5/21/2015

10w for May 24th, Nothing Can, NL.

The following is a 10-minute worship for May 24th, Nothing Can, NL.  You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List or you may text 10w to 2828 to sign up

10w for May 24th, ReNEWal, E8.

The following is a 10-minute worship for May 24th, ReNEWal,  E8. You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List or you may text 10w to 2828 to sign up

5/19/2015

an old Pentecost animation I did a couple years back, enjoy

5/18/2015

Opening Litany based on Psalm 104:24-34

Psalm 104:24-34


Worship Leader: Lord, In your wisdom you have made all thing in this world.  The earth, the heavens, the skies and the seas are full of your riches.

Congregation: As I look out over the vastness of the seas alone, I am in awe at their magnificence and magnitude. They are filled with life, known and unknown are a place where creatures large and small play.  

Worship Leader: All of life is dependent upon You O Lord and you supply for their needs at the right time.

Congregation: When you give O Lord, there is more than enough for all to live and eat well, with abundance left over. 

Worship Leader: In your absence is anxiety and fear.  In your absence is scarcity and want, with abundance for some and starvation for others. 

Congregation: But when you spirit moves in this world, life is created.  Life for ourselves, and life for the whole world.  For you make all things new.

Worship Leader: May the glory of the Lord be forever and may the Lord look upon this creation and smile.

Congregation:  I will sing to the Lord all my life; singing praises to my God as long as I live and ask only that my thoughts be pleasing to the Lord, and bring me joy.  

Poem based on John 15:26-27, 16:4-11

What shall we do without you
here
to guide us?
To set us straight and hold our hand
to show us the way we are to go?
We will be lost
we will perish
                without you Christ
all that you have taught us
all that you have lead us to
all that we have come to know
                feel
                love
lost
and Jesus turned to them
my children
I will love you as you have been loved
from the beginning of time
when the breath of spirit brought life
I will be with you as from the beginning of time
when the spirit of life was breathed
into your mother and father
I will be with you as from the beginning of time
and you will know
                feel       
                love
the presence of the living God
listen and follow

as from the beginning of time

two way street



Sunday May 24th, Acts 2: They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.  Speaking in tongues was not for the gratification or uplifting of those speaking, it was a gift of the Holy Spirit for the purpose of spreading the good news of God’s new chapter in the salvation story to the gathered multitudes.  The spirit moved the disciples out of the locked upper room where they were hiding and into the streets where they encountered the needs of the people.  The spirit did not leave them alone even now.  They were not done and this was just the beginning.  From here the spirit moved them from Jerusalem, to Judea and Samaria and onto the rest of the world.  The spirit moved them into the hearts and minds of you and me in our time and place. The spirit gave them the tools and the ability to minister to the needs of the people they encountered.  So too, the spirit gives us the ability to minister to the needs of those around us, the hungry, the poor, those left out of the American dream, as well as to those caught up in the relentless pursuit of the American dream to the point where they can’t see the needs of the poor.  The spirit opens our eyes and hearts as well as our ears, and calls us to see one another as brothers and sisters in Christ, and truly love one another, in action, as we would love Christ.  Sometimes the Spirit moves us out of our hiding places and into the world where we find opportunities to minister, and to be ministered too.  Being open to being ministered to is often the most undeveloped part of ministry. Without that two way street, we are only preaching, and of that the world already has too much.  

actually “do” the Gospel

Monday May 25th, Acts 2: Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?  Not only were these Galileans speaking to multiple nationalities each in their own language, but they were Galileans for heaven’s sake!  Why would anyone want to listen to Galileans while in Jerusalem?  The Spirit breaks down our misconceptions about one another by bringing us in contact with one another.  It is there with the spirit holding our eyes and our hearts open that we are able to see the other as a brother or sister in Christ. It is sort of a round robin.  The Spirit leads us to Christ, Christ leads us to the world, where through the Spirit our eyes are opened to the vastness of God’s love in this world, and then we are lead back to Christ.  This time with our eyes a bit more open, and then round we go again. It is not just to our own tribe, those who think, act, believe and look like us, to whom we are called to minister; it is to the children of God throughout the world.  It is there in the process of ministering to others in other tribes that we find ourselves ministered to by these formerly known to us only as “other.” It is then we find the walls of separation broken asunder.  This is the message of Christ, this is the call of Christ, to go into all the world to preach and teach the good news, starting at home and moving outward to the ends of the earth.  We are also called to go into all the world and not just tell the Good New, but to actually “do” the Gospel, bring hope, justice, and peace into a hurting world.  In the process what we find is that we receive hope, justice and peace for our world.  We are called to do this, not because we will gain from it, but because all the children of God, and that includes ourselves, will live in hope because of it.  

open gates

Tuesday May 26th,  Romans 8: 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  We live in the “mean” time.  Christ has given us a glimpse of the kingdom, where all are welcome, all are cared for and loved and all are the children of God. Now we are sent by the spirit to bring about that reality in this world.  It is not just the people of this world that long for the redemption of the world, it is all of creation itself.  We are all created in a threefold relationship, a relationship with God the creator, a relationship with one another symbolized by the creation of community as Eve was created from Adam, and a relationship with the creation symbolized by the creation of humanity from the dust of the earth.  In this mean time, before the final glory of the fully inclusive New Jerusalem (Revelation 21) with her twelve open gates and food, healing and glory open to all, we are called to bring about peace and justice for all of humanity and all of creation, on this side of the resurrection.  We do this because the Spirit leads us back to our relationship with the Creator, the Creature, and the Creation from which we were formed.  That is how it all ends, that is God’s plan. We can get on board now and live in this loving relationship (heaven in the here and now) or fight it, insisting on our walls and legalities of separation and a broken relationship with Creator, Creature and Creation (hell in the here and now).  What is amazing is the number of people who claim a relationship with the creator, while dissing the other two (fantasy hell in the here and now). 

the F..bomb

Wednesday May 27th, Romans 8: 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  One of the deepest, most honest prayers I witnessed was when a friend of mine lost his mother suddenly and let out long and loud the F..bomb, with fists clinched and face turned heavenward.  I do not promote swearing as a part of prayer, but sometimes, in the intensity of the moment, words just seem unimportant.  God knows, God understands, God hears and God loves. Don’t worry about what to say in prayer, just say it from the heart, like on Pentecost, God will hear it in God’s own language.  With most of our prayers, we just get the surface stuff, deep down honesty, no matter the words used, are always the better prayer… they help change us.  Isn’t that what prayer is all about anyway, changing us? Use honest prayer today and see if your heart is not brought closer to God…. And God is not the one moving.

from the beginning

Thursday May 28th, John 15:  26"When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.  This is a message to the disciples, and through the spirit, the Gospel, the saints, to us.  Christ has been with us from the beginning and we are sent to testify about the love of Christ that has been with us from the beginning.  You say you don’t know what to say?   Good!!  All those practiced speeches end up sounding like, well, practiced speeches.  Let the Spirit intercede, though it may not sound like it to you, most likely, the one you are with will hear pure Gospel from the heart.  Answers to questions will come later because most of the time there are no right answers to the questions, only a path to walk with God.    

more life than knowledge

Friday May 29th, John 15: 7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.  Graduation day is upon us.  Soon many of our children will be going their own ways.  Over the next couple of years, the parents will grow wiser and their lessons more meaningful in the lives and minds of these youthful travelers.  So it is in the kingdom.  As long as Jesus was living here with us, the disciples could call upon him for answers.  Now that the Spirit leads us to come up with contextual answers on our own, looking to Christ for guidance through the word and the world, we are called on a journey with Jesus.  I wonder if the disciples and scripture writers wish they had listened more intently, taken better notes, and asked more questions?  I suspect, through the Spirit, what they heard and what we hear, though not all there is to know, is all that is needed for us to grow.  I suspect it is the Spirit leading us through the process of wrestling with the issues that we hear the Gospel the best.  It is in doing the Gospel that others, and we ourselves, hear the teachings of Christ in every imaginable situation.  The Gospel is more life than knowledge.  The Gospel in this world is our text book; the final vision with the gates of the New Jerusalem open to all is the equivalent of the answers in the back of the book just in case we get lost along the way.  

chipping away

Saturday May 30th, John 15: 8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.  One of the jobs of the Spirit is to convict us of our sin.  We are never given the spirit to help guide us in convicting others of their sin. It is not for us to convict “Others” of their sins.  When we try to live our lives focused on the sins of others, we keep chipping away at our life, forcing ourselves into an ever smaller and smaller world.  This seems to be what the political right is about these days. In the process, their world and ours becomes smaller, meaner, less jubilant.  In convicting us of “our” sins, especially the one of making the world smaller and smaller, we find ourselves at the foot of the cross looking up at Christ.  It is there we find salvation, and that salvation is for “our” sins.  The Spirit leads us to Christ by removing the scales of sin from our eyes where we can truly see ourselves for who we are and others as our brothers and sisters with us on the journey.  

5/15/2015

10w for May 17th, Hidden God, E7.

The following is a 10-minute worship for May 17th, Hidden God, E7. You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List or you may text 10w to 2828 to sign up.

10w for May 17th, Broken Shackles, NL.

The following is a 10-minute worship for May 17th, Broken Shackles, NL. You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List or you may text 10w to 2828 to sign up.  The song for the day is Break These Chains by Dakota Road from the CD Break These Chains.  Use with permission from the artist. You can find this and many other wonderful songs for worship at www.dakotaroadmusic.com

5/11/2015

Poem based on 7th Sunday after Easter John 17:6 -19



As we are drawn
into the name
of God
with the same power
that created time
we are made one

Even with our wars
--designed in irony
--to solve conflict
we are one

Even with our hunger
in a world spending million
trying to look thin
we are one

Even in our jokes
rising from our inner fear
that point up our differences
we are one

With the power
that came to our world
to create
--and save
and to sustain we are one
Created in Your Name
Sanctified in Your Name
Sustained in Your Name

We are one
we thank you Lord
for the truth
that binds together
the many truths
--we have created
and that

We are One

Opening Litany based on Psalm 1


Worship Leader: Blessed are the ones who do not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand with sinners or sit in the seat of mockers, but rather whose delight is in the ways of the LORD. 

Congregation: Blessed are the ones who meditate on the way and the word of the Lord day and night for they are like trees planted by streams of water. 

Worship Leader: They yield their fruit in season and their leaves do not wither.  Whatever they do, the Lord is with them and they seem to prosper.

Congregation: It is not so with the wicked!  They are like chaff that the wind blows away.

Worship Leader: Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

Congregation: For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the ways of the wicked will perish and they will see the errors of their ways. 
 
Worship Leader: Welcome to Worship at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church. 
 

Congregation: Where we Gather to Grow through God’s Grace.

Law and Gospel

Sunday May 17th, Psalm 1: Blessed is the one who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers, but rather blessed is the one whose delight is in the law of the LORD.  Lutherans tend to not talk much about delighting in the law of the Lord. We use the excuse of works righteousness, which is a caution well worth heeding, especially given the strangle hold works righteousness has on American civil religion. But the law is important, and rather than letting the works righteousness voice dominate and frame the discussion, perhaps being bold in our discussion of law is the better avenue. Luther in his small catechism changed the way we look at the law from a list of don’ts to a list of do’s, with its inherent vision of a vengeful god (lower case intended because the very act is to bring God down and put ourselves in charge, the original sin), to the gift of possibilities in living the life of a child of God. Instead of not “bearing false witness” we are asked to take it upon ourselves to speak well of others and interpret what they do in the best light. Instead of not committing adultery, we are asked to respect others sexuality in all that it means, up to and including rights of all, regardless of sexual orientation, to live in the blessed state of matrimony. Instead of not stealing, we are asked to help our neighbor take care of all they have.  This interpretation might just include some serious consequences for those who had stolen our economy into its present crisis through the guise of deregulation. This would also speak to JPMorgan trying once again to win at the risky game of high finance through questionable practices. Delighting in the law is celebrating the gift of God in our lives and joyfully wanting to do what God wants us to be doing in this world. We only fear the law when we are trying to get away with something. Delighting in the law is letting God be God rather than paying lip service as we try to push ourselves to the top over the bodies of our victims.  Delighting in the law is realizing that the law pertains to us, and we are not in charge of judging our neighbor.  Delighting in the law means living as if there were no law, because the grace of God has so infused our lives that the law is not an issue in our lives.  Delighting in the law is living out our love for God and for others in this world God has created and called good.  

Don't be shabby

Monday May 18th, 1st John 5: 11 This is the testimony in essence: God gave us eternal life; the life is in his Son. We are called to live in the knowledge of this testimony, in the knowledge of being a child of God, live in the knowledge of knowing we are saved.  We are called to live knowing deep down in your heart that God will never leave you. Know with every essence of your being that life eternal with God is yours. Then ask yourself the question, now that you don’t have to do anything, what are you going to do? That is the question that should guide our lives. The danger isn’t whether or not we have earned salvation; the danger is leaving this gift of salvation by grace along the wayside as we go off after something else in life, something flashy and shiny.   Fanatics and atheists may not have their thinking on straight but in one way they have an advantage over most Christians, at the very least, they care deeply about what they believe.  It is the agnostics that I am concerned about in this world. They are the ones who have heard the good news of salvation and find it interesting but not all that important.  Salvation by grace means about as much as yesterday’s ham sandwich. What they are missing is knowing that their life is drenched in God’s love in their hearts, in their souls, in the essence of their beings and living each day in the midst of the joy that deep down knowledge brings. Not having to do anything for salvation is not a call to do nothing.  Part time religion will not support you anymore in life than a part time job.  Putting on a good set of clothes do not make the man, or the woman, it is what happens inside, in the darkness of doubt that counts.  Putting on religion as a fashion statement does little for the soul and our daily walk.  So don’t just put on religion, take it deep into the essence of your very being and live, truly live in the presence of the spirit each day. 

Have life

Tuesday May 19th, 1st John 5: 12 So, whoever has the Son, has life; whoever rejects the Son, rejects life. A good part of having life is to live it. Henry David Thoreau puts it “I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, To put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die Discover that I had not lived.”  In Christ we are given life, now and life to come. When we get caught up in being in charge rather than letting God be in charge, we keep busy, we even have some enjoyable moments, but somehow the why behind it all eludes us. Life becomes less than the gift intended in creation.  A Christian isn’t necessarily better or better off than anyone else, except that in some half-baked way, they have some idea who to thank in this life, and that life of thankfulness makes all the difference. In the process of living a life of thankfulness they find their hearts open even more to the blessings God is intent on bringing to each and every one of us in this world.  In living a life of thankfulness they find that this way of living makes all the difference in the world to themselves and all the difference in the world to the world. It’s what gives life, life and the freedom to live it in such a way so as to suck the very marrow out of it.  (if the idea of marrow disgusts you, there is a session of Iron Chef America you might be interested in).

Know beyond the shadow of a doubt

Wednesday May 20th, 1st John 5: 13 My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God's Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion. Eternal life with God is not something to hope for, it is not something to work for, it is something we are called to live in. Luther said to sin boldly, but rejoice more boldly still. Knowing salvation is ours frees us for service, not from service. Knowing salvation is ours sends us out into the world to bring that knowledge to others, and if in the process, we act very human and make mistakes upon mistakes, then rejoice more boldly still in God’s salvation, you tried and did your best. Salvation by Grace is not freedom from trying, it is the freedom to get out there and take risks for the sake of the Gospel.  If you fall on your nose in the process, celebrate that you took a risk for the sake of the Gospel and try it again (though you may want to tweak it a bit). So believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life and then live life to its fullest and take the risk of living and telling others of that gift from God in all that you think, do and say.  And by all means, enjoy yourself in the process. You are a child of God after all.  

Knowing the heart of God

Thursday May 21st, John 17: They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that everything you gave me is firsthand from you, for the message you gave me, I gave them; What we have received from Jesus is all God wants us to know about God. We can speculate all we want about God up there in heaven and all we have is speculation. What God revealed to us in Jesus is that God comes to us in weakness (as the babe in the cattle stall) and is open to all (from the lowest of shepherds to the royal representatives from afar). God rejoices at the slightest turning from sin to Him (Luke 15) and has little patience with those who are full of themselves (Pharisees, Sadducees and those with power and wealth) and came to bring the message of political, social, economic and religious reform (Luke 4). To know the heart of Jesus is to know the heart of God and that should bring comfort and Joy to most and perhaps a little fear and trembling to some. Listening to the prevailing religious rhetoric of today one gets the feeling comfort and joy for all is not in the hearts of many. American civil religious discourse has taken a marked Pharisaic judgmental tone of late.  Rejoice Lutherans, we have work to do.  Put some Joy back into the word and into the lives of others.  It is the work of the church and the message of Grace.  Lutherans can no longer remain silent in our evangelism.  We must take to the streets with the message that our God is a God of love and grace.   

One heart and mind

Friday May 22nd, John 17: Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life that you conferred as a gift through me, so they can be one heart and mind as we are one heart and mind. That being one heart and one mind can be a little tricky. Sometimes it even tastes like eating crow. In a world that is reeling from the effects of tax cuts for the wealthiest among us coupled by benefit cuts for the poorest among us, some signs that we, as the children of God are not yet of one heart and mind might be found in this from www.thehungersite.com. “It is estimated that one billion people in the world suffer from hunger and malnutrition. That's roughly 100 times as many as those who actually die from these causes each year. About 20,000 people die every day from hunger or hunger-related causes. This is down from 35,000 ten years ago, and 41,000 twenty years ago. Three-fourths of the deaths are children under the age of five. Famine and wars cause about 10% of hunger deaths, although these tend to be the ones you hear about most often. The majority of hunger deaths are caused by chronic malnutrition. Families facing extreme poverty are simply unable to get enough food to eat. With CEO’s getting bail out packages in the millions and the economy just now starting to recover from the tailspin the last administration put us in, more and more on the bottom of the economic ladder are trying to get by with less and less, all while the minority party in DC wants to play games saying “no” to any help they can get their hands on while many are unsure of where their next meal will come from. Across the nation federal support for food banks has been cut by 40%. If the Ryan budget gets passed that would mean a 100% cut to support for food banks at a time when the need is at an all-time high.   Justice is often seen as the blindfolded woman holding the scales that are balanced.  We still have many large corporations and military industrial complexes pushing up on the bottom of their side of scale while they fill it even higher, and no one seeming to notice.  The push from the right on the economy is the antithesis of seeing the people of God as one.  

Brothers and sisters and neighbors

Saturday May 23rd, John 17: In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world. I'm consecrating myself for their sakes so they'll be truth-consecrated in their mission. The truth is that the Christian mission is not about pro-choice or anti-choice, not about who can get married and what their sexual orientation might be, or any of the other hot button issues out there.  Being a Christian is about living as a child of God, knowing salvation is yours and about loving as a child of God, knowing salvation is also theirs.  When you help the least, lost and lonely, you help a brother or sister in Christ, and you help Christ (Matt. 25).  When you help bring about justice (exemplified by balanced scales and economic justice) you are helping a brother or sister in Christ and you are helping Christ (Matt. 25).  When you consider war as your first option, you are killing a brother or sister in Christ and you are killing Christ (Matt. 25).  When God created the heavens and the earth, God called it good.  All too often when we see parts of the heavens and the earth out of our control and possible use for profit, we do not recognize the gift of creation from which we were formed as a gift for which all of humanity is called to be in relationship with. Recognizing that God called all of creation good is step one, doing something about it in the way we live is step two.  Celebrating with your new brothers and sisters here now and in the life to come is heaven and it is step three.  

5/05/2015

10w for May 10th, Live In Peace, NL.

The following is a 10-minute worship for May 10th, Live In Peace, NL. You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List or you may text 10w to 2828 to sign up. The song for the day is: Irish Blessing from the CD Heatherlyn by artist Heatherlyn.  You can find this and other music at her website www.heatherlynmusic.com

10w for May 10th, Love One Another, E6.

The following is a 10-minute worship for May 10th, Love One Another, E6.  You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List or you may text 10w to 2828 to sign up.  The song for the day is: No Hands but Yours from the CD Break These Chains by Dakota Road. You can find this song and many of their other gifts for worship at www.dakotaroadmusic.com

5/04/2015

Poem based on 6th Sunday after Easter John 15:9-17

In a small forgotten corner of the world
There came one small child
----(love)
born of no one in particular
who lived the greater share of his life
unknown to the world
until
he began to tell others
----(one another)
of the love of their God
and how
--this love
which was known by all in this land
was not just
--a keep things as they are
kind of love
but a
--look what things are
----and could be
kind of love
that is hard for some to hear
----(as)
but brings hope to others
the ones who had much to lose
begin to worry
as they heard the word of God
in a new way
----(I)
and decided to stop
--this message of love from God
by stopping this one
who was showing them this love
and killing him
and they did
----(have loved)
but this one did not remain in death
and neither did God’s love
and the story spread
making more people uncomfortable
--(you)

and others full of hope

Opening Litany based on Psalm 98


Worship Leader:  Let us raise our voices and sing to the LORD a new song, for all the marvelous things the Lord has done, for the Lord’s right hand and holy arm have brought about salvation.


People: The LORD has brought this message of salvation before all nations and all peoples remembering the love out of which all things and all people were made.

Worship Leader:  Yes, truly all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God therefore let us shout for joy to the Lord over all the earth.

People: Let us burst into jubilant song with all kinds of music from the people as we sing and shout for joy before the Lord our God.

Worship Leader:  Let all of creation resound with songs of joy; let the sea and everything in it resound, let the world and all who live in it resound; let the rivers and mountains and all who live in them resound with clapping of hands and songs before the Lord our God.

People: for the Lord comes as a just judge for all the earth and will look upon all peoples and all creation with righteousness and equity


Rivers clap their hands in glee

Sunday May 10th, Psalm 98: Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the earth and all living things join in. Let the rivers clap their hands in glee! Let the hills sing out their songs of joy before the LORD. For the LORD is coming to judge the earth. We are not alone in being loved by God. When God looked at creation and all that had been made, God said, “It is good.”  That pronouncement of goodness was not just for you and me.  That goodness was not just for humanity which includes some that we might put in the category of enemy.  That goodness was not only for the part of creation “made in God’s image,” but also for all of creation. It was less a statement of pride than a proclamation of, and creation of the innate attributes of the goodness that comes from God.  All people will rejoice at the coming of the Lord. All creatures will rejoice at the coming of the Lord. All creation will rejoice at the coming of the Lord. We are called, out of respect for God, to show a little respect for the rest of God’s creation. This Psalm is about the whole of God’s creation, but it is also about a calling.  It is a calling to you, to me, and those we in our smallness would deem enemy.  It is a calling to see one another as brothers and sisters, created in the image of God.  It is a calling to see one another as created in the image of Love.  It is a call in to see all of creation created for the purpose of the mutual benefit of all creation.  It is a calling to recognizing that the demise of one part of creation, lessens all of creation.  It is a calling to see God in all that surrounds you.    

Justice

Monday May1, Psalm 98: The Lord will judge the world with justice and the nations with fairness. The Lord’s justice and fairness extends to all because the Lord is the creator of all. Justice is not just taking our side against those we disagree with any more than good parenting is about loving one child and rejecting the others.  The Lord’s justice is about is about taking the side of all of creation. Sometimes it is to tell the children, created in the image of God, to stop bickering among themselves and start acting like a loving family.  What if the world one day reached the maturity to live as brothers and sisters, created by the same God, in the image of the same God, loved by the same God?  What if the world one day found the benefit of mutual cooperation far more attractive than mutually assured destruction?  What if?  Perhaps if we moved in that direction, short term gains would appear to be lost, ….. perhaps.  However, the God who created all that is, including time, looks at the long term and asks us to do the same. In doing so, we all benefit as we live closer to our calling by God at creation.  

no longer outsiders

Tuesday May 12th, Acts 10: 44 No sooner were these words out of Peter's mouth than the Holy Spirit came upon the listeners. 45 The believing Jews who had come with Peter couldn't believe it, couldn't believe that the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on "outsider" Gentiles, 46 but there it was… This is crazy!!, This Holy Spirit thing is just plan out of control Crazy!  It is hard to come face to face with our brothers and sisters in Christ without our neat tidy boundaries being crossed.  Our usual reaction is that we need more border fences and guns and religious freedom laws to keep “them” out.  We need more guards to patrol these fences to protect us from the “Them” who were also created in the image of God. Then just when we think we are safe, we find ourselves stumbling as if pushed. Just when we think we understand God, we find ourselves being pushed to look a little further down the road to our next boundary.  This constant expanding of our understanding of God’s love is still going on.  Our usual reaction, governed by fear, is to draw the circle smaller and put up fences to keep people out.  But then as soon as we think we got it covered we find that God has opened the gates to let people in. Just what does God want from us anyway, to love everyone? That just seems crazy doesn’t it? Even Peter thought so.  Humanity however, for ever so brief a moment thought they saw the light of heaven shining through. 

Eureka

Wednesday May 13th, Acts 10: Then Peter said, 47 "Do I hear any objections to baptizing these friends with water? They've received the Holy Spirit exactly as we did." 48 Hearing no objections, he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. This was one of those eureka moments, akin to finding gold in California only much more precious. Finding God in Gentiles sparked one of those moments when everyone was shaking their head wondering what in the world is going to happen next!?!  What God was up to in the world was what God had always been up to, but we refused to see. What God was up to was showing brothers and sisters that they are indeed brothers and sisters.  Once in a while, in brief moments in history God can break through with a new creation moment.  Once in a while, when humanity lets down it’s guard long enough, the love of God can open the gates to see the presence of God in one another.  Once in a while..... and then we go back to business as usual, corporate welfare funneled through military contracts.  Love and brotherhood replaced with fear and greed and a profit for a few.  We build fences with armed guards to keep “them” out, both here and in the Holy Land. But once in a while God breaks through.  These are Holy moments.  These are creation moments.  We must always ask the question as to how we are now fighting what God is trying to show us; Who God is trying to introduce us to; How God is calling us to be? How does our current common sense shut the door, or build a wall, against God’s Gospel call and that crazy out of control Holy Spirit that just wants us to love one another? The first step in tearing down a wall is to recognize it exists.  

Love one another

Thursday May 14th, John 15: 12 This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. 13 This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. Those defined as friends are the same ones that Jesus refers to in other parts of scripture as neighbors, or brothers and sisters or part of the family of God. When questioned about who neighbors might be, Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan.  Neighbor was defined as our actions, not the location of the other.  In this world we are called to love as Jesus loved.  When Jesus loved he went to the cross, and even there, offered forgiveness and reconciliation.  When we hear of the Holy Spirit leading the early church through the stories of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch or Peter addressing the crowd in Acts this week, we hear God Calling us also.  Calling us to break out of limiting and confining rules, out of exclusive membership, out of good enough attitudes, toward justice and away from the childish tribalism of Us and Them.  Jesus is calling us into a world that pronounces, along with God, all of creation, good.  Within this calling to love one another, how do our lives show where the rubber meet the road on issues such as immigration, war, foreign aid, debt forgiveness in third world nations..... and on and on and on.  It is one thing to do the Miss America wave with clean manicured nails calling on the whole world to just love one another and quite another to get down and dirty working to make it happen.  Perhaps one of the best offerings to this God of love is calloused hands and dirty nails of one working for justice. In God’s world it is a true sign of beauty.  

Friends

Friday May 15th, John 15: 15 I'm no longer calling you servants because servants don't understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I've named you friends because I've let you in on everything I've heard from the Father. Along with title comes the responsibility to act on behalf of this loving creating God of all. Knowing that God is constantly pushing out our boundaries and boarders and definitions of “the children of God,” we are called to act on behalf of. We are not called to simply act in our self-interest, but in the world’s, and in God’s, best interest. We are called to be missionaries, not mercenaries.  How are we doing, those of us who carry the banner of God, in acting as friends of God in God’s whole creation? How are we doing in our job as emissaries of the Good News?  We have friends of pets, friends of the earth, but are we as the children of God proud card carrying members of friends of God’s whole creation?  Ooooh, maybe there is a children’s sermon in that, card carrying members of friends of God’s Whole Creation.  

Fruit

Saturday May 16th, John 15: 16 “You didn't choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won't spoil.  The “decision theology” of most of Protestantism aside, we did not choose God, we do not make a decision to follow Jesus, we do not choose.  We do not choose to be a child of God any more than your children “choose” to be your children.  We simply woke up one day and began to grasp the reality that God chose us.  And what God chose for us to do about that calling, that recognition, is to bear fruit.  We are called to bear the Fruit of the spirit, fruits of love, fruits of our labor, fruits that provide nourishment and sustenance and growth among the children of God, fruits that help the children and especially the adults in our midst maintain a healthy diet.  From Jesus point of view, what is the fruit that won’t spoil? Is it more weapons? Program cuts for the poor? The answer is a resounding NO.  Let there be no doubt, the Paul Ryan budget is the antithesis of everything Jesus stood for and everything we as the children of God are called to stand for.  Jesus chose us as emissaries of the kingdom, not mercenaries, and yet, we have all too often let this message of God’s love slide away from us through our silence and inaction. Perhaps it is time for emissary action in the world, the whole world that God created and has called good.  

4/28/2015

10w for May 3rd, Not Ashamed, NL.

The following is a 10-minute worship for May 3rd, Not Ashamed, NL.  You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List or you may text 10w to 2828 to sign up. The song for the day is: All are Welcome by Dakota Road from the CD All Are Welcome, This music is use with permission and you can find this music and many of their other worship resources at http://www.dakotaroadmusic.com

10w or May 3rd, 2015, Pruning, E5.

The following is a 10-minute worship for May 3rd, 2015, Pruning, E5.  You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List or you may text 10w to 2828 to sign up.  The song for the day is: The Best is Yet to Come by Celia Whitler who is new to 10w, having given her permission to use her music in this ministry.  This song is from the CD On the Way to Somewhere.  You can find out more about Celia at her website, http://celiamusic.net/  and you can purchase her music through iTunes.


4/27/2015

Poem based on 5th Sunday after Easter John 15:1-8

Every line in his face
in wandering arcs
tells of a story
marked in time
a story of life
not always easy
and a time
we wished
would not have to have been
back then
before we reached that threshold
beyond which
we dared not to venture

Each line
now marks the focus
of grandchildren on his knee
hanging on every word
silence
and look
that tells with joy
and thankfulness
of when we stepped
beyond our comfort
a time
when we stepped into fear
with only the hand of Christ
to keep us from falling back
a time
without which
life would lose its meaning

its life

Opening Litany based on Psalm 22


Worship Leader:  I will declare your name to my people O Lord and in the assembly I will praise you. 

Congregation: Let all who live in awe of the LORD, praise the holy name of God. All the descendants of Jacob and Israel, all the peoples of the world Praise the Holy name of God! 

Worship Leader:  For the Lord has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted ones but has listened to their cry for help.

Congregation: From you O Lord comes the very essence of my praise in the great assembly before all who live in your grace I will fulfill my vows. 

Worship Leader:  The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the LORD will live forever in a life of praise. 

Congregation: All the ends of the earth will remember God’s loving grace and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before the Lord, who is ruler of all. 

Worship Leader:  All the blessed of the earth will feast and worship, All mortals will bow before the Lord of all creation. 

Congregation: We will use the blessings of this world are to serve the Lord so that all future generations will know of the righteousness the Lord has done. 



Spirit says Go

Sunday May 3rd, Acts 8: 26Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." 27So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians.  When the Spirit says go, you had better be packed and ready, because off you go.  In Acts the disciples were charged with spreading the Good News beginning in Jerusalem, or close to home, then Judea or next door to home, and then the Samaria or those sort of like us that we consider enemies of our home and then on to the ends of the earth.  In this story the Spirit intercedes to make the ends of the earth, and with it in the minds of some, the ends of humanity, happen.  Not only was Ethiopia far enough away to where they didn’t even know enough to call them either friend or enemy, but this particular Ethiopian was a Eunuch in the court of the Queen.  A Eunuch, come on God what the hell do you think you are doing to us?  Well, God does know what God is doing to us and what God is doing is saving us from our tendency to categorize others and even pretend to judge who we believe belongs in hell and who doesn’t.   God is serious about this ends of the earth thing in Acts.  This end of the earth thing pushes us both geographically and with our own sensitivities, or should we say insensitivities.  When God created the world and called it good, that is exactly what God meant to say and that is exactly what we are called to live out in our calling to be the children of God.  You are sent from Jerusalem, or close to home, then Judea or next door to home, and then the Samaria or to those sort of like us but that we consider enemies of our home and then on to the ends of the earth.  And when the Spirit says Go!!!! You better be packed and ready!!!

ends of the earth

Monday May 4th, Acts 8: 36As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?" 38And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.  No preparation, no belonging to a church, no profession of faith, no born again experience, no category on the ELCA form A or any other denominational reporting form, just “Wow, Water, why shouldn’t I be baptized.”  God leaves no doubt that there is only one answer and that is to do it.  You are called to be my messengers from Jerusalem, or close to home, then Judea or next door to home, and then the Samaria or those sort of like us that we consider enemies of our home and then on to the ends of the earth.  For Phillip, this was considered the ends of the earth.    That is how the spirit calls us to react to that wild, out of control, loving, and all inclusive spirit of God.  We are called to reach out to the ends of the earth.   For some that means an Ethiopian Eunuch who is seeking the Lord.  In the world today, that might include being a Reconciled Church, offering a full invitation to the LGBT community.   

just the beginning

Tuesday May 5th, Acts 8: 39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.  No time for reflection, no time to change your mind either.  Philip finds himself moved from the Philistine area in the southern Gaza to the northern Gaza area of Azotus and then he travels either up the coast to Herod’s town of Caesarea by the sea or north of the Galilee to Caesarea Philippi.  The love of God is as wide as the East is from the West, and now apparently as deep as the South is from the North.  This is not accidental, this is the ever expanding world of the Grace of God that we are called to be a part of.  Where would the ends of the earth be for us today?? Would it be limited to earth, galaxy, solar system?  These stories tell us that the only limit to God’s love are the limits you and I place on our discovering of that love that already exists beyond any limitation anyone may place, ever!!!!   Whenever you think you see the end, remember, it is just the beginning. 

God loves them

Wednesday May 6th, 1 John 4: 7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Oh that we really believed this and acted upon it.  I get a kick out of the literalists who want to quote chapter and verse to support hatred in God’s name.  It requires amazing mental gymnastics and total misuse of scripture, but if the fear and hatred is deep enough, they can find a way.  I get a kick out of it, but it is more like a kick in the head.  It is amazing to watch, but oh so sad in reality, and humanity has been doing it since Cain and Able.   I also get a kick out of Coffin’s comment in “letters to a young doubter” where he recalls asking the head of a “Jesus” group on campus how their prayer list differed from their shit list.  All too often that too is the case.  As humans we love to judge others as less than ourselves out of fear and then attribute some Biblical quote to justify our hatred.  We are not called to judge others as less than, we are called to love others as created in the image of God.  Judging is easy, judging is fun, judging is empowering, but alas, in the end judging is God’s, and God already answered that question by sending Jesus to forgive the sins of all.  Name someone who doesn’t love.  Those terrorists…. They most likely have families they love, so do most of the others we might be brave enough to mention.  I have met a few who don’t love, they do exist.  Bottom line, God loves them and they just haven’t figured it out yet.  In the end, all will succumb to the love of God and end up in the sweet bye and bye.   It is God’s providence to accomplish such.  In the meantime, and I do mean “mean” time, we all have to face the fact that the biggest obstacle to God’s love is one part of God’s creation not being able to grasps that God loves the other part of creation that God created and called good.  

self-imposed hell

Thursday May 7th, 1 John 4:  13We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. Wow, if “anyone” acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God??????  For some that should strike up the feeling that the Bible is way too inclusive.  The next thing you know, God will extend the time limit on that way beyond our comfort level.  What if heaven was not complete until the likes of Adolf Hitler finally succumbed to the love of God????  That would mean that God’s love can also be for us.  I believe people do go to hell.  I believe that God so loves humanity that we are even granted that freedom, we are just not left there.  We are not left alone in our own self-imposed hell in this world or in the next.  The seeking God of love will seek us out and love us until we turn, tears in our eyes, and respond to that love.  

pruning hook

Friday May 8th, John 15: 1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. I need to lose 40 pounds.  Step one is to admit that I am overweight.  There are other things about myself that would be best if they were changed also, I will not mention them here.  We are always in the process of pruning, cutting this back, encouraging growth here, and discouraging this from taking over our self.  We get that.  All too often when we read these texts however we think the pruning is cutting out the other person, rather than the God guided refining of the self.  Perhaps what we most need pruned is our desire to prune the other.  Sometimes the pruning is in the form of excluding the other.  Other times it is trying to be in charge of what the other must do.  Either way, it is about the other.  God calls us to go under the pruning hook of the spirit until we are truly able to love one another.  

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