Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Five: Movies

Jan @ RevGals has offered this Friday Five for the Day:
Thinking of movie-watching, what do you prefer?

1. At home or at a theater?  Either - although I love big blockbusters on the big screen.  Usually see about 6 movies a year at the theatre.  Love Netflix at home.  In the last month, I have seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Joyful Noise - both a Studio Movie Drill where we watched the movie and had dinner at the same time.  I especially love good adaptations of beloved books I have read
2. With whom?  Dear Husband sometimes with Teens, or Mom, Sis and Niece if it's a Chick Flick
3. Movie you look forward to seeing?  I want to see the Artist, but don't want to drive into Dallas, so it may have to wait until the DVD release.  I also keep meaning to see if The Descendants is still in theatres - was not that interested in it until the Golden Globes awards
4. Movie you like to see repeatedly?  In undergrad it was Pretty Woman and When Harry Met Sally repeatedly while studying.  I love the Disney/Pixar movies and have several on my IPod - The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Up - those I can always rewatch
5. Food with a movie?  Popcorn with butter - maybe some Jr Mints. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sermon - Epiphany Sunday

“They travelled there… were overwhelmed with joy… paid him homage…offered him gifts… and left by another road.”

Yesterday was the Day of Epiphany – and tomorrow is the Epiphany pageant so tonite we get to hear the rest of the story.  For those of us who follow the liturgical calendar, Christmas doesn’t end December 26th  - we get an extended time to enjoy the season, even though the secular world has moved onto St Valentine’s Day.  It doesn’t end for us until the wise men from the east come to visit the Christ child.  We only get this story in the Gospel according to Matthew.  Luke gave us the story of the shepherds, and Matthew gives us the wise men. 

As I studied this scripture passage this week, I kept coming back to the thought: what does this have to do with us? It’s a great story – and we’ve added images thru the years that give it depth and majesty.  My crèche at home has three royally dressed men wearing crowns bearing ornate boxes and there’s a camel draped in finery looking on.  So it is a fun story – and fun to watch young ones re-tell – but is that it?  Is that all we get from it?

While there is great merit in telling the stories, I believe that there is more to what Matthew offers.  Beyond being part of our faith tradition, this scripture offers us a way to liturgically enter into where secular time seems to naturally go right now.  We’ve just celebrated the secular new year – last weekend in fact.  The new year seems to invite us all to re-evaluate where we are in our lives and where we are going in the next year.  It’s a time to get ourselves, our finances, our bodies, our households, our families in order.  I do not like making resolutions, but a lot of people take the chance to resolve to do something differently this year.  This is the time of year for such reflection.  Epiphany begins our last season before Lent – maybe the arrival of the wise men amongst us, invites us to start considering where we are in our own journeys toward Christ.  Maybe we also get an extended season to consider where we would like to make changes come Lent.  How else can we enter into this story?

They travelled… How did you get here?  Not here at St Martin – that’s too easy.  How did you get to here, today?  Reflect on the story a Gospeller would tell about your journey.  What brought you into this space?  Maybe it was a friend, a co-worker, a family member – a ministry of the church.  They travelled with friends, just as we do. 

When were you so overwhelmed with joy, that you knelt and paid homage to Christ as the lord and savior of your life?  For most people it might have been very quietly done at the birth of a child, in the midst of an illness, in that peace which passes all understanding.  Some here may have had a very sudden life-changing experience.  The thing to note is that we have all had at least one, or we wouldn’t be here!    

What gifts have you offered up in the past?  And what gifts has God given you since that you look forward to bringing forward in this new year?  We all have cycles of offering gifts, then resting for a bit while we foster new gifts, then offer those up – it’s a cycle that continues throughout our lifetimes – the gift the children will offer at the pageant will be different than the gift the Altar Guild or the Choir performs every week.  What gifts of time or talent or treasure did you bring along tonight?

And they left by another road… they did that to avoid reporting back to Herod – they sensed his hypocrisy.  But I also wonder about the metaphorical value of that.  They had met the savior of the world – the one whom we still kneel down and worship 2000 years later.  They had to have been changed by the journey – changed by the story – changed in the meeting of Jesus face to face.

After all, we have all come, we will kneel, we will offer valuable gifts of our time, treasure and harvest, we do this over and over and over – week in and week out – in each season, liturgical and secular.  I pray that we will each go from here differently AND WISER than we came. AMEN.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Five from RevGals

Playing the Friday Five was how I originally began to blog years ago.  Here's today's version:

Friday Five - The A-ha Moments

This past holiday season is not one I will soon forget, but not for the reason some may think. Certainly, it was a busy one for those involved in the life of the church. The 1-2 punch of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on a Sunday brought more than a few of us to our knees (or hopefully to a more comfortable napping position).

In the midst of the holiday season I had one of those moments where a path suddenly was made clear - A-ha! This experience has prompted me to wonder what some of your A-ha moments may be.

They can be mundane - a realization that you like/don't like a certain food or that you really look good in that color you never had the guts to try. They can be sacred - a way to better pace your day clicks into place or finally a devotion or meditation practice that really works for you. They can be profound - the moment you realized he/she was the one (or wasn't)or the moment you realized where your deepest passion could meet the world's greatest need.

Please tell us - what are five (more or less) of your 'A-ha' moments. Where have you had a moment of clarity?

  1. When the boys were still preschool age, I had an epiphany that still holds true:  I need to be completely ready for my day before I wake them.  It seems so simple in retrospect, but I constantly push back against it.  I want to be able to blow dry my hair while they get dressed... and sometimes I can do it without repercussions, but our mornings are always smoothest and most peaceful when I am able to be attentive and present to them (even thought they are now teens).
  2. Most jobs are never completely finished.  I tend to want to do something once and put it away forever.  I am learning that just about everything needs to be revisited cyclically. 
  3. Sleep is a wise investment for me.  I tend to be a night owl.  At times in my life, I had to be (seminary, anyone?) - but I fall into night-owlish behavior also when I am being undisciplined.  I am healthier in body, mind and soul when I get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
  4. Another discipline for me is sermon-writing.  I can write a sermon off the cuff , but I feel better about the sermons I offer when I take the time to work through an outline given by my homiletics professor.  I am able to delve deeper and make more meaning when I go through the process itself.  I am now working Fridays and taking Mondays off, so I am hoping to have sermons written by the time I leave the church on Fridays...I'll see how that goes. 
  5. I feel much better when I ask the question that I am afraid to ask - does that make sense?  As I get older, I recognize the feeling of a burning question that will fester if I leave it unasked.  Then I have to figure out who and where to ask it, but I have to combat a real fear of looking ignorant or incompetent. 
My first Friday Five on this blog!!  Done.  but not finished...