Monday, December 1, 2014

Blogging Again

I can't believe it's been over two years since I've posted anything, but now that I will be preaching regularly, I intend (as a minimum) to post my sermons.  I will be serving Christ Church, Gardiner as half-time priest-in-charge, probably for about a year.  I expect that Neo will post as well.  He had such a great time his first Sunday there.  He sat in the pews with parishioners and really enjoyed the coffee hour.  He had two laps to choose from in the vestry meeting.

First Sunday in Advent, Year B
November 20, 2014
Christ Church Gardiner

The sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will be falling from heaven,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
- Mark 13.24

It is the start of a new church year. The first Sunday in Advent.  A time of waiting in the darkness for the birth of the one who is called the light of the world.  A time of anticipation.  So why at this time of year when we are so looking forward to Christmas, do we get such gloom and doom about the end of the world. And what is this about staying awake. It seems as though our lectionary gives us readings about endings when we are talking about beginnings. The beginning of a new church year, the beginning of the life of Jesus, the beginning a relationship between you and me.

The beginning of the universe,according to scientists, was with a big bang and the release of huge amounts of energy.  Then quarks and all kinds of strange sub-atomic particles formed from this energy and joined together and coalesced to form stars and then galaxies all moving out from that center bang and some many billions of years later we humans stand here on this earth and on a cold winter night look up and marvel at the night sky and maybe even marvel at the One who created it all.  Who used stardust to create us. 

In a small, recent part of those billions of years, we humans, made-in-the-image-of-God people,  are reminded that it will all end.  Sometimes this reminder is called a little Apocalypse or sometimes, the Second Coming. Jesus tells this to his disciples at the Mount of Olives.  He is telling about the time when he will return again; a time he thinks might be within their lifetimes, but he doesnt really know. Its about the end of the world. It could be tomorrow, or after our star, the sun, dies out and our earthly home turns cold and can no longer sustain life, but Jesus says to stay awake for whenever it is.

Some people talk about three comings.  The first is the one we celebrate on Christmas day when God took human form and lived among us and theres the one in our gospel that speaks of the end when: “…in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.But there is a middle coming,  that Jesus also speaks of, not in todays gospel, but when he speaks of Gods kingdom.  He tells us the kingdom is already here, not fully, but it is here. There is a beginning and an end, but there is also a now. In fact, for us, it is all now.Yes, we know, our world is broken.  It is full of endings, a loved one dies, people get divorced, a young black man gets shot, people fight over television sets in Black Friday sales, a young man runs over his mother and kills her, terrorists kill innocent people, people struggle to put food on the table or heat their homes and sometimes their dreams for their children die, people give up trying and turn to drugs including alcohol. But nowis also full of beginnings. Children are born, more people get healthcare, people of different faiths struggle to work together; people who love each other, no matter their gender, marry;  We are called to keep awake and look for Christ in the darkness, to look for Christ in all we meet.

I discovered an artist and poet this week.  Her name is Jan Richardson. 

Blessing When the World is Ending
Look, the world
is always ending
the sun has come
crashing down.
it has gone
completely dark.
it has ended
with the gun
the knife
the fist.
it has ended
with the slammed door
the shattered hope.
it has ended
with the utter quiet
that follows the news
from the phone
the television
the hospital room.
it has ended
with a tenderness
that will break
your heart.
But, listen,
this blessing means
to be anything
but morose.
It has not come
to cause despair.
It is simply here
because there is nothing
a blessing
is better suited for
than an ending,
nothing that cries out more
for a blessing
than when a world
is falling apart.
This blessing
will not fix you
will not mend you
will not give you
false comfort;
it will not talk to you
about one door opening
when another one closes.
It will simply
sit itself beside you
among the shards
and gently turn your face
toward the direction
from which the light
will come,
gathering itself
about you
as the world begins
Jan Richardson © Jan Richardson.

We are called to keep awake to the blessings of this life: to the beginnings. The hope and light of Jesus is present in Gods church, this church: Christ Church, Gardiner.  Christ Church has been gathered up in prayer by all the people, who throughout the years, have lifted up to God,  their hopes, their fears, their conflicts and their faith.  This church is a place of expectation, of waiting for the kingdom that is now. Waiting for blessings that are now.  Waiting for healing that is now; for forgiveness that is now, for reconciliation that is now.  The urgency in the gospel is not that the world is about to end, but the urgency is to keep awake in the now to bring about the kingdom beginning now.


Leonardo Ricardo said...

YOU popped right up on my sidebar feed...welcome back to blogging, I feel so glad that I have never lost touch via facebook. Happy everything, Len

motheramelia said...

Thank you Len, I doubt if I will do much more than post what happens on Sunday. Neo, however, may do better, but I doubt it. Right now he's in the bedroom on his bed napping and its just 7:30 in the morning.