Wednesday, December 28, 2016

As long as there's light . . .

Prayer and Healing Homily
December 27, 2016
John 1:1-14

Please pray with me,
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O God, our rock, our strength and our redeemer.  Amen. 

We gather today in the light of the Christmas season.  We heard the reading that would have been read on Christmas day.  It is good hear this text in the light of this Christmas season, because even though we may walk in the darkness of pain, loneliness, sickness or uncertainty of the future, the light of Christ still shines in our midst. 

We heard this text as we passed the light and lit candles at the early services on Christmas Eve.  In the King James translation of the Bible verse 5 reads like this, The light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.  

The light of Christ still shines this night and all nights.  The presence of Christ still breaks into our world…and the darkness that is part of our world cannot comprehend it. 

It seems that in this season of life and light, we long for the promise of the resurrection, the promise of God breaking into our world…the promise that God will reign in a new way. 

We can see the darkness around us in the battles and skirmishes around the world, in our own nation as we ponder what the future will bring under the leadership of a new president, and in our own homes as this season that should be one of light and love and hope may bring out not only the best in people but the worst.  

I read once that this is the time of year when the suicide rate goes up…it’s a time when the days are short, the nights are long…and loneliness creeps in…

After reading that statistic, I also read that this is the time of year when more people receive transplants that save lives….because of the untimely deaths of others.  I know, not the best image, but one for us to think about this night….that in the midst of death, life breaks through. 

In the midst of darkness, light breaks through…

Last year at this time, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was in theaters.  The battle between the dark side and the resistance was on the screens in full view.  At one point in the movie the resistance has a chance to destroy this new weapon.  Yet they know they can only do it while the weapon is charging from the sun.  Poe Dameron says, “As long as there’s light, we’ve got a chance.” 

“As long as there’s light, we’ve got a chance.” 

How true is that for us today? 

As long as there’s light, we’ve got a chance. 
As long as Christ’s light shines, the good news of the grace of God can be seen in our world. 
As long as Christ’s light shines, there is hope for peace on earth and good will for all of God’s creation. 

As long as Christ’s light shines, we show and share the light and love in this place, in our community and around our world. 

Christ’s light will continue to shine…we see glimpses of it every day. 
In the smiles and hugs that we share in this space. 
In the friendly greeting of others at the store or running errands. 
In the openness in this space to share an abundance of food with the hungry in our community. 
In a baptism we will celebrate this coming weekend….Christ’s light continues to shine. 
I invite you to help spread that light in this place and beyond. 

Come and light a candle, let Christ’s light shine, and as you go from this place tonight, take the light of Christ with you in a story or a prayer to share with a friend or loved one.  Tell others of God’s amazing grace and love and gift of healing. 

Share this light with others. 
Be the presence of God. 
The light shineth in darkness…and the darkness comprehended it not. 

And now may the peace, which passes all understanding, keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus and let all God’s people say, amen.  

Thursday, December 15, 2016

What we need is here.

Advent Fellowship Homily
Isaiah 35:1-10

Please pray with me,
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all of our hearts be acceptable in your sight O God, our rock, our strength and our redeemer.  Amen. 

Leaning forward to the coming of Christ, we hear images from Isaiah that God is already in our midst.  We hear of the land itself being glad and rejoicing with joy and singing. 

We are reminded to be strong, do not fear.  For here is your God. 
We hear of great transformations in people and places and things that can only be transformed through the amazing power and grace of God’s love. 
Yet, we still find ourselves waiting. 

We wonder what the future will bring, in our hearts, families, nation and world. 

While we know of the coming of the one who died for our sins, we still walk sometimes in fear, uncertain of God’s plan of action.  Yet in reality, all we need is already here. 

What we need is here is the final line from a Wendell Berry poem entitled, The Wild Geese. 
I invite you to close your eyes and listen to the poem. 

The Wild Geese

Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp sweet
of summer's end. In time's maze
over fall fields, we name names
that rest on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed's marrow.
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.

Open your eyes and see…What we need is here. 

In the lights that shine in the darkness, in the bread and wine shared at this table, in the empty cross that hangs before us….God is here. 

In the midst of waiting and uncertainty, what we need is here. 

Emmanuel, God with us, is here. 

This community of faith helps us to see beyond ourselves and our own needs, to reality that God calls us into a larger community on where God is always present.   

In a sanctuary filled with choirs and songs, God is here. 

In Sunday school classrooms with questions, laughter and prayer, God is here. 

In the abundance of gifts to be distributed to those less fortunate, God is here. 

In the conversations and meals shared in the social hall, God is here. 

In the gathering of family and friends to say goodbye to a loved one, God is here. 

In the waters of baptism, God is here.

In the word proclaimed, God is here.

In the bread and wine, God is here. 

In the light that breaks into the darkness.  God is here. 

What we need is here. 

Be strong and do not fear, for here is your God. 

And now may the peace, which passes all understanding keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, and let all God’s people say, amen. 

Friday, December 9, 2016


Hopped on the scale this morning.  
Truth is, I haven't been on the scale for several weeks.  As I prepared to run the Rehoboth half last week, I was more focused on preparing for the race and less focused on the weight.  Now I know that food and weight are good things to watch while training, but my focus was on getting to race day.  
Now that the race is over, I am able to refocus my exercise routine.  
I am looking forward to more classes at the gym to cross train and keep my body guessing as to what happens next.  I'm also working on building in some strength training.  
I know that mixing things up will strengthen my runner's ing down the road.  
With some Christmas gatherings coming up, here's to maintaining!  
Until the next weigh in.