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How would you portray the face of Jesus?

Once again we find the intersection of art and faith to be both interesting and challenging. Watch this short video of one priest’s quest over the years to seek the face of Jesus:

The video is part of a story on Religion News Service: The Many Faces of Jesus. What do you think?

After presidential power shifts, Episcopalians ask: How should we pray?

Book of Common Prayer page 359

Episcopal News Service (ENS) posted “After presidential power shifts, Episcopalians ask: How should we pray” on January 23, 2017. It had the subtitle “Debating purpose, intention of praying for Donald Trump in church.” As internet posts go, this is a long post. It presents reasoned answers for both “yes” and “no.” What follows are a few quotes from the article. I encourage you to read the entire article here.
~Fr. Dan

Read quotes from the article

Some Epiphany Customs

A man dressed as one of the Three Kings greets people during the Epiphany parade in Gijon, Spain, on Jan. 5, 2017. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Eloy Alonso

A baby in the cake, shoes left out for candy (or coal), a polar bear dip to retrieve a cross: these are a few of the customs explained in a Religion News Service (RNS) “‘Splainer.” Epiphany was celebrated on January 6th, but the RNS post “What is Epiphany?” is still timely. Enjoy the read.

You thought the holidays were over. Technically, no — not until Jan. 6, when Christians all over the world celebrate Epiphany. In some places, the day is known as “Three Kings Day” after the wise men, or Magi, who, the Bible says, brought the infant gifts and proclaimed him the Son of God. In other places, the day is known for giving gifts, for extremely cold baths and for biting into babies. Let us ’splain …

Read “What is Epiphany?” on RNS

Photo from the RNS article

The ‘Splainer: What is ‘Reformation Day’? | Religion News Service

webrns-splainer-reformation-102816(RNS) Reformation Day is mainly marked by Lutherans and members of the Reformed Church, and in some churches it has developed into a holiday meant to rival Halloween. But does it? Let us ‘Splain . . .

Source: The ‘Splainer: What is ‘Reformation Day’? | Religion News Service

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

RNS-MOSAIC-JERICHO
A Palestinian team from the Mosaic Center, Jericho, restores a mosaic in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the traditional site of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Photo courtesy of Mosaic Center, Jericho

From Religion News Service

JERUSALEM (RNS) The tens of thousands of Christians who visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre this month got a special Easter treat: the chance to view the newly cleaned and restored mosaic that covers the ceiling and walls of a Franciscan chapel dedicated to Calvary, or Golgotha, the hill where Jesus was crucified.

They might also pause to marvel at this: the work of restoring those mosaics involves a joint effort of Palestinian Christians and Muslims.

I encourage you to read the whole article Mosaic restoration depicting Jesus at Calvary an interfaith effort. It is demonstrates the mystery and power of art to transcend politics and religious differences while creating community.

Image:  via RNS

 

Back to Eden: A contemporary look

If the story of the Garden of Eden is such a common cultural reference point, what more can be said about it?

Plenty, at least judging by a new exhibit at the Museum of Biblical Art, which is affiliated with the American Bible Society.

The famed narrative of Eden in the Book of Genesis has been the subject of “New Yorker cartoon after New Yorker cartoon,” said guest curator Jennifer Scanlan, noting the enduring power of the Eden narrative.

Couples solely wearing fig leaves remain “instantly recognizable as Adam and Eve and fruit trees inhabited by snakes as the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil with the serpent,” she writes in the exhibit catalog.

Check out the article on RNS, and the Back to Eden introduction on the Museum website.

Rowan Williams’ four essentials for being ‘Christian’

Jonathan Merritt of Religion News Service presented his interview of Rowan Williams recently. Among the items is this for our consideration and conversation:

RNS: You list the Bible as one of the essentials of “being Christian” but various people have diverse views about the Bible. Do you think every view of the Bible is equally “Christian” or is there some baseline?

RW: It’s always been true that Christians have had differences over reading the Bible. But it remains the text we have in common. And so long as one believes that the Bible is a gift from God and tells us what we need to know about God for our well-being here and hereafter, it’s still possible to think we have something seriously in common.

Things get difficult if you hold that the Bible is only a human product; but they also get difficult when the Bible is treated only as a set of timeless instructions from God, irrespective of the actual process by which the texts arose. The Bible needs to be read, prayerfully and discerningly, in the company of as many other believers as possible, so that we can learn some wisdom from each other as to what exactly God does want to tell us. Hearing the truth in Scripture means expecting the Holy Spirit to be at work both in the text and in the community that reads it.

via Rowan Williams’ four essentials for being ‘Christian’ | On Faith & Culture. with Jonathan Merritt

‘Homeless Jesus’ provokes debate on what it means to be Christian

I share a post that was among others on Religion News Service today. As I read the article I wondered if those with opinions moved beyond conversation/debate to action? It is a good question for me, and for you who read this. What happens after awareness? ~dan rondeau

From RNS: ‘Homeless Jesus’ provokes debate on what it means to be Christian | Religion News Service.

Sculpture of Homeless Jesus. There is room for one to sit and pray.

We have also brought attention to “Homeless Jesus” and the question persists: what will we do with this awareness? Our posts:

Wind Chimes: 18 Mar 2013

Free will and predestination

The debate about free will and predestination is sometimes our discussion in the Sunday Morning Forum. Episcopalians tend to come into the church from a variety of Christian traditions which often provides lively discussion. The faith formation of our childhood and teen years really is “bone deep.” As adults we revisit and even question what we learned as children. Privileged to share in a group that cares, the questions and conversations invite all to keep learning.

This short essay in Religion News Service expresses the question in its basic form and the answer most of us are living with as Episcopalians: Father knows best: How do free will and predestination coincide? by Martin Elfert. Martin begins his essay with this question, “How do free will and predestination coexist?” posed by Free—or not so much (FONSM).

I encourage you to read the essay.

DivLine360x12 The sounds from the chimes seem to be asking a question today.
What do you hear? Please leave a comment.

Wind Chimes: 6 Mar 2013

With just the wind moving the chimes the melody constantly changes and is pleasant. Stick your hand into the chimes, or move the chimes yourself, and, well, its not so pleasant. What do you hear?

An understandable impulse with unfortunate dynamics

Members of the Sunday Morning Forum, including me, watch and wonder and pray as Roman Catholics (through the College of Cardinals) choose the next pope. It is a significant moment for Christianity, not just for the Roman Catholic Church. Today Religion News Service (RNS) reported on the handling of information from the cardinals now gathered in Rome prior to the conclave. The decision was made to silence all cardinals and offer media updates only through the official briefing of the Vatican.

By silencing each other I wonder if the cardinals have thus created the very dynamic they hoped to prevent: a generation of “more leaks, and more of the speculative pieces that annoy the cardinals.” (RNS) Here is the article: Cardinals move to plug leaks ahead of papal conclave posted by RNS on March 6, 2013.

Fun facts and historical notes

You may also enjoy this collection of stories and facts about popes and conclaves collected by RNS: Popes and conclaves: everything you need to know (posted March 3, 2013)

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