5/27/2015

10w for May 31st, Don't Worry, Be Happy, NL.

The following is a 10-minute worship for May 31st, Don't Worry, Be Happy, 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: The Greatest Enemy by Bryan Sirchio from the CD Justice and Love. Used with permission, you can find this and many other musical gifts at www.sirchio.com

10w for May 31st, God So Loved, P1.

The following is a 10-minute worship for May 31st, God So Loved, P1.  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 Your Love Wins by Andra Moran from the CD Harmony Groove.  Use with permission you can find this and other gifts of music at http://www.andramoran.com/store

5/25/2015

Nick at night

Poem based on John 3:1-17 Holy Trinity Sunday



Perched high in our own protection
we search
looking for that one someone out there
who will give us
            almost
what we are looking for
that one someone who will drag us along
on coattails of almost making it
We search the crowd
            busy and on its way
for one
lover
                        friend
                                    teacher
who will give us that edge
            that way
of fulfilling the desires within
sitting here
perched up high and finding nothing
in a world busy preaching but not hearing
I don’t even see the scene change
            (God)
Suddenly a newness splits the air
and is sucked into our
            lungs
                        heart
                                    soul
almost painfully filled with life
            (so loved the world)
drawing us onward into the crowd
            (that Christ was given)
of life and death swirled together
            (that whoever)
in search
            (believes)
of the fullness that must come
            (lives)

from out there somewhere

Opening Litany based on Psalm 29


Worship Leader: Give everything to the Lord all you heavenly beings. Give to the Lord all the glory and strength due the holy name of the Lord.

Congregation: We will worship the LORD in the splendor of the Lord’s holiness.


Worship Leader: The voice of the LORD is over the waters; full of glory it thunders over all the mighty waters of the earth.

Congregation:  The voice of the LORD is powerful and majestic able to break even the mighty cedars of Lebanon.


Worship Leader: And yet, the Lord brings joy. 

Congregation: The Lord makes Lebanon leap like a calf and Syria like a young wild ox.

Worship Leader: The voice of the LORD strikes like flashes of lightning and shakes the Desert of Kadesh.  The powerful voice of the LORD twists the mighty oaks and can strip the forests bare.

Congregation: At the might of the Lord all the people cry Glory!

Worship Leader: The Lord sits enthroned as King forever over all creation



Congregation: The LORD gives strength to the people and blesses them with the ability to live in peace.

Humans from the Humus

Sunday May 31st, Psalm 29: All of you angels in heaven honor the glory and power of the LORD! Honor the wonderful name of the LORD, and worship the LORD most holy and glorious. The voice of the LORD echoes over the oceans. The glorious LORD God thunders above the roar of the raging sea, and his voice is mighty and marvelous.  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  Then God formed Humans from the Humus, or we could say Earthlings from the Earth and breathed into them the Breath of Life, the Ruack, what we call the Holy Spirit.  It is this spirit, from the beginning of time that gave and gives life.  God created all.  We can get into debates over how that creation took place, or how long it took etc.  We can look at the big bang theory and see the voice of God or if we want, the folly of man.  We can have our debates over whether the stories in the Bible are about the creator and the creation or about the creator and the how of creation.  Or we can look at all that surrounds us and consider, with wonder, honor, and holiness, and science, the creator behind it all.  Analyze or worship, it is an option, although a poor one.  We can both analyze and worship and find greater enlightenment in both in the process.  

beauty and wonder

Monday June 1st, Isaiah 6: Then one of the angel-seraphs flew to me. He held a live coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with the coal and said, "Look. This coal has touched your lips. Gone your guilt, your sins wiped out." And then I heard the voice of the Master: "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" I spoke up, “I'll go. Send me!" Strange figures with six wings flying around, hot coals touching your lips, sometimes fantasy is the only way to describe that which is holy, because sometimes that which is holy is beyond description.  Some may take offense at calling it fantasy and may want to call it real, actual, factual, you are free to do so if it works for you.  But for me that only serves to distract from the wonder.  If I can truly grasp and understand the mysteries of God, they are no longer mysteries.  And if I can claim that I can grasp these mysteries and you cannot, then it is simply ego which is another kind of fantasy all together.  Fundamentalism as a way to look at scripture only tries to strip the wonder from religion and replace it with scientific certainty, all while doing a nice little dance to reject science.  I prefer to be awed by the wonder, the story, the myth, the beauty and the poetry of God.  Be awed by God and enjoy the majesty of the Creator who came into the world to bring beauty and life, real life, to the likes of you and me.  If it sounds like fantasy to you, then perhaps you are open to seeing the beauty and wonder too.    

fear faith

Tuesday June 2nd, Romans 8: 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  I have heard that the opposite of faith is not non-faith, or non-believing, but fear.  Fear traps us, controls us and sends us down paths of ill design.  Fear controls the electorate and sells ill begotten programs that yield great wealth for a few, great misery for the many.  Faith on the other hand gives us hope, fills our life with possibility and lets us know we are loved.  What faith gives to life is, well….., life.  Faith is God breathing into some lump of clay eons ago and having it come to life.  Faith is nurturing these dirt creatures into beings that perhaps someday would learn to love and accept one another as brothers and sisters all made in the image of the creator and from the dust of the earth.  Faith is those same lumps of breathing clay knowing this life breathing creator is with us and will be with us always, even beyond time, no matter how bad we screw up.  There have always been some down through the history of humanity that would like to combine fear and faith and even some who would like to equate fear with faith.  To have faith you must fear homosexuality, to have faith you must fear terrorism and anyone who does not look, speak or worship like you do as a terrorists.  Fear blinds your eyes to the presence of God in these “others” and not see them as your brothers and sisters.   To have faith you must live right and follow all the rules and go to the right church which will tell you what all the rules are and throw in a little gospel for good measure.  It’s all just 1984ish doublespeak.  You are a child of God, loved by God, saved by God through Christ and called to live as a child of God.  You are not perfect and never will be, but you are loved with a perfect love and always will be.  It is like the difference between loving your child because they are your child and loving your child because they keep their room clean all the time, do all their chores around the house, always come home on time and always check in.  We never do it all right all the time.  I like God’s way, to love us because we are.  That way there is no fear, only faith.  

Abba, Pappa

Wednesday June 3rd, Romans 8: And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.  God, the creator of the heavens and the earth and all that is in them has invited you and I to come and sit in his lap.  We cry, “Abba Father”, we cry Papa, loving parent.  We cry, tell me a story, hold me in your arms, and let me take a nap here in your loving presence, Abba, Pappa, Father, Mother, Loving God Creator.  God responds with open arms and open heart and open love.  There is no greater sign of grace in all scripture than this simple Abba, Father.  It is all the feelings and love of crawling up in the lap of a loved one and having them read you a book, rock you, and hold you until you fall gently and peacefully into a peaceful and loving sleep.  It is The sign of Grace, Pure Grace.

wonder of light

Thursday June 4th, John: 1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."  Nick at night, it’s more than just a children’s TV; it is a sign of chaos.  It is a sign of the darkness and fear present in the world we live in.  The source of the fear is that we have tried to recreate this world that God gave us our image.  Nicodemus was a member of the ruling council, a teacher, a man of God, drawn out into the dark of night by a nagging wonder of hope in the midst of that fear.  He was hiding not from God but from the others in the ruling council as he went to seek something new, seeking to perhaps grasp the wonder of this hope.  He was drawn by the miracles of Jesus, but what he found was the real miracle of God, salvation.  He was drawn out of the chaos of this world we have made in our image and into the light, to live as a beacon of light in a world that to this day prefers the fear of darkness to the glory and wonder of light.  We too are drawn out of our chaos of our lives and into the light of Christ, out of the darkness of fear and into the light of faith.  And as we are drawn we move with Nick from the night of fear into the light where we find the love of Christ has surrounded us all along, it is just that in the darkness we couldn’t see it.  

not in charge

Friday June 5th, John 3: 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."  If you try to get a handle on the wind, you are doomed to failure.  You can use windmills, sails, etc. and capture some of its power, but put it in a jar and it just is not the same thing.  The same is true of the Spirit.  The Spirit is not captured by speaking in tongues, lively worship, deep reading and meditation or anything else we do.  We are not in charge of the Spirit.  The Spirit moves where it will and when it will and always leads us quietly back to God.  The spirit can move things and cannot be captured in a jar, but it can be refreshing in your face and helpful at your back and in your life.  It blows wherever it pleases, and brings the grace of God with it wherever it goes.  

lens

Saturday June 6th, John 3:  16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. This is one of the great memory verses in all of scripture.  It is a message of comfort and joy to many.  On the other hand I have seen this well-known text used as judgment, used to say that everyone who does not believe in Jesus the way I do is condemned.  Verse sixteen by itself can be and often is misused.  Taken alone it is a pat on the back and a stroke of the ego.  Verse 16 by itself often is viewed as being about me and my beliefs.   But taken with the next verse it is a gift from God.  Jesus came into the world to save the world, not condemn it, and that is what gives verse 16 its meaning.  Hold onto verse 17 as a qualifier for the way you view scripture.  It is the lens that helps us see the family of God rather than a single lonely path.  It is the lens that helps us see grace.  

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.  

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