Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Autumn + November 2022

November header voting thanksgiving turkey advent rose
September 2022

October 2022

Urban Wilderness Lectionary Project for November

vote center tuesday 08 november
• Midterm Elections turned out fairly well, with lots of room for improvement and continued anxiety.

psalm 65
• Thanksgiving Day 2022
• "Your wonders awe those who live at earth's farthest bounds;
you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy!" Psalm 65:8

pupusas and El Salvador flag
• On Small Business Saturday, I enjoyed housemade pupusas from the nearby sidewalk pupusería. Pupusas are the national cuisine of El Salvador.

Advent 1 2022
• The First Sunday of Advent 2022
All Earth is Hopeful, the Savior Comes…
Toda la Tierra es esperanzadora, el Salvador viene…
living local 2022

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Five Minute Friday :: Like

Colossians 1:17, He is before all things and in him all thing hold together
Five Minute Friday :: Like Linkup

Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation… Colossians 1:15

To like a person, food, activity, or place goes beyond simple preference of one over another: you want it, gravitate to it; you choose it, connect with it. That's the verb "like," but the adjective like compares objects, ideas, people—and food, too. How similar or different is one to the other? Exactly the same or almost identical? Some common features? What are the differences?

Particularly chapter 1 of the letter to the church at Colossae brings us the pre-existent and still regnant Christ who fills and rules the entire cosmos, who subverts empire, inverts the political, social, economic, and religious status quo, who is the image and the reality of God parallel to In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. (John 1:1) Colossians 1:15 announces, "Christ is the image of the invisible God"; in John 14:19 Jesus tells us, "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father."

Imperial Rome and its colonies were full of coins stamped with the emperor's image. The Roman Caesar supposedly was the son of a god, bestowing on him a slice of divinity. Formal church history locates the confession of Jesus as fully human and fully divine in the Definition of Chalcedon from the ecumenical council that convened in the year 451, but four centuries earlier, the pastoral letter to the church at Colossae declares Jesus divine.

How do you picture something that's invisible, that can't be seen? Do you remember Genesis 1:27 tells us God created humanity (us!) in the divine image—imago Dei?

Early Christians believed Jesus was fully imprinted with God. A slice of divinity? No! The whole entire thing—For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell! Colossians 1:19

This scripture that describes Jesus as God's authoritative presence and the actual ikon / icon / image / likeness of the invisible God is so relevant to our contemporary political and economic concerns. In terms of the first century's (and this twenty-first's) status quo, these words from Colossians are seditious and subversive! They proclaim the person, power, and rule of Jesus Christ in terms that only are supposed to belong to the emperor. If Jesus is supreme, then caesar isn't. If (because!) Jesus is supreme, than the US government isn't. Samsung isn't. Amazon isn't, nor is Shell.
# # #

This FMF is edited, contracted, and expanded some from several posts on my weekly lectionary blog, urban wilderness.
five minute friday like
five minute friday icon

Friday, November 18, 2022

Five Minute Friday :: Laugh

easter tulips laugh
Five Minute Friday :: Laugh Linkup

John 20:1, 12-16

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb.

…and she saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" Supposing him to be the gardener…

Jesus is not here—He is risen! But it still is dark!

Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs forth! Do you not perceive it? I will make a a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19

At first Mary didn't recognize Jesus; she imagined Jesus was the gardener. But wasn't her initial perception very correct? Jesus created it all, a world that began with a garden that, well-tended, would grow, expand, blossom, and flourish into a city. Wasn't Mary's anxious guess more than right? On the first day of the week, the eighth day of creation, Jesus the first gardener returns as lover of a new creation, a restored and expanded glory.

"Two angels in white." In some traditions, white is the color for harvest. Like the first creation, the new creation begins with light. Light that pierces "while it still is dark" with a Word of resurrection.

Angels rolled the stone away—Jesus is here, after all. No longer dead and buried. Jesus still is risen! Everything may look hopeless and bleak, yet God always is doing a new thing: God's final answer always is resurrection.

God's laughter behind the empty grave!

# # #
five minute friday icon

Saturday, November 05, 2022

Five Minute Friday :: Perform

roadside flowers in san diego perform
Five Minute Friday :: Perform Linkup


Do you know your Enneagram number? If you don't, online quizzes can help you find out, or even better, a spiritual director or life coach can help you with that discovery. It's sort of a psychometric, and very useful to help you understand all kinds of relationships, your interests and career, as well as your own history. I'm an Enneagram 3 with a 4 wing: 3w4. For this week's perform prompt I'll consider my identity as a 3 that's sometimes called the achiever, sometimes a performer, often performer-achiever. Short version? A 3 doesn't really know the difference between what they do and who they are. Here are a couple of places that describe the good and the bad of being a 3:

What Is the Enneagram Type 3

Crystal Knows Enneagram 3


As image-aware as I can be, I don't necessarily concern myself with others opinions of me or my actions except when it might affect overall public perception of how I perform. As I've replied a couple times on twitter, as a little kid my life ambition was to be famous. Well-known, but not fame attached to any endeavor or accomplishment. However, true to my enneagram type that can't quite figure out the difference between what I do and who I am, I've spent forever gaining more skills, more academic and professional credentials, all that time glancing over my shoulder to see if anyone notices. If it looks like maybe they don't, it's more effort, more time to refine the way I perform.

best is yet to come
Into an old commonplace book I copied my interpretation of a trio of magazine ads:
• your views, Leah?

• the best is yet to come!

• follow your heart

• but you've got to be an expert.

All that slices at least two ways. First, stewardship of gifts and opportunities God places in our path requires our serious cooperation to take advantage of them and become the best possible version of ourselves. And second, almost everyone has agonized through cringe-worthy musical or poetic, sometimes theatrical performances from people of all ages and it's in everyone's interest to be expert rather than embarrassing.

There's clearly a place to perform and places where we need only be. A pastor I served with reminded the staff Sunday morning worship is about The Performance. We'd definitely rather people don't cringe; we strongly desire they connect to God and to each other during worship. That means working hard and persistently so we can perform well. It means letting go of a healthy desire for better or best and letting ourself simply be as we perform.

# # #

five minute friday perform inside theatre
five minute fridaylogo