Come Down, Lord…

Musical focus for the upcoming weeks will be on the “Singing Sister” – Sister Miriam Therese Winter – and the Medical Mission Sisters. They share powerful songs from the ’60s/’70s with good messages.

Selected lyrics from the song Come Down, Lord (listen HERE) include

…Come Down, Lord, the World is here…

…If you but stay…

…Lord, You Show the Way!..

…When Your Word is Spoken, We Shall be Healed…

The lyrics and harmonies provide a bright way to experience these messages. Song themes of healing, anguish/sorrow and illness are part of our experiences, especially during these pandemic days.

May we utter the Lord’s words, showing consistent actions as we enjoy the brightest of days in the healing !

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 24, 2021:


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Challenges to “organized religion”…

We re-visit a post from 2020 about Martin Luther King Jr. Day

In a note about the CP post on MLK Jr. Day, brother Andy referenced “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (link to the letter in its entirety HERE and audio of Dr. King reading it HERE.) It’s a compelling response to the regional clergy’s letter, where among other things they suggest to Dr. King:

We further strongly urge our own Negro community to withdraw support from these demonstrations, and to unite locally in working peacefully for a better Birmingham. When rights are consistently denied, a cause should be pressed in the courts and in negotiations among local leaders, and not in the streets. We appeal to both our white and Negro citizenry to observe the principles of law and order and common sense.

Among his responses, Dr. King mentions

Maybe again, I have been too optimistic. Is organized religion too inextricably bound to status-quo to save our nation and the world? Maybe I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ecclesia and the hope of the world.

What injustices come to mind in your community or a specific geography with relevance to you? May we continue working with organized religion where possible, and with our human community-at-large to “demonstrate” in ways consistent with justice.

We close with this prayerful/hopeful commentary from Dr. King’s letter:

“Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”

Amen!

Enjoy the day, filled with the sacrificial Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 24, 2021:


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Wherever there’s a shadow, light is near…

In the post “In the Valley of the Shadow, Look to the Light” Rick Warren talks about shadow times in life. As we continue to endure this pandemic, this comment caught my attention:

“So the key when you’re going through the valley of the shadow is to turn your back on the shadow and look at the light. Because as long as you keep your eyes on the light—Jesus, the light of the world—the shadow won’t scare you.” ~ Rick Warren

Look to the light. We can find that reference biblically and in so many wonderful people here on earth, those who can help us out of the shadows.

PRAYER: Creator God, when I find myself amidst the shadows, help me to look for that light source – – the Son shining through scripture, the sun shining above or another of the wonderful ways we experience you!

May you enjoy this day, filled with the Spirit!

P.S. Rick’s words stir memories of the song “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” Want to listen to that one? HERE is a version by Alan Jackson complete with some nice shadow/sun pictures

P.S.S. Click HERE For a great Maya Angelou quote, picture and scripture passage


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 17, 2021:


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Dig It Up…

The story of Naomi’s bitterness in the book of Ruth is the subject of the ODB devotional HERE. Aren’t there some times in life when you just need to name an issue to begin addressing it?

The fact that Naomi has people call her “Mara” – bitter – perhaps helps them in relationship practices. When a person shares with others how they are feeling, it allows for discussion directly, and in Naomi’s case can lead to efforts of digging up the bitterness and replacing it with joy!

PRAYER: God, help me unearth the challenges in my life and share them with you  (and with others when so moved.) In so doing, may I allow myself the amazing grace you so willingly provide. Amen.

May you enjoy this day, filled with the Spirit!

P.S. And speaking of digging it up, if you’re looking for possible charities for 2021, check out DIGDEEP. Millions in the U.S. are still without easy access to clean drinking water and this organization is making a difference!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 17, 2021:


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We Are Called…

The song We Are Called, written in the late 1980s, has been an inspiring part of worship services ever since. Chris D. shared the version HERE, seemingly showing the vibrancy that David Haas may have envisioned when writing it?

The background of We Are Called is HERE, including this commentary:

“Folk songs, especially those growing out of the 1960s and 1970s, urge us to action. The action here is inspired by Micah 6:8: “. . . what the Lord really wants from you: He wants you to promote justice, to be faithful, and to live obediently before your God” (NET).**

For those enjoying history, the Vatican II discussion with the resulting folk songs may remind you of Singing Sister songs. More on those in the upcoming weeks…

PRAYER: Creator God, help us to live in the light, acting for justice, being faithful and living obediently. Amen

May you enjoy this day, filled with song and the Spirit!

P.S. To see a COVID-19 era version with a virtual choir, check out the version HERE. Features include being able to focus on the instrumentalists and director as well as the singers [and lyrics so you can sing along should you choose 🙂 ]


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 17, 2021:


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A Love Supreme…

Joan S. was kind enough to highlight this devotional HERE, specifically the description of this Practice: Lectio Divina with A Love Supreme by John Coltrane – – a novel and sensorial way to do Lectio Divina.

Listening to Coltrane’s music HERE and reading the words in their longhand form with the highlights is fabulous. Take your time in allowing the words and music to flow over you. The love is experiential.

The concluding wording is a wonderful prayer:

Elation. Elegance. Exaltation. All from God. Thank You God! Amen

May you enjoy this day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 10, 2021:


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A Prayer for Leaders…

This “A Prayer for a Leader” devotional (HERE) from 2017 spurs nice reminders from Psalm 72 regarding justice, compassion and peace. May those characteristics emanate from all our leaders in the coming years, especially in light of the behaviors of yesterday!

At the end of the devotional is this prayer:

God of all nations, as the Psalm affirms, give our leaders—and us—your justice, your compassion for the poor, and your passion for peace. Amen.

Perhaps this is a prayer to be said today and in the days ahead?

May we all – fueled by the Spirit – seek justice, show compassion and pursue peace!

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 10, 2021:


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In Mourning There is Strength…

My brother Andy shared the Christmas 2020 commentary HERE by Bishop William J Barber, II. For those unfamiliar with Barber, he is one who has picked up the mantle of Martin Luther King, Jr., highlighted by his efforts with the Poor People’s Campaign. Dr. Barber is a powerful voice physically, figuratively and spiritually.

Andy specifically mentions

  • the impact of the re-casting of the Christmas story (along with subsequent commentary) in today’s terms and says “Rev. Barber is simply calling us to let Christ rise within us and around us every day, and to walk hand-in-hand with Christ, ‘so that we will be free from prejudice and arrogance, from fear and hate and carry on his revolution and make way for his kingdom.’ ” **
  • Barber says it best when he says “Let’s work together for a better world in 2021 – and a Christmas when we can truly sing of peace on Earth and good will to all people.”

Whether now or in the days ahead, please find time to read Rev. Dr. Barber’s entire article HERE.  Opportunities to read such works and consider our places in helping make this world a better place can be inspirational as we begin 2021.

PRAYER: Dear Creator, let our tears of sorrow fuel our commitment for justice, love and mercy. In this year ahead, may we seek new ways to act in wonderful Spirit-led ways, moving those in our sphere of influence to actions leading to peace and good will for all people…. Amen

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!

** Dorothee Soelle, Revolutionary Patience (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1977), p. 23.


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 10, 2021:


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Kwanzaa completion…

The Matthew Fox daily meditation yesterday was on “The ‘New Normal and Kwanzaa” HERE. A wonderful aspect is that Kwanzaa began “as a response to the commercialism of Christmas” for African Americans.

Many of us are unfamiliar with the Kwanzaa (“first fruits” in Swahili) season ending on January 1. Like so many wonderful traditions, it allows celebrants to focus on heritage and relate experiences. Kwanzaa is not grounded in a specific faith community.

“While the first principle of Umoja brings us closer and harnesses our strength, the last principle, Imani, inspires us and sustains our togetherness. Let us have faith in ourselves, in our creator, in our mothers and fathers, in our grandmothers and grandfathers, in our elders, and in our future–knowing that we are more than keepers of our brothers and sisters, we are our brothers and sisters.” 

~ The Black Candle, a 2008 documentary on Kwanzaa, narrated by the late Dr. Maya Angelou

May we all have faith in ourselves, the creator and those key others past, present and future….

POSSIBLE ACTIONS:

  1. Learn more about Kwanzaa – the candles, the principles, the foods, etc.. Christian Playbook has some helpful links HERE
  2. Listen to Hope is Born Again (sorry the link from yesterday didn’t work!)
  3. Think about those gone before us who have helped establish a wonderful legacy of faith

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 3, 2021:


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