Saturday, September 30, 2017

down by the riverside: honoring the holy on river sunday...

On Sunday, October 1, 2017 we'll focus our attention on River Sunday.
It is the close of the new/old liturgical "Season of Creation" cycle. My thoughts start with this poem by Maren Tirabassi from September 27, 2017.

I am tired to tears of tweets.

I want a long story
full of narrative twists
and wondering what the motivation
of some character is.

I want a persuasive argument
that weighs opposing sides
without instant
condemnation or approval,
and recognizes values that inform
different points of view.

I want a subtle sermon
that only jolts me awake
hours later when I am walking the dog.

I want a conversation
that could never be called a chat –
one where people
who respect one another
can let some silences settle
and consider
the words to come next.

I want a symphony,
rather than a jingle,
a photograph of the Grand Canyon
that is not a selfie,

a long community mural
on a city wall,
a commitment to therapy
in an imperfect relationship,
the beginnings of negotiation
that will not garner political perks
for maybe years,

the accompaniment
of those who have faced
natural disasters beyond photo op
and into life.

Increased character limit
was not what I had in mind.

Next, there are three biblical insights from the story of Noah to consider:

+ What are the metaphorical and theological connections between the creation story that opens Genesis 1 and the flood of Genesis 8?

+ What does it mean for us to know that throughout the early mythology of our Hebrew cousins in faith, the Earth accepts the consequences of sin and violence much as Christ does?

+ Why was the rainbow chosen to be a sign of God's covenant for both creation and the Creator?

My closing includes "Down By the Riverside" and these words from poet Maya Angelou:

You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.

Your mouths spelling words
Armed for slaughter.

The rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
But do not hide your face.

Across the wall of the world,
A river sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.

Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.

Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more.
Come, clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I
And the tree and stone were one.

Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your brow
And when you yet knew you still knew nothing.

The river sings and sings on.
There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing river and the wise rock.

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thanks be to god...

The past four weeks have been full to overflowing: time in Ottawa with our dear L'Arche community, walking in the snow on the Winter Sol...