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Showing posts from December, 2009

Collect for the first Sunday after Christmas

Loving God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Wisdom: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Reflection: 11-09

This month’s reflection is taken from Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I must confess that when the book arrived and I saw the size of it, I believed it to be a quick read, what with less than 150 pages. How wrong I was! That little book is a very dense read. I was captivated by the words and found that on more than one occasion I would have to set the book down and reflect on one sentence, one thought, on image.

One such thought is found right at the beginning. On page 17, Bonhoeffer wrote, ‘It is not simply to be taken for granted that the Christian has the privilege of living among other Christians.’ On page 21 he wrote, ‘Christianity means community through Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ. No Christian community is more or less than this.’ And finally, on page 24 he wrote, ‘Only in Jesus Christ are we one, only through him are we bound together.’ As can be discerned by the page numbers, these quotes all come from the first chapter. I would like to just spend a few m…

Reflection: 10-09

‘Do you see?’, asked my friend as she pointed in the distance. We were standing on a hill over looking the ocean watching the sun as it started to rise. ‘The sun revolves around the earth.’

‘No’, I replied. ‘As I explained last night, the earth revolves around the sun. It just looks that way from our viewpoint.’~~~

This is a paraphrase of the story N. T. Wright uses to start his book, Justification. This book is a response to John Piper’s book, The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright. The differences, as can be seen by the story, is a difference of perspective. Both authors claim to have the ‘biblical’ (and, therefore, correct) perspective. Both authors are writing from a pastoral perspective claiming that they are thinking and acting for what’s best for those they shepherd. And, to me, they are both right. There is no question that their hearts are in the right place. However, I feel that Wright does a better job than Piper (though, I must admit, I have not r…

Reflection: 09-09

This month’s reflection is on Esther de Waal’s book The Celtic Way of Prayer: The Recovery of the Religious Imagination. As I stated in a past reflection, this is the second book I have from de Waal. I found it just as refreshing as the other one but a little dry, similar to a dry wine (and I don’t particularly like wine). My mind seemed to wander more in this book than her previous one. This isn’t to say that I didn’t get a lot out of it. Quite the contrary. As before, de Waal offers some great insight into the Celtic world which leaves me thirsting for more.

In her introduction, she stated that with Celtic prayer, one is moved into the natural rhythm of light and dark. ‘The dark and light are themselves symbols of the Celtic refusal to deny darkness, pain, suffering and yet to exult in rejoicing celebration in the fullness and goodness of life’ (pg x). It is to the interlocking and overlapping that I find myself drawn. Recently we were entertaining a friend we hadn’t seen in …

Reflection: 08-09

For this month’s reflection, I ordered two books, Feminist Theology: A Reader edited by Ann Loades, and The Celtic Way of Prayer by Esther de Waal. I determined that I would read and reflect upon whichever one came in first (since they were coming from different sources). Personally, I didn’t really want to deal with Loades’ book because of my previous experience with other feminist books. Most of my exposure to feminist material (and most feminists) left a lot to be desired. They were not very supportive of males. In fact, a lot of them have basically painted the white male as the incarnation of the devil. So I was really hoping that de Waal’s book would come in first. I have her book Every Earthly Blessing and was looking forward to a second dose from de Waal. Besides, by watching the shipping orders, it sure looked like her book would arrive first. However, God seems to have had other ideas. When I arrived home and noticed the package on the table, I quickly opened it ful…

Reflection: 07-09

Something about the island and its history connected with a deep longing within me, and brought together many different strands of my own faith...I discovered a burning and evangelical love for the Bible; a radical commitment to the poor and to God’s creation; and I discovered the most attractive expression of charismatic life that I had yet encountered. Not only this, but I felt connected with my roots for the first time.
So goes the introduction of Michael Mitton’s little book, The Soul of Celtic Spirituality: In the Lives of Its Saints. I could have written those words. Heck, I did write them. Not exactly, of course. But I have stated on more than one occasion how Celtic Christianity was the last link that connected all of my faith together. What I thought was a mis-match of unrelated ‘stuff’ in my own walk, was found within early Celtic Christianity. I was so moved by this book that I even highlighted parts of the introduction! A great treasure is found in this quote:

It is …

Reflection: 06-09

The road was quiet and dark. Well, that’s an understatement. This place was desolate of all sound and light. I just knew that I was walking on a dirt road in the deep woods. I did not know what lay ahead, whether further along or at the next step. I didn’t even know what the destination would be precisely. I had been given some clues, but nothing exact. I just trusted the Guide.

Suddenly, out of no where in particular and every where all at once, sounds and flashes of light started to bombard me. Confusion and fear started to grip me. ‘Am I on the right road? Am I going the right way?’ I was overwhelmed and dropped to the ground with my heads at the sides of my head trying to keep the sound and images out. I was almost completely terrified to move another muscle.

‘What was that?’ I thought to myself. ‘I swore I just heard someone call my name as if in a whisper.’

I spun in all directions trying to hone in on the Voice. ‘There it is again’. I could barely make it out from a…