Wind Chimes: 14 Dec 2012

Graduates of A4T1 Girls School, Kabul
Graduates of A4T1 Girls School, Kabul | An Episcopal Relief and Development Partner Program

[John said] “Bear fruits worthy of repentance.”

Luke 3:8 NRSV

Sometimes the music in the chimes makes the heart dance. Refreshed by the dance, every activity of the day is energized. What do you hear?

By word and EXAMPLE

Imagine that. The words of John spoken in the 1st century Judean wilderness thunder into the “Christmas Season” of 21st century America. “Bear fruits worthy of repentance.”

When asked by the people “What then should we do?” (Luke 3:10) John, in so many words, says ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ (3:10-14) Luke goes on to tell us, “…with many other exhortations, [John] proclaimed the good news to the people.” (3:18)

In our Baptismal Covenant we promise that, “with God’s help,” we will “Proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ.” In Advent we annually discover, joyfully, that fulfilling such a promise is a noble way to live life. ~dan

A blessing based on the readings of Advent 3 (12/16/12)

Go now and rejoice in the Lord always.
Do not be afraid or worried about anything,
but in everything trust God and pray.
Bear fruits worthy of repentance,
sharing what you have and being gentle with all.

And may God rejoice over you with gladness;
May Christ Jesus renew you in his love;
and may the Holy Spirit give you peace beyond understanding
to guard your hearts and minds in Christ.

Laughing Bird Liturgical Resources for 12/16/12

Soacer40x20

Links to online Advent Calendars

Each of these has a different approach. Find one that helps you “prepare the way.” Find one that helps you focus on God as you make your way into the loving arms of God.

Trinity Wall Street Online Advent Calendar

Busted Halo Online Advent Calendar

CREDO Online Advent Calendar

“Black Friday” began the “Shopping Season” and retailers are relentless in keeping us focused on buying often and buying more. “#GivingTuesday” (11/27/12) was an invitation to give and use our “buying power” in a way that benefits others for more than just a day.

I intend to keep that invitation in front of us throughout the “Shopping Season.” I believe  that It is always the right time to be generous. If you haven’t participated in “#GivingTuesday” how about today? ~dan

Today’s give-a-gift-to-help-others idea (reprised):

Looking for other give-a-gift-to-help-others ideas?
Go first to Charity Navigator for those ideas
and for an evaluation of how your dollars will be spent

divider line

Image: Photo Gallery of Episcopal Relief and Development

Come into an unforgettable Epiphany sermon

Awesome

Laughing Bird Liturgical Resources is “a gift to the wider Church from the South Yarra Community Baptist Church in Melbourne, Australia.” It is one of my favorite places on the net. As the sun rises on this Feast of the Epiphany I invite you to come into the sermon shared by Pastor Nathan Nettleton on 6 January 2005—just 11 days after the worst tsunami in history ended more than 230,000 lives and displaced almost 2 million people in 15 countries. The South Asia Tsunami of December 26, 2004 | Images from the tsunami.

Invitation to the sermon: An Epiphany Tsunami. Here’s how it begins:

Epiphany
An appearance
A revelation
Deep truth suddenly becomes visible
The lights go on

Tsunami
A massive wave
A wave of destruction
An all-powerful surge of chaos and death
But perhaps too, an event where truth suddenly becomes visible
Perhaps too, this can bring light to bear

Epiphany
An appearance
A revelation
A star rises in the West
Who’d even notice
A million stars come out every night
throwing their light in all directions
But they notice these things, those magi
those mystics from the East
from Iraq
To them it’s a sign
A revelation
The lights go on
Deep truth beckons them from the western sky
The plan of mystery hidden for ages in God is emerging
The chosen one is born
The one for whom all the world has been longing
The one before whom the rulers of the earth will bow
The light beckons from the western sky
A journey begins

Tsunami
A wave of power and death
Totally unexpected
Spreading out
East and West, North and South
Awesome, unstoppable, all-conquering
One before whom all bow
or flee
or fall
And after whom all are changed
all are weeping
all are grieving

Finish reading this sermon. YES, it is well worth reading on this Feast of the Epiphany.

Though these words of blessing were composed by Nathan I pray them for you, asking God to bless you, dear reader:

Go now, seek out the Christ wherever he may be found,
and share the good news with all who bear him no ill will.
Bring light to those in thick darkness,
a voice to those no one speaks for,
and hope to those no one cares for.

And may God make you a sharer in the promised light.
May Christ Jesus fill you with his sense of what is right.
And may the Holy Spirit be to you like rain
that gives life to the fertile earth.

A blessing for the Feast of the Epiphany on Laughing Bird Liturgical Resources