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Holy Imagination

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  BY THE TRAGIC GAP I MEAN THE GAP BETWEEN THE HARD REALITIES AROUND US AND WHAT WE KNOW IS POSSIBLE — NOT BECAUSE WE WISH IT WERE SO, BUT BECAUSE WE’VE SEEN IT WITH OUR OWN EYES.” —PARKER J. PALMER Though in Ordinary time, and also emerging from something extraordinary and still unprocessed, we live in a tragic gap. We live in in-between time: between this world and the next; between pandemics and who knows what. We think the other side of it all is “normal”. We think the line a direct one to certainty and control. It is not so! The path or bridge or life-line through this experience is imagination, unleashed and unbridled. Holy imagination, like the prophets, like the poets, looks for wings and angels and light. This imagination shimmers with possibility, recognizes the all things made new realities, and blesses the space between, not just the destination

Belonging and Beloving

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  The poem below has haunted me for a little more than a year. I loved it prior to the pandemics but imposed isolation found me seeking some kind of affirmation and resource for all the emotions which were now carried out inside four walls. When paired with the Seamus Heaney poem yesterday, I am consoled by shafts of light through which angels descend and ascend. I am consoled by what transcends the hard walls and confinement. I find a kind of hope in the process of a veil lifting from a darkened heart and the revelations of simple ordinary quotidian delights. All of this goes into our need to belong and be-loved. “The House of Belonging” Written by  David Whyte I awoke  this morning  in the gold light  turning this way  and that thinking for  a moment  it was one  day  like any other. But  the veil had gone  from my  darkened heart  and  I thought it must have been the quiet  candlelight  that filled my room, it must have been  the first  easy rhythm  with which I breathed  myself to

Anniversary: Reprise and Remembering

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  (This is long and I apologize ahead of time but when I sat down to think about commemorating this year a flood of emotion was released and some of it, a lot of it, found its way into this post! The central message, if too long, is THANK YOU and Bless the Space Between Us) Today marks one year of writing daily meditations which I called “liturgeemails” and posted (mostly) on a blog entitled Blessing Imagination. Liturgeemail came from the motivation and calling to connect us in the time of isolation and strange space, to continue to pray together and do the work of the people, albeit remote. I learned quickly how that space diminished with blessing.  I remember the day and the moment clearly when I pressed send to a list of parishioners and family with a trembling hand. I thank my dear friend Dana for more than nudging me in this direction! And I thank the Holy Spirit for more inspiration than I ever thought possible (which is not to say that is always an articulate thing!). I thank m

Love III

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  Today we encounter the famous Gospel from John with this idea: God so loved the World that He gave His only Son that we who believe might have eternal life. It has been parsed and coopted, in part because it is so wondrous and in part because we want to define and capture it, reproduce it. That of course fails to give Love its mystery and full power! Later today we gather via Zoom to discuss Love is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times by Bishop Michael Curry. Bishop Curry believes and demonstrates that Love is not just a dream but can be a reality which transforms despair into hope. I share this belief and hold it very gently... As we pray to the God of Love and ponder love in our lives George Herbert may be a third voice in reminding us of the welcoming, consoling and incarnational power of love.  Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back                                Guilty of dust and sin. But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack                               Fro

Invite God Into the Equation

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  “Prayer matters because when God is brought into the equation of life, something changes. Another possibility emerges.” Bishop Michael Curry, Love is the Way I keep returning to this quote from our Presiding Bishop’s book. Rarely do we use basic mathematical concepts in theology and this one makes such sense to me. It makes me smile. Moreover, we often get stuck in the waiting as though it were a one directional thing: God toward us. This principle seems to give humans some authority, some instrumentality. It signals a mutuality of process.  Bishop Curry’s examples of balancing equations are equally (no pun intended) helpful. Summoning God in moments of prayer or gathering for blessing is much like the notion of “conjuring”. Instead of being used in a magical sense, the calling is not upon spirits plural but upon the Holy Spirit.  Seek and ye shall find, ask and it shall be given unto you. When we pray we are asking God to be present in our equations and that changes the balance tipp

An Unending Prayer

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  “ We’re only here for a minute, ...We’re here for a little window. And to use that time to catch and share shards of light and laughter and grace seems to me the great story.” Brian Doyle It was the most glorious Sabbath! A day marked by crystal cold temperatures and sapphire blue skies. A day for thinking about winter and spring instead of either/or.  Perhaps it was that nondualistic approach to patches of snow next to tiniest of buds which caused me to travel with my mother on a walk. It started of course with tears at her non-physical presence and somewhere in the middle I felt I was accompanied by her spirit. Though our earthly presence is bounded by the tiniest of time, our next realm presence is boundless. Some mighty presence continues and the quality of that presence is for me consoling and inspiring. I found myself thinking about the shards of light and laughter and grace of the day, of the holy time, of her life and the story grew instead of diminishing. I thought of Brian

Redemptive Anger

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  Blessed be God who animates our lives and calls us to open our hearts and minds to emotions which while uncomfortable can be redemptive when expressed as Jesus does. AMEN There are no unsacred places;    there are only sacred places    and desecrated places.   Wendell Berry I would like us to keep this wisdom in our hearts as we consider the Word of God this morning. Today’s lectionary offers a plethora of preaching opportunities. At first blush I thought I would preach about the ten commandments and why it is important that we reclaim them during Lent. After all, we do pray the Decalogue each Sunday and this is becoming blessedly more intentional. Then my mind went to John’s depiction of the cleansing of the temple which is more violent, more angry than the synoptics. I wrestled with desecration and wept again at the events of January 6th at the Capitol. It all felt too raw and too violent.  And then I asked is violence ever justified? Does anger ever not cause desecration? There mu

Don't Make Lists

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  Sabbath is always a holy time and in Lent it seems somehow holier, more precious.   While still in the wilderness, sabbath offers a time to reflect on the encounters and to reclaim the dust and humility of it all. And just before we feel defeated or dried up, poetry such as this reminds us that our body is fresh soil giving life to new flowers, new ideas and ways of living. So “don’t make lists” today. Turn aside toward a spontaneous, instinctive reverence and let the Spirit guide.  Don’t Make Lists by Dorothy Walters Every day a new flower rises from your body’s fresh soil. Don’t go around looking  for fallen petals in a fairy tale, when you’ve got the golden plant right here, now,  shooting forth in light from your eyes, your awakening crown. Don’t make lists, or explore ancient accounts. Forget everything you know and open.

Where Prayer has been Valid

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  You are not here to verify, Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity Or carry report. You are here to kneel Where prayer has been valid. —T. S. Eliot, “Little Gidding” I had not written anything this morning. There was too much whirling in my brain. So instead of just putting something out there I let it go and allowed myself to just read and pray. Silly me! The quote above which opened Richard Rohr’s meditation caught me up short and seemed to collect all my random ideas and to remind me that it is not about me; it is about authentic, reverent gesture. There is an overwhelming level of sacred aspects to the cosmos; and too many attempts to desecrate them.  Sometimes the only thing to do is to acknowledge the beauty, the magnitude, the confusion, and the sorrows and offer up, not a solution, but a prayer of presence. It feels rather psalmic really.  T.S. Eliot takes me to a space of reverence and humility which may be exactly where I should be today. So this is where I stop, hit send,

Happiness Comes Even To A Boulder!

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  I share with you a poem which accompanied this morning and inspired me to think of happiness in unexpected places, to unsuspecting souls. I imagined a prodigal stranger (assuming those two words can be used together!) awakening me from unmerciful despair! I imagined the happiness of the hawk who greets me each day! And then I remembered my own upon spotting him! I invite you to imagine previously unimagined happiness.   HAPPINESS There’s just no accounting for happiness, or the way it turns up like a prodigal who comes back to the dust at your feet having squandered a fortune far away. And how can you not forgive? You make a feast in honor of what was lost, and take from its place the finest garment, which you saved for an occasion you could not imagine, and you weep night and day to know that you were not abandoned, that happiness saved its most extreme form for you alone. No, happiness is the uncle you never knew about, who flies a single-engine plane onto the grassy landing strip,