Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Birth of a Christmas Sermon: Sharing the Creative Process

I've just finished the process of sharing in the creation of a Christmas Eve meditation. I've never collaborated on the writing of any sermon, but to have done so for such a special service feels even more poignant.

The senior minister and I each wrote about half of the meditation (focusing on the Angels' message to "Be not afraid") and I believe it has been woven together wonderfully. Thanks to Hal for being such a generous and fun colleague! 

A blessed Christmas to All!

Toward A New Paradigm
"Toward a New Paradigm" by Mary Southard,CSJ

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bearing God

I can't help it! Advent is my favorite season of the church year, and Mary's stories grab me like no other. So here is another of my favorite prayer/poems. This one is by Jan L. Richardson. Enjoy!

Not to one, but to many you have called:


On the dancing wind


From the deepest forest


From the highest places


From the distant lands

Come from the edge of darkness


From the depth of fear

And become

The bearer of God.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Maria Sacerdota

As I research my sermon for the 4th Sunday in Advent (also the winter Solstice, I'd like to note!), I came across this amazing poem about Mary ... who is the focus of this week's Gospel text. Just as Mary's Magnificat forever challenges the status quo, so this poem by Alla Renee Bozarth challenges our perceptions of Mary's relationship to her child. 

Maria Sacerdota—

Mary, Protopriest of the New Covenant


Before Jesus

was his mother.


Before supper

in the upper room,

breakfast in the barn.


Before the Passover Feast,

a feeding trough.

And here, the altar

of earth, fair linens

of hay and seed.


Before his cry,

her cry.

Before his sweat

of blood, her bleeding

and tears.

Before his offering, hers.


Before the breaking

of bread and death,

the breaking of her

body in birth.

Before the offering

of the cup,

the offering of her


Before his blood,

her blood.

And by her body and blood

alone, his body and blood

and whole human being.


The wise ones knelt

to hear the woman's word

in wonder.

Holding up her sacred child,

her God in the form of a babe,

she said: "Receive and let

your hearts be healed

and your lives be filled

with Love, for

this is my body,

this is my blood."


--The Reverend Dr. Alla Renee Bozarth

Friday, December 12, 2008

Windows of the Soul Friday Five

Compliments of Sophia at RevGalBlogPals - she writes...
This Friday Five is inspired by my husband's Lasik surgery yesterday....He'd been contemplating it for a while and was pushed over the edge by the fact that we put too much money in our healthcare spending account this year and it would have been gone anyway. (There was only enough for one eye, but the kind people at the eye clinic figured out a way to divvy up the charges between surgery and followup in January=next year's spending account). So please say a little prayer for his safe recovery and share with us your thoughts on eyes and vision.

1. What color are your beautiful eyes? Did you inherit them from or pass them on to anyone in your family? 
Green with a tendency to go blue sometimes... my parents and brothers all have deep slate-blue eyes (hmmm).
2. What color eyes would you choose if you could change them?
I kinda like my eye-color ... perhaps I'd enjoy my dad's blue, or maybe the violet contact lenses that a teen in my church wears.
3. Do you wear glasses or contacts? What kind? Like 'em or hate 'em?
Thick coke bottle glasses (thank heaven for lighter, thinner lenses!). They're okay, in this wonderful future time we live in (oh how I hated those thick glasses as a kid - went to contacts in Jr. High and didn't go back until grad school - rough memories).
4. Ever had, or contemplated, laser surgery? Happy with the results?
No way! I have too much of a Mary Ingalls-inspired fear of blindness. I will happily live with my glasses.
5. Do you like to look people in the eye, or are you more eye-shy?
Bonus question: Share a poem, song, or prayer that relates to eyes and seeing.
"I see my eyes in your eyes through my eyes - still waters." -from You and Me of the 10,000 Wars by the Indigo Girls.

Monday, December 1, 2008


...sort of (*Visiting family of origin: vacation or not? Discuss*).
Watching our 4th movie (give or take); eating our 7th meal of Thanksgiving leftovers (give or take); drinking our 13th bottle of wine (give or take). Mmmm, wine.

Thanksgiving may be over, but I give thanks for this visit with brothers and parents. I give thanks for sentimental reminders of childhood - people and places and things. I give thanks for reconnecting with long-time friends.
And yes, I give thanks for wine!