Christmas Eve, Incarnation, and Knowing Mary

"Church in the Moonlight" - Photo by Lisa DeWeese

The setting was perfection.  Large gothic sanctuary, slate floor, wooden pews with iron candle holders, a hundred soft flames gently illuminating the space. Christmas Eve and Maundy Thursday were the only services conducted by candlelight. The stunning chancel window glowed, Jesus with angels surrounding him, the Ascension. Hundreds of organ pipes framed the rose window in the back.  Timpani, brass, and the choir looked out high above the congregation.I used to wait the entire year for it.  T … [Read more...]

Joy in Solemnity

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'I have spoke with the tongue of angels I have held the hand of a devil' Wisdom from U2Yin/Yang Inhale/ Exhale Day/NightLast night my loving husband of 22 years spoke truth to my heart. And it hurt like HELL. But apparently was exactly what I needed to hear from the person who loves me most."I don't understand where this self-loathing comes from. You used to be so confident in your intelligence. I think for some reason, you don't feel worthy of how very smart you … [Read more...]

Poetry: American Sons by Randy Woodley

Today, I'm posting about the American enterprise of war but really more about how precious is each person's life and the cost of war to our humanity. "American Sons" is the poem. I apologize to all women because our daughters are now being sent to the front lines but when I wrote this poem, it was not the case. I beg your indulgence.American Sons by Randy Woodley © 2000 At what cost O God has this country been born? That of a fifteen year old Cherokee boy, Bird Clan-His Father’s only so … [Read more...]

Poetry : Randy Woodley, The Haunting (A Tribute to Richard Twiss)

Richard, Randy, Terry, Jeanine, Asbury

Over the next several months I will be posting some of my poetry every Wednesday. Why? I feel like too many words are going out all around us with too little credence given them. It is difficult to hear through too many words, which often excuses us from doing. Sometimes a song or a poem can change the way we hear things or even change a life. For now, I'll keep my songs hidden and just share poetry. My poetry covers a wide variety of topics, all I feel are relevant to Emergence and the churches … [Read more...]

May Christmas be Filled with Mouse Poop and Camel Spit By Randy S. Woodley

StainedGlassNativity

In this cynical and snarky world in which we live, we are getting pretty good at diagnosing the problems in the world, sometimes even to the point of paralysis. We blog about them, we read about them, (many Christians today would like to read themselves into Heaven),we discuss what's wrong with the world and we even preach about them. Being informed is not a bad thing but it is often the only thing we do. Our Western worldview has come to equate knowledge with real spirituality. I would like to … [Read more...]

Optional Advent

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This being the season of Advent; I think it’s worth taking a moment to identify what the word “Advent” means. The word carries the following meanings:  the arrival of, the coming of, the emergence of.  The question is, “of what?”  What needed to arrive? What needed to emerge? What needed to come?  The easy answer is Jesus. But the deeper answer is, and always has been, Emmanuel - God with us!Let’s begin with “God with us”. With us! Who does that include? Does it include only those that unders … [Read more...]

Mary, Joseph, and Mysticism

Many years ago, during my days as a university chaplain, I led a weekly prayer and meditation group. We practiced centering prayer, Quaker silence, visualizations, and lectio divina. After one of the sessions, a visitor, active in the campus Intervarsity group, took me aside and asked, “Isn’t this mysticism, taking time to meditate?” To which I replied, “Is there something wrong with mysticism? After all, Psalm 46 tells us to be still and recognize God’s presence.” His response was a litany of … [Read more...]

Parenting the Divine: A Christmas Meditation

At the emerging community where I once served as pastor, current co-pastor Diane Brandt has created a banner that affirms the words of German mystic Meister Eckhardt, “We are all meant to be mothers of God, for God is always seeking to be born.” Listen once more: God is always seeking to be born! God is seeking to born in us right where we are. This could be the mantra of emerging and life-affirming Christianity as well as the Christmas season.God is not far off. God is near, and mov … [Read more...]

Incarnational or Missional?

During this season of Advent, I've been reflecting a lot on the idea of incarnation — specifically, these words from author and activist Parker Palmer: "The Christmas story is ... about God taking the risk of showing up in the flesh, and all that comes with it. I think that's a risk that we're all called to — the risk of incarnation, the risk of embodying our values and beliefs, the risk of manifesting our identity and integrity in the world, the risk of being fully human. And it's … [Read more...]


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