Sermon 2- Poets and Prophets of Silence and Speech

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Snow is another thing that slows me down and helps me be still. And it is another thing I am watching with fear as we get less and less each year. I savor these days.

Sermon 1/20/2019 at Day House Catholic Worker
Isaiah 62:1-5
By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

Isaiah begins “For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet.”

I believe in refusing to be silent. But I also believe in silence and quiet. I believe that we need to still ourselves long enough to hear those words when we are each called “my delight” and listen for “our new name pronounced by the mouth of the Lord.” God calls us by name, but it is so easy to miss when we aren’t paying attention.

It is not easy in our culture to find total silence or to stay in one place long enough to see what is right in front of us.

This week I am thinking a lot about Mary Oliver who died on Thursday. She is a poet who always had the gift of helping me to be quiet and altered my way of seeing the simplicity of life around me.

I have found myself struck with gratitude and grief realizing that there was something steadying to know that Mary Oliver was out in the woods somewhere paying attention to the beetles and the dew drops. So, my reflections tonight are filled with words from Mary Oliver tonight. Continue reading

Behind the Scenes

baptismal

Detroit, MI

By Tommy Airey, a homily preached at The Abbey Church (Victoria, BC) on Sunday, January 20, 2019

“When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from…” (John 2:9a)

Theologian Kelly Brown-Douglas explains that when the earliest slaves in America listened to the reading of the Bible, they heard the voice of “The Great High God”—the free, sovereign divinity they knew well from their African heritage. This was the creator God who was far greater than humans and all “the lesser gods” in the universe. This is the God defined by Steadfast Love in this morning’s Psalm: in this Higher Power, there is refuge and abundance, feasting and drinking from the river of delight. Continue reading

Martin Luther King, the Beloved Community and the Socialist Idea

obery hendricksA classic from theologian Obery Hendricks, re-posted from The Huffington Post (May 2, 2014).

I speak the password primeval…I give the sign of democracy; By God! I will accept nothing which all cannot have their counterpoint of on equal terms.
Walt Whitman

Recently on The Huffington Post I explored Martin Luther King’s rejection of capitalist logic and his endorsement of Democratic Socialism as an antidote to the ills and injustices inherent to the capitalist system he so fervently opposed. These include capitalism’s subordination of human welfare to the pursuit of profits; its transformation of greed from Christianity’s Third Mortal Sin to the preeminent capitalist virtue (based on a selective reading of Adam Smith); and its rejection of the biblically-mandated responsibility to “love your neighbor as yourself,” i.e., to care for society’s poor and vulnerable. In addition to the consternation that I would dare to use Martin Luther King and “socialism” in the same sentence, a number of readers also seized on King’s endorsement as confirmation of the old charge that he was a Communist sympathizer. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Married to the Land

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Vikki Marie has been listening to and collaborating with Indigenous people for many years, here she is with Western Shoshone leaders at the Navada Desert Test Site in 2011.

Second Sunday after Epiphany
Ordinary Time C
Isaiah 62:1-5
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
John 2:1-11

By Rev. Dr. Victoria Marie

Today’s readings speak to me of several related themes God’s love and God’s love of justice; our gifts and the gifts of others; to use our gifts in the service of the Creator; and, of our need to remember to trust and have faith. In this homily(-starter), I wish to plant seeds for reflection through giving snippets of my thought on the readings. Continue reading

Send me

imagesBy Ken Sehested

It was a time of great turmoil in the land. The Spirit of God bypassed all the famous leaders and came to me with a dream.

And I saw the Ruler of All Creation sitting on a throne, high and lofty, with majesty filling the sky as far as the eye could see.

Angels filled the air, shouting, “Holy, holy, holy! Just and Righteous and Merciful is God’s name!” Continue reading

The Heirloom Seeds of an Ancient and Profoundly Relevant Faith

sngBy Rev. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin (right), a pastor, parent, author and organizer in Portland, OR

*This is the third installation of a year-long series of posts from contributors all over North America each answering the question, “How would you define radical discipleship?” We will be posting responses regularly on Mondays during 2019.

As is often quoted within Radical Discipleship circles, ‘Radical’ comes from the Latin: radix, meaning root — getting to the root causes, the root pressures, the roots of our faith. Yes! Let’s get to the roots!

But today as I reflect on what Radical Discipleship means to me, and why it is necessary in the first place, I want to talk about seeds. Continue reading

Through the Wilderness

walzerFrom Jewish political theorist Michael Walzer’s Exodus and Revolution (1985):

So pharaonic oppression, deliverance, Sinai, and Canaan are still with us, powerful memories shaping our perceptions of the political world. The “door of hope” is still open; things are not what they might be–even when what they might be isn’t totally different from what they are. This is a central theme in Western thought, always present though elaborated in many different ways. We still believe, or many of us do, what the Exodus first taught, or what it has commonly been taken to teach, about the meaning and possibility of politics and about its proper form:

-first, that wherever you live, it is probably Egypt;

-second, that there is a better place, a world more attractive, a promised land;

-and third, that “the way to the land is through the wilderness.” There is no way to get from here to there except by joining together and marching.