This Bethlehem Dream

Advent JesusBy Tommy Airey, from Listening in the Dark: Daily Advent Reflections for Radical Discipleship Communities (2017)

We script & sing this Bethlehem Dream
Of Life reflecting divine Reality,
Light illuminating every dark cavity,
When the lion and the lamb
Dance to a silent tune sung by all humanity.

Until then,
Addiction assaults an
Anxious audience
Caught in counterfeit dramas spun on cable channels. Continue reading “This Bethlehem Dream”

Where Does It Hurt?

Council on the WayBy Nathan Holst, a sermon 

O Spirit guide us now, O Spirit guide us now, O Spirit guide us now, in your way, guide us; Spirit guide all of us today as we listen for where you are moving. Amen.

That song by Sara Thomsen is one I used quite a bit at a gathering in Washington DC just last month where 20 white Christian men came together with Ruby Sales, a Black civil rights and freedom movement leader, to talk about a theology of redemption for white men in this time. My friend and colleague, Tommy Airey, invited me to come and be a part of the group that he and Ruby Sales had put together, and partly because Mother Ruby is one of my heroes and because I was drawn to the work, I said yes. When I shared about it with Pastor Kathy, she asked me to preach and share about my experience, so that’s what I intend to do this morning. And as I share, I want to put up a picture of Mother Ruby to honor her and bring her into this space because she was our spiritual guide in this work. Continue reading “Where Does It Hurt?”

Looking for our Advent store?

Advent 1
By Sarah Holst

Dear RadicalDiscipleship readers,

For the last several years, we have been putting out a RadicalDiscipleship store in November full of advent reflection books, kids’ calendars, greeting cards, and books. We have loved putting it together and the ways it felt like we were physically in touch with communities who read and contribute to this space.

This year we do not have a store up through RadicalDiscipleship, however that energy and creativity of making resources for radical Christian communities has not stopped, we are simply turning it over to Geez magazine’s website where there is much better capacity and technology to accommodate such things. Continue reading “Looking for our Advent store?”

Listen to the Stones

HumphreyBy Matthew Humphrey (right),

Not one stone will be left stacked upon another
the teacher said, the twinkle in his eye dimming just a moment,
as they all gasped, Say it’s not so!
Their human gaze traced in adorned temple stones.
Listen to the stones, my friends.

The stones… on which Jacob dreamed at Bethel – the house of God.
The 12 stones… circled round, gathered up from Jordan rivers banks,
by ancestors, all gathered at Gilgal, the circle of standing stones. Continue reading “Listen to the Stones”

#climatefuture

Screen Shot 2019-11-09 at 2.58.42 PMFrom Michelle Martinez, a Latinx-Mestiza environmental justice activist, writer, and mother, who is working on a 30-day challenge to reframe our #climatefuture positively. 

I want to breathe a cold Nov moment, quiet rustling of leaves, not smog sirens, so I can hear our ancestors’ cantor.

I want human sun houses to warm, drink tea and get VitD all winter, replacing warm car naps and drivethrus.

I want grapevines and cucumbers and other edible climbers to replace chain link fences.

I want Black Friday to mark the day we make per pupil allotments equal across all zip codes. Continue reading “#climatefuture”

Prayer for Wednesday

IMG_2141

By Kateri Boucher

Do you remember when
all that time ago
last Sunday
you asked to be held
in the
tension?
Said yes, I will stay in
the tension
And the wine and pita
and big old
orange moon
were your friends
and witnesses?

Well now it’s almost Thursday
and you haven’t even looked
for the moon all week,
much less
seen it,
and the tension feels lonelier
tonight than you remembered
and half the power’s out
and the mice have found the rice
and left a little trail
down to the basement

But even now I suppose
it isn’t too late to crack
a smile at the whole damn
mess,
light a candle in the kitchen,
sweep up the rice,
remember that you asked
to be held because you
already are,
and anyway
it’s just
3 more days now
til next Sunday

 

Thin Love

RicBy Ric Hudgens (right)

“Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.”–Toni Morrison

I don’t want the thin love anymore.

So thin it needs a second coat.

Too thin
to be seen at a certain angle
to hold the weight
to pull us out of the ditch
to keep things connected
to grasp with both hands
to tie my life together
to nourish our souls.

Give me the thick love.

The love that is love.

–rdh
08/12/2019

Come the Dawn

OzBy Oz Cole-Arnal, former professor emeritus at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary

*Note: this is the third installment of poems from Professor Cole-Arnal’s recent memoir work. “Come the Dawn” was written in Feb 1981, shortly after almost succumbing to an illicit affair in France during May-June (1980). These words mark his attempt to remember his marital promises and his continual love for wife Marian (“Bunny”). It is also critical to remember that this poetry included a third party: his therapist Andy Coppolino with whom they were wrestling with his nocturnal dreams.

A howl of pain piercing the night,
Wide awake, the only sound a heartbeat,
The discovery of mortality, alone, deeply alone,
Wrapped in darkness and afraid

–Before the dawn. Continue reading “Come the Dawn”

Narcissus

OzBy Oz Cole-Arnal, former professor emeritus at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary

Penned barely two months after “My Prayer” in the same year (October, 1980), the poem below shows how painful is the continuation of forbidden hungers vying against my effort to sustain integrity in my relationships with my dear wife, two boys, students and friends. Above all, although 1980 proved healthier than the next five years when my marriage fell apart, the poem below shows how fragile this “calm before the storm.”

Lonely man sitting by the water—
Transfixed by its mirror image,
Clinging to the pond’s stillness,
Fearful of its changing ripples,
And chained within! Continue reading “Narcissus”