenten Psalm of the Royal Road”

Saturday, February 6, 2016

the Story of Blessing

Exodus 34:29-35, Gen 12:1-5a, Luke 9:28-32 The Story of Blessing 2.7.16

DBB on 'robcast
I heard a podcast this week in which Dianna Butler Bass was interviewed about her latest book, Grounded. She spoke about the very latest Pew Research Polling that found - 49% of Americans have had a mystical experience that was transforming. The poll was just released but in 1962 it was only 22% of Americans reported a mystical experience. Is spirituality on the decline or rise?       

While these stories we heard today may seem ancient and unrelated to current events, perhaps we just aren't talking to the right people or hearing the right stories. and our focus today is on stories. 
It is our theme for Lent, “Telling Our Story”     (Rev. Sarah Dorrance DMin theme, who gets all the credit for the ideas undergirding this series.)
. . .

'The one/story we just heard from Genesis (12:1-5) is one of the earliest stories in our Hebrew-Christian heritage. It can get lost in the many tales that come after, but it is the original calling of a people.
 It is original blessing for those who come to call themselves God's People. AND adding to last week's mission statement theme, it is God's Peoples' original mission statement. "We are blessed to be a Blessing".(1)
This may be the most important story of all. It is central to what Jesus tells in word and deed as he re-enlightens people; opening their eyes to see once again the BLESSING of God. 
His message of service to others is rooted in the Gift from God of Blessing. We are blessed in order to be a blessing to others. This is why we serve.
It's a story worth telling again and again.
. . .

The story we heard previously comes early in Moses' wilderness journey with the Israelites.(Ex.34:29-34) It too has many layers built upon it and easily gets buried with the spectacular stories about plagues and passover. 
Yet this short passage is key because Moses is transformed to the point of actual shining... And he doesn't even realize it! He is reflecting God’s glory and it is too much for the people to see, so he has to cover his face.  Unusual since he is not covering before God, but covering to protect God’s people from the truly AWESOME God.
Certainly this was a shocking experience of all the people who encountered him and made this a story worth telling again and again. 
The fact that it is in our Bibles makes it a story for millennia!

. . .
The related story today, also read is from Luke 9:28-32 

Clearly the story of Jesus' transfiguration (as it is known) is meant to tie him to the 'greats' in Israel's history; Moses and Elijah -- showing thru the story that Jesus SHINES with God's glory, like Moses and even more so. Jesus reflects God's glory. And even tho the disciples who saw it are asked not to mention it until a later time, it is clear this story was meant to be told!
. . .

These are stories of extraordinary blessing. Blessing that so prominently reflects God’s glory that it can be seen on the face.
. . .

What strikes me about all these is the way God chooses to reveal God's self through these great stories. .
 Through the stories of people's lives
*** If stories are how God reveals God's self, then OUR stories are the place to see where God is working in our world today! *****
. . .
Think about the ways you understand God. now 
Tell me a big story that has helped you know God.

1st - What Big Story is at the heart of how you know God?
is it a Bible story or is it a story from your life - a spiritual experience that helps you know God?

What are God's Big Stories? (we’ve been touching on the Big Stories in Big Sunday and we have two more.)
God "saves" God's people from slavery in Egypt. How does that story help you know God? What does it tell you about God?
God continues to stay with this people, even after they build a golden calf to worship. 
What does it tell you about God?

Of course we top it all off with Jesus as a self-revelation of God’s presence in humanity.

If you didn't have all these stories about God, what would you know about God? And how would you know?  (earth?)

We need the biblical stories to tell us about God. When we hear one of these stories, isn't our tendency to imagine ourselves in the story? Somewhere? 
  • We wonder if we could up and leave home, like Abraham did
  • We wonder what escape from slavery would feel like if you were running across the Reed/ Red Sea?
  • We wonder how a people could wander in the wilderness until a whole generation died - pretty much allowing only their children into the promised land.
  • We wonder what it would be like to look at Moses when his face shown too brightly to keep looking at.

Stories are how we learn to be in relationship with God.
We learn that God saves.
We learn from Jesus that God continues to save.
We learn that God cares about humans.
And we learn that these 'great' humans of our stories are changed by their encounters with the Holy One.
Moses is "stamped with the glory that God's words evoke" and his face shines.

All God's people have forever been shaped by Moses' experience on the mountain. The 10 great 'words' or better known as the 10 commandments shape our experience of God. "They are called 'glorious' words (like the glory seen on Moses' face) because they bear witness to the One whom heaven and earth cannot contain and yet whose glory it is to be Israel's God."
"Moses was marked with God's light - that "terrible light of God's reflected presence" that chose to live among God's people.

Can you feel your chest swell a little bit with excitement to be included as part of God's people? 
We are grafted in, as St. Paul wrote. We are witnesses to God's Story and we are meant to reflect God's light into all the dark places of our world.
We aren't different than Moses in many ways, we are broken and very human, yet we too are meant for shining. Numbers 6:25 (insert) "God who makes God's face to shine!"
 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites:You shall say to them,
 The Lord bless you and keep you;
 the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace

But just how do we do it?
How do we take the BLESSING of love we know and share it?
of course
We Share love by loving others and serving others, but how does that tell them the richness of this story, this heritage of which we are a part?

***We do it by sharing OUR stories. This is our purpose during Lent that begins this Wednesday. Each week as we work through the biblical story, we reflect how our own stories intersect with God's story of saving love.

We who know God, who have an intimate relationship with God, we need to realize that we REFLECT God's Glory. Even if we don't think about it that way. Each time you act with love you are reflecting God's love. Each time you tell your story of God in your life, you are reflecting God’s story with humanity.

Mystical Experiences have been with humans always as they have encountered the Divine Presence.
Mister Eckhart was one of the Great Mystics of the past. He wrote, "We should not think holiness is based on what we DO but rather on what we ARE, for it is not our works that sanctify us, but WHO sanctifies our world."

We were made to be a blessing, just like God first told Abraham.
The stories of God's interaction with humans tell us about God and help us see how our own stories are part God's BIG story with humanity.
Our stories are Our starting place.
Our story is the way we see God working in the world.
Lent is the perfect Time for you to spend time with the Great Mystery, we call God.

Think, Journal or talk to a friend this week.
What are the Big stories of you life?
Where do you see God in your life?
What have these experiences taught you about who God is?

We each reflect God, WE each are part of the ways God reveals Godself in the world. This makes our stories extremely important. Important to know and important to share.
Let us commit to learning, and telling our stories this Lent so that we too may reflect the glory of God.

(1)  nod to soon to be Rev. Dr. Sarah Dorrance and the Rev. Dr. Jeff Carter
Resource for quotes
Thomas Currie, Feasting On The Word - Theological (Louis:WJK,2009)434-438