ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS WORSHIP at Trinity, 4957 E. Highway 61, Hovland, MN 218-475-2439
Sunday Morning Worship, 9:00 A.M. (and “coffee an’” Fellowship time follows Sunday worship)
CHRISTMAS EVE 5:45 p.m. Community Potluck begins--Trinity provides turkey and ham, bring a favorite dish if you have time and "the fixins" or come to enjoy the meal and time with neighbors 7:00 P.M. Candlelight Christmas Eve Worship
CHRISTMAS DAY 10:30 a.m. Christmas Morning Worship Christmas hymns, readings, reflection
Trinity Lutheran Church, midway between Grand Marais and Grand Portage along Lake Superior's North Shore invites you to Worship;
Worship is central to who who we are and how we strive to live-out our mission in Christ; celebrating the power of God amoung us who creates, heals, forgives, inspires.
Pastor Kris Garey, 218-475-2439
Preaching, 2rd Sunday in Advent, 2018
Like some of you, I have an on/off interest in history … maybe because there are so many things that are different, yet the same around the world and across time.
Going back in time…we find that what even what history is thought to be has changed. Maybe because there is a different outlook on what was important, or maybe because there wasn’t easily accessible paper and pens and people who could read and write,
So, this reading from the Gospel of Luke.
“In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius…”
Takes us into history…way back 2000 years
Then, as now…history was remembered and lookec back upon to make a point, to teach a truth, to draw people into their community’s narrative. Luke is doing that: placing the beginning of the Christian story – the story that when he wrote was what began to define and encourage and challenge his community, as it does us…
This reading is early in this Gospel account, but in Luke it is also the third time he has placed this telling admist the world stage. First the birth of John the Baptist was “in the days of King Herod of Judah” (1:5). Next he told of the birth of Jesus during the time of Emperor Augustus, and now, as John is about to start his ministry, Luke puts him squarely amid historical figures.
Why does Luke do this? Because God is giving us ways to see, that , as we used to say about bold people when I was a kid: John the Baptist had guts.
Because, no matter who was reading these lines,
emperor or regional governor or mighty merchant
Luke gives to events that in their moment were small.. a place along side the world-shaking people and events of the day.
Luke dares those who were there, and now us, to hear and ask….
“Really? The birth of one child, John, to an old couple,
Unimportant in the days in which he was born, included now in the list of who’s who? ”
Luke has just told, before what we read today, of the births of 2 small children to unimportant people..what can they possibly have to do with emperors, and kings and regional governors?
Come to think of it, when we are so familiar with the story, we can forget to ask, why would it be written like that?
Why not just stick to telling about Jesus and his for-runner John ?
The message is huge, about the small ways God is using to make big bold truth…
But it would be easy to miss…
Just as it is easy to miss
that God’s mercy comes disguised is human weakness – children of no account, by human standards…who grow up and through whom God reconciles the world unto God’s own self.
It seems there is always something of small seeds of surprise in God’s story for us…
Even in Minnesota winter with winter storm warnings, we know about small seed surprises. Small seeds and bulbs planted in the fall,…dormant in cold and laborious winter, begin, in the spring, to push through what seemed impenetrable and then, though seeming insignificant, push up grow,spread…
So Luke begins his story by making the outrageous claim that God is at work in the weak and small – babies and barren women and unwed teenage mothers and wild-eyed prophets and itinerant preachers and executed criminals – to change the world. And, to be quite honest, God’s not done yet.
God continues to work through unlikely characters today – unpopular teens and out-of-work adults and corporate executives and stay-at-home parents and underpaid secretaries and night-shift workers and police officers and volunteer baseball coaches and even burned out preachers – to announce the news of God’s redemption. It’s a promise, as I said, that’s easy to miss, but when we hear it – and even more – when we see it taking place in our own lives – it changes us along with the world.
Luke gives us his outrageous claim, then follows it up with another, and another. The “word of the Lord” comes to this nobody named John in that no-place called the wilderness and that small and insignificant thing is more important than all the important people and events of the day.
Where is that same “word of the Lord” coming into our lives, into our worlds, our empires and economies and thought in history to be of first importance attentions?
Where to what to others might seem nobodies…folks here in Hovland? Or any small place or small home around the world…
Our world labels most of us, actually, nobodies.
Get on the front page today,
you are off of it tomorrow.
Political candidate, head of a wall street brokerage firm, football player, logger, store clerk,
we are all, in the middle of the no-places of our histories and our times, thought not much of…
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas…
against all these stands paltry, insignificant John, son of Zechariah. Well, not quite: against all these stands paltry, insignificant John, son of Zechariah…and the Word of the Lord.
The word of God that fills valleys and levels mountains, that straightens out what is crooked and smoothes over the rough places, all in order to build a direct path by which God can bring us God’s love and mercy.
By the time Luke’s community was reading these verses, these proud and powerful men of note and power were only footnotes to the story of Christ, the one sent to reveal the salvation of God to “all flesh.”
Perhaps this, too, is worth mentioning, because I suspect that we too at times also feel overlooked, insignificant, and small, surrounded by insurmountable problems, people, and challenges. Maybe it’s not an Emperor that makes life miserable, maybe it’s just a difficult colleague or unhappy marriage or an addiction or an unachievable plan…or depression or grief or….
Whatever it maybe, Luke shares the gospel promise that these things, too, will pass; that in the end they will be but a difficult and distant memory; that over time they will become mere footnotes to a larger, grander, and more beautiful story of acceptance, grace, mercy, and life. The waiting can be hard, which is why Luke reminds his community and ours, us, of the promise that is so easy to overlook but big enough to save and audacious enough to transform.
See this promise, the promise it is easy to overlook when we are used to watching the lifestyles of the rich
see and hear and hold on to the promise
that you are defined, not by government or riches or poverty,
but by God
and that you are challenged today, to
as John the Baptist did
prepare the way to open the door
to invite others to know the promise of God
that all flesh all flesh all people, all times
are welcome, by God, into the salvation of God. Amen.
July 8, 2018 7th Sunday after Pentecost Preaching Mark 6:1-13
What was with those hometown folks of Jesus? What didn’t they get about this man who came home for a visit?
Hadn’t they heard of Jesus stilling a great windstorm at sea? Healing a man who people had given up on and so had tried chaining up in a cemetery…of Jesus showing power over satan, restoring a girl to life from death, healing a woman ill for 12 years?
Whatever they had heard, he was now among them, in hometown backyard…and had with him folks they wouldn’t have known but whose following of Jesus must have set him a bit apart from those he’d grown up among…
So when Jesus goes to the temple to keep holy the Sabbath day of the Lord, and then stands and begins to teach, his hometown people, who’d known him the longest? They were at first astounded, but soon whispering and questioning begins. “Where does he get all this? After all, we know him, he is just…”
To stand up and teach would have meant being someone worth listening to…but …a guy they knew from infancy? a guy whose sisters and brothers still lived down the block?
What could he possibly know? …and the murmuring increases, “who does he think he is?” and the implication is made, He is way overstepping his bounds.
Maybe its hard for us, now, to get the nastiness that may have lain beneath the turn of the hometown crowd.
Where Jesus grew up and lived, there wasn’t much good in being a carpenter; you often left your village, migrating near and far to find work to send money home …which meant leaving your family, considered shameful, leaving them without protection, and foolish, for you wouldn’t have them to fall back on if things went bad.
And where Jesus grew up, you would rarely, if ever, be introduced or talked about by who your mother was. For us, we read that Jesus was the son of Mary, and think about lovely Mary, willing to obey God’s will…. But for the crowd then and there, the reference to Mary’s parentage rather than his father’s gave an accent that conveys an insult…
On the streets of his hometown, they were pretty sure they had Jesus pegged. His words seemed pretty good, at first, but it was, after all,
The Message Bible gives these verses this translation:
Jesus returned to his hometown. His disciples came along. On the Sabbath, he gave a lecture in the meeting place. He made a real hit, impressing everyone. "We had no idea he was this good!" they said. "How did he get so wise all of a sudden, get such ability?"
3But in the next breath they were cutting him down: "He's just a carpenter—Mary's boy. We've known him since he was a kid. We know his brothers…and his sisters. Who does he think he is?"
4-6Jesus told them, "A prophet has little honor in his hometown, among his relatives, on the streets he played in as a child." Jesus wasn't able to do much of anything there—he laid hands on a few sick people and healed them, that's all. He couldn't get over their stubbornness. He left and made a circuit of the other villages, teaching.”
The hometown folks had tripped over what little they knew about Jesus…
They who’d been astounded at his teaching, began to murmur against him; he amazed at their unbelief, couldn’t get over their stubbornness. We are left to wonder, why wouldn’t they hear? Why not want healing and wholeness for all more than want to “look down their noses” at someone who’d grown up among them?
We wonder about them, but we also know what Jesus does. Goes on about his work in other villages, teaching.
Rejection of the teaching and healing and power against evil might have amazed Jesus, but he just goes on, teaching. The stubborn determination of the hometown folks un-belief might have kept them from seeing and realizing the miracle of the Gift of God’s Love among them, but Jesus kept on in his intent to bring God’s good news.
And,, he kept including his followers in his mission
Again, the Message translation:
7-8Jesus called the Twelve to him, and sent them out in pairs. He gave them authority and power to deal with the evil opposition. He sent them off with these instructions, in the translation from the Message Bible:
8-9"Don't think you need a lot of extra equipment for this. You are the equipment. …Keep it simple.
Then off they went. Disciples of Jesus, preaching with joyful urgency that life can be radically different; now. right and left they sent the demons packing; they brought wellness to the sick, anointing their bodies, healing their spirits.”
In Jesus hometown, they just couldn’t quite hear, couldn’t quite listen, couldn’t quite give in; so Jesus went on down the road, sending disciples out as well—equipped with only themselves and their trust in Jesus to tell in word and deed of God’s care.
It’s seems a momentary story, but it tells us of God’s determination for us. And the bigger story that underlies tells the same…showing us God’s determination in Jesus.
You see, Jesus doesn’t get any more accepted, anywhere else. The world, and SIGH, truth be told, even us, in the end, take offense at God’s message of God welcome and inclusion, of God’s care for all. And so, Jesus goes not just to other villages, but in the end, to the cross, to death….
God, in Jesus, showing us without revenge or showy power or attempts to gain position above everyone else, without fireworks displays, as we might expect after the 4th of July,
God showing us, with God’s compassion, God’s commitment for us. God’s determined sending to us in Christ, determined sending to others through us, determined raising of Jesus from death that we might see hope when there appears none; The Holy Spirit sending us reminders, in gospel word and stories bold, that it is now our turn of being sent out not needing all kinds of stores and equipment, but needing only our trust in Christ, and one another to lean on…
So today, dear people of God,
Give way, in the hometown that is your heart, to the joyful urgency the Holy Spirit stirs up…
see in the light of Christ the love of God, and let your life be radically different than you expect. Today, for all of us, is a day gladly awaited, for we hear together God’s word of Care. Stronger than being rejected when we speak of faith, stronger than fear, stronger of feeling we don’t fit in, stronger than feeling we are alone…God’s care, stronger than illness, stronger than death, stronger than what else get’s thrown our way, this is indeed, a day gladly awaited!
And for Ada and Travis, Rolan and Tryg and Astrid, this is a day gladly awaited…for they are being formed and sent by God as a family, cared for and caring, into the world…
Thanks be to God.
SUNDAY JUNE 24 5th Sunday of Pentecost:
Job 38:1-11 The creator of earth and sea
Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32 You stilled the storm and silenced the waves of the sea. (Ps. 107:29)
2 Corinthians 6:1-13 Paul’s defense of his ministry
Mark 4:35-41 Christ calming the storm
Upcoming on Trinity's calendar of Mission in Christ:
Each year we provide quilts for Cook County High School graduates who live in Hovland. June 24, we will be inviting God's blessing for quilts for 4 graduates who live in the Hovland area. The quilts will be delivered soon; finding a Sunday that worked for the graduates to join us proved difficult this year. Thanks to those who sewed the quilts and prayed for the graduates as they did so. We will also lead Worship at the Cook County Care Center, and enjoy fellowship with the residents (12:30 - 1:45 p.m.)
July 7and 8, Hovland Art Festival the Art Festival features many local and regional artists and crafts-folk. At Trinity, we help support the Art Festival by serving lunch from 11 - 3 on Saturday, 11 -2 on Sunday. Proceeds are used for our many ministries and for our new addition. Each year we join the fun https://www.facebook.com/hovlandartsfestival.
August 12, 2018 DEDICATION SUNDAY -- We will have a festive Sunday of Worship and Fellowship; please join us as we Dedicate our new space and remodeling, built so that we may serve Christ more widely by serving others more widely.
Christmas Eve Texts:
Gospel: Luke 2:1-14 [15-20]
God’s greatest gift comes as a baby in a manger. Angels announce the “good news of great joy” and proclaim God’s blessing of peace.
1In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
14“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Sermon, Oct 12, 2017Gospel: Matthew 22:1-14 Jesus tells a parable indicating that the blessings of God’s kingdom are available to all, but the invitation is not to be taken lightly.
1Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: 2“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. 4Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’ 5But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, 6while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. 7The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 8Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ 10Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, 12and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. 13Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Preaching 10 12 17 Matthew 22:1-14
Showing up without the wrong robe over your clothes gets you kicked out? And not only kicked out, but into the darkness.
That seems – downright nasty!
What the heck was Jesus intending when he told this parable?
Who would ever accept another invitation if getting kicked out into the outer darkness was the outcome for not showing up with the right attire?
maybe this parable has nothing to do with fabric or style or choice of color—in fact, maybe this parable has zippo to do with clothing at all.
But maybe it has everything to do with invitation, repeated and repeated…and then extended out beyond those who would have thought themselves ones who could expect to be invited to suddenly meaning inviting everyone standing in the streets to a banquet feast for all—
Well, then there’d be no telling who might show up, or what they’d be wearing…except
I don’t think this parable has anything to do with a clothing.
But it does have to do with the most frequently used word in the parable,
Invited. Invitation. Invite.
Invitation to being gathered in…included…gathered in…
Maybe the invitation carries with it an invitation not just to a banquet, but to going into a changing room. Well, except, it isn’t about clothing…so…what is going on?
It starts out, remember, with folks who had been invited choosing not to come.
And after a second invitation, they want so much to just keep on with life as they are used to it, that they thumb their nose at the inviter, ignoring that he has prepared with great deliberation a rich banquet…and to top off the insult, the non-attending invitees kill some of those who had brought the invitation.
But the invitations still don’t cease.
This is where the parable of Jesus can get so hard to figure out—
for all of a sudden the king in the parable has the city burned by troops, but at the same time is having his servants going into the main intersections of the city streets, still intent on invitation. And who gets invited? Everyone they come across, both the really good folks, and the really wicked folks.
Whew. Couldn’t we just spend time with the Old Testament reading from Isaiah today?
Where we hear that God is, “a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress…”
Well we could find refuge there, but
then we’d miss out on exploring this absurd parable of Jesus…
And we’d miss out on what Matthew is pointing us to about Jesus. See, Matthew wrote about 50 – 60 years after Jesus life, death, and resurrection and ascension;
And by the time Matthew was writing the city of Jerusalem was burned, and the Temple of God had been destroyed by troops of the Roman Empire.
And now, Matthew and the group of people Matthew was with in faith were trying to make sense of life as they knew it. And they found themselves at odds
Over what it means to follow Jesus.
And who following Jesus changes us to be
when we become clothed not in our own clothing
but in Christ.
So Matthew looked at this parable of Jesus with the eyes of one
Experiencing the parable…
Just as we so often interpret the parables and life and death and resurrection of Jesus with eyes of our experience…
Which we need to do,
for all of Jesus is about our own life and our own life times…
But we also need to know that Matthew tells the parable with particular angle—just as Luke tells the same parable but with a slightly different emphasis.
The king still sends messengers out and as in Matthew, the first invitations are ignored,
But in Luke the messengers are told, “go out at once and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame”
Oh my…in those times, those would have been the last invited let alone included anywhere—if they ever would have been invited at all.
So the clothing that the one man at the end of the parable is wearing isn’t the problem.
For the all at the intersections would have included the poor and the blind and the lame and all those others filling up the banquet hall at the last moment wouldn’t even have had a change of clothing—and whether in Matthew or Luke, many of those invitees who finally showed up would have no robe to change into….
So maybe, in Jesus’ parable that seems about a person with the wrong clothing,
Jesus is telling invitation, banquet, God's grace—and how we are to let it change us!
Maybe the parable was trying to help people see
Be clothed in Christ,
and be changed.
In faith in Christ we are to let ourselves be changed.
We are to let ourselves be different.
So that we ourselves and
those who see us
we are not to doing of our own choosing,
but of the choosing of Christ--
and then we are to let ourselves be the gentleness of Christ being made known to everyone.
We are to see our hearts and minds set not on what we want,
But on what Christ commands
and are in Christ to be guarded by the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding
so that we can open up the banquet halls of our lives to all.
Maybe that was the clothing the man at the banquet
decided not to put on.
Maybe those are the clothes that we at times
do not dress ourselves in—maybe we just hang on to our own wants of how to be, who to be.
God’s grace comes to us in Jesus
and Jesus came to us that we might allow ourselves
to see all people as those who receive invitation…
So that we can extend gentleness in Christ
peace in Christ…
beyond where we would imagine ourselves doing.
Sound familiar, like a parable?
Go back to simple invitation and big meaning:
And go back to Isaiah…for from scripture we learn the deeper meaning of scripture…
Christ who is our bread of life, who feeds us with forgiveness and love and understanding knew these words of Isaiah…
“The Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food….and will wipe away the tears from all faces….
This is the Lord for whom we have waited, let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
Or as St. Paul puts it: 4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Go out into the world, people of God, sent with the gentle absurdity of the good news of God in Jesus. Feast on Christ in communion with one another, for you each and all are invited to the banquet Jesus has prepared. Rejoice in the Lord.
Let us pray, “Clothe us anew in you, O Christ. Open us to being changed, give us gentleness, remind us you are near.” Amen.
Preaching Holy Trinity Sunday, June 11, 2017
Preaching Holy Trinity Sunday, June 11, 2017
- Genesis 1:1--2:4a The creation of the heavens and the earth
- Psalm 8 How majestic is your name in all the earth! (Ps. 8:1)
- 2 Corinthians 13:11-13 Paul’s farewell to the church at Corinth
- Matthew 28:16-20 Living in the community of the Trinity
It is Holy Trinity Sunday ! Our church’s namesake day,
For Father, Son, and Spirit of God are part of the rock and wood of our building
And are primary to life and to our life together in faith…
I just have to tell you something I found out, and it relates to God, and to
something I learned in elementary and high school,
of all things, colors…
because I’d heard a comment about how many colors the human eye can sometimes perceive…
and that it varies from person to person…
and it turns out that the three primary colors I’d learned of in school,
red and yellow and blue
with shadings, varieties,
can become thousands of hues and tints
All from three
sometimes you can feel the color difference—
you see, for different dyes can give a different feel to thread or paper or wood…
From three, then, a multitude of appearances and feels…
Thousands of possibilities…
So from three primary colors, who knows how many possibilities…
So much more than we imagine with our humanness…
Its Holy Trinity Sunday !
The Holy Trinity of God that is Three but is One…
That is Three all in One
And is One which without Three is not fully One…
Yet how fine
That God would choose
To be to us, Three
So we see
There is interaction intrinsic to God
By the three mysteries of Father Son and Spirt
We come to know that God’s interacting self
does not separate into distinct columns or pages or single colors…
for God is always One, Always Three…
And the interacting weavings of God are endless…
So I got to thinking,
About three …
And a picture came to mind, of
A Russian sleigh pulled by three sturdy horses across
A troika it is called, and it flies across snow filled frozen forests and fields…
Because of Three, pulling together…
And another photo came to mind, from long ago, of a team of three sled dogs,
Bringing mail and folks and goods
up the narrow trails of Cook County
And then to mind came children, jumping rope, three needed:
two at either end of twirling ropes, one who at the right moment
skips into the ropes and jumps
then jumps out of the ropes and switches with one of the twirlers, without the ropes ever stopping…..
and then I thought of here, at Trinity Lutheran…
and three -
People in the kitchen
Doin up the dishes
Ones hauls the water
One washes carefully
One dries thoroughly
Three enjoy mightily
Chatter, chores, and
choosing Time to be together
And then I thought of three travelers,
Three journeying across hills towards Bethlehem
Three Wisemen Who Came to see a babe in cradle small within a cattle stall
And then somehow,
From three to four we go,
For God’s word God sends out
to all of north and east and west and south
and then to numbers more and more
for God saying let there be light, and let there be sky and let there be water and let there be earth and vegetation and living creatures and let there be human kind made in our image…
and God keeps on speaking…saying…
Let us in Triune unity create anew each day
And so it was that we too are born
To be with one another
To worship with each other
To grieve with each other
To support one another
To hold one another
To rely on one another
To call out to one another
To invite new each others …and say
Over on your side of the mountain
Who is there
On your side of the ocean
Who is there
On your side of the forest , who?
To Join in with us, in this day…
Mimicking in our little human way
God’s Holy Trinity calling out to us…
in forest on ocean or on far-off coast
on mountain side or mountain top or far off mountain dream
to you, God says, I call
I, one as God of God, Spirit of God, Son of God
Am Three in One, One in Three
Call to you…
Am Holy Trinity
Am three in one, one in three
And in this United Threeness Trinune Trinity
So That the divine Trinity of God presence, holy by essence
As Creator redeemer sustainer
known to you, is Holy to you.
Ahhh….God gives to us…
And the surprise
That more than sun
Of light is seen or warmth is felt…
More than night of cooling air and darkness for sleep is known
God is Present…
And all creation
More astute than us mere human ones
That we are within the Presence of God
The One who is three
Who is Primary to all of Life…
And gives us reason
More than all else
To nod in mystery and say to God, who is with us always..it is good, and to proclaim…
O Lord, Our Lord, How majestic is your name … Amen.
Preaching Easter 2017
John 20:1-18 Seeing the risen Christ;
Acts 10:34-43 God raised Jesus on the third day
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Clossians 3:1-4 Raised with Christ to seek the higher things
It is Easter morning !
Lovely morning day when, even when, as today, clouds across the sky are cast…
First light shows forth and reminds us
This is a day that the Lord has made…let us rejoice and be glad !
For even when sun behind the clouds remains
The day has come, dark of night is done, light has penetrated shut up mind and eye…
How is it told in the Gospel of John?
Mary Magdalene, early on the morning of the day of the week after Jesus had been crucified,
while it was still dark…hardly able to see except to rerun again and again
what her eyes had taken in the days before:
crucifixion scenes that would terrify and haunt and keep awake the most stalwart of minds…
yet this morning, fatigued and worn, Mary Magdalene, in the dark of a morn after Jesus had been crucified to shouting taunts from voices that may have continued to jeer as Jesus lifeless body was taken down, rolled in cloth, sealed away
in tomb so strong that it would hold away from life
even sight of the body that when alive
had seemed to bring to Light of Life itself.
For Mary Magdalene, in the hardly-any-light time of day, what sad courage would have been needed, to move toward what would enforce and reinforce
the gravest loss of hope,
so to stand beside where Jesus lay, not only dead, but in tomb, with even body lost to sight.
Or else why in early dark go out
before light the horizon opened up?
Did she hope to find in that before dawn dark
a respite from the vacantness of purpose that threatened to banish even breath?
Only to find, in that dark, that not only life was vacant, but so too was tomb: for it wherein had the lifeless body of The Lord been lain…was open …empty, now even more cruel.
What more she did now bear:
Not only a grave, but a grave now robbed: and with body gone, no place to stand beside …
Dear Mary Magdalene…
Now must take on another role: to go and bear hard news to others, who too no doubt cry out in redoubled pain…”they have not only stolen his life, but now stolen his lifeless form as well?!?”
But coming back to the tomb, Mary with
Peter and the other disciple,
Tomb empty AND
wrappings that around the body of Jesus had been placed,
unwound, left behind, rolled up, placed aside…
Who to dishonor would steal not only body, but as well remove wrappings that had covered grievous scarring wounds?
And so for deepest emptiness of life, the pre-dawn three mistook the empty tomb…
The two disciples? They walked away, thinking that only to themselves could they dare to go…
Yet Mary Magdalene, we are told, by the tomb did stay
Thinking to find
where the body of what had been the best of life was now hidden away…
She hears her name
And hearing, begins to see that
Worst-dark for all time was ending
For True Light of life in Christ had arisen--
All earth and life that day did change!
Mary, that morning bright on seeing the Risen Jesus, no longer dead, no longer held in tomb, no longer held in wrappings nor death that would disguise
Hears Word of God, and begins to see: in Jesus God changes all of life.
Mary found life anew within that morning light
When dawn had opened to reveal
Empty tomb was gift;
And was not simply vacant emptiness that satan could steal into to pretend to bury mercy, goodness, life…
But empty tomb opens up new light, defeating satans wily ways,
And God who gives stars that rise each night
and sunlight which breaks apart the dark and
blue horizon where earth meets sky and gives us breath for life and day…
Gives us now God’s love for us to be known by us -- for Jesus has taken hold of us…
And from within what looked an empty tomb
filled life with Promise of Life to Come
And of Life Today,
in this day, whether we awake in dusk or dawn, walk in joy of finding or sorrow of losing,
For God in Jesus gives us Resurrection Life after death—
so that our tombs as well do not hold us—
and God in Jesus gives us also this:
Jesus in this life, speaking our name…God’s gift coming to us NOW…
For we by Christ can claim our freedom NOW from fear of hell and death and even of what comes in life…
Jesus does not ask us to cling only to some future hope,
But to God’s love right now…each now…
That we too can announce, in this life, to others, and to our self…
YES I HAVE SEEN THE LORD
We humans, we often imagine the empty tomb is empty for one purpose:
that we might in some distant heaven time find our place…where we will see the Lord…
but there is this for us as for Mary Magdalene:
Life is changed…light has come, even on the days when the light is clouded oer’…even days when dark seems strong … we in Christ look up and see the Lord, and say to self, and through living, to others:
I have seen the Lord…
And Each TODAY, each MOMENT, each NOW…
the Holy Spirit helps us see the glory of the risen Son…
This is a day that the Lord has made…
Lovely morning day when, even when, as today,
clouds across the sky are cast…
First light shows forth and reminds us
This is a day that the Lord has made…let us
with Mary Magdalene, with Peter, with all who have gone before us,
and with all who will follow, proclaim Christ has Risen, he has risen indeed.
We see the Lord, in this very day !