Saturday, October 28, 2017

"Goodnight Moon" as read by LeVar Burton to Neil deGrasse Tyson

"Many moons ago, in a far off place..."

OK, I'll stop before I get too far singing from Once Upon a Mattress, the Princess and the Pea musical.

Many moons ago, one of my younger sisters founded the Moon Club (I kid you not). Around the same general time, she had a school friend who owed her so many favors that she made him call her every night to read her a bedtime story.

I wonder if one of them was Goodnight Moon.

Now, I will never catch up on favors after all she has done, especially in the last five years. However, I promise I will never again draw a line up the middle of a room we share or charge her rent if she borrows my clothing. Unless she throws it on the floor again, but I digress... :-D

Better yet, I have a bedtime story for her.

Liz, this one's for you. ❤

Goodnight stars, goodnight air, goodnight noises everywhere.

— Margaret Wise Brown, Goodnight Moon

Time for the Great Silence. Everyone sleep well.

morning blessings

from this morning:

We're not that long out of silence, and already this day is full of blessings. Thought I'd share them with you.

My day opened with Morning Prayer, of course (after a nice, strong cup of coffee, which is its own blessing). Today we remember St. Simon & St. Jude, and the reading for the day from Ephesians particularly struck me as wonderful and appropriate for prayer. Imagine if we were all to pray with this daily.

Ephesians 2:13-22

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.

(You can see the rest of the daily office readings here and the Eucharistic lessons here.)

As I returned from setting up the oratory for the Eucharist, I was greeted with a stunning view out the hall window as the reds of dawn began to lighten the sky and reflect off the bay. I wish I had a picture to share.  I did, however, take my folding chair down to the end of the road for a time of contemplation before the Eucharist, and I took a few photos.

Another gift of this morning was celebrating the Eucharist. I have always loved communion services, and now being able to preside gives me an extra joy on those days I am assigned. And we sang a favorite hymn of mind reminding me of the greatest gift we've been given: Jesus Christ, our sure foundation and sign of God's love, embodied.

Who knows what the rest of the day will bring? We are hosting two church groups, and I hope their time with us will be a gift and blessing to them. Perhaps their day will be as good as mine has begun to be. I'll pray that this be so - and that yours be a good one as well.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

hymn for the beloved physician

I'm working on my sermon for tonight's Eucharist and contemplating the words of this hymn alongside scripture and commentary.  Thought I'd share it for your prayer as well.

From thee all skill and science flow,
all pity, care, and love,
all calm and courage, faith and hope:
O pour them from above!
Impart them, Lord, to each and all,
as each and all shall need,
to rise, like incense, each to thee,
in noble thought and deed.

And hasten, Lord, that perfect day
when pain and death shall cease,
and thy just rule shall fill the earth
with health and light and peace;
when ever-blue the sky shall gleam,
and ever green the sod,
and our rude work deface no more
the handiwork of God.

--Charles Kingsley, 1819-1875
The Hymnal 1982 #566

Readings for the Eucharist on the Feast of St. Luke:
Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 38:1-4,6-10,12-14
Psalm 147 or 147:1-7
2 Timothy 4:5-13
Luke 4:14-21

The Collect

Almighty God, who inspired your servant Luke the physician to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of your Son: Graciously continue in your Church this love and power to heal, to the praise and glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Monday, October 2, 2017

not again

Went walking late this afternoon. Have some lovely photos. May share them later.

On my way to the car, I noticed the flag was at half staff. Hadn't seen it before.  I wondered which of the latest disasters it was for... so many lately. Thought of all the people dealing with the aftermath of the hurricanes and earthquakes.

I hadn't read the news - yesterday was so very full. 

I read it a while ago. Started to post something on Facebook, but what is there left to say. Why? I've asked that. No good answers. Contributing issues, naturally. But after all is said and done, I'm left with grief for all those people and their families and loved ones. I'd like to ask when it will stop. Never? But what little we can do, we must. Meanwhile, we grieve and we pray - and we seek wisdom.

considering the lilies

The reading for Evening Prayer tonight is one of my favorites, one I've gone back to over the years.

Someday I'll have to tell the story of its impact on me during my junior year abroad; it's too long for today. Suffice to say that I had been coming upon that passage with its "do not be anxious" (RSV translation) to the point that I was asking God, "Are you trying to tell me something?" Apparently so, and when I suddenly needed it, it was there. And right. So when I came upon it while praying Morning Prayer today, I just kept on reading into the Evening Prayer passage in advance.

It's our sabbath day - which is to say, our day of rest, our day "off," so to speak, so I will go out soon to consider the lilies and the birds of the air. Quite literally. Walking outside can be really good prayer time for me, and just being among green living things renews my spirit. I am profoundly grateful to be able to do so and to have a lovely afternoon in which to do it. I'll come back to this passage tonight, giving thanks and asking to hear it even more deeply. 

May the Lord help me - and all of us - to grow in trust and thanksgiving for that promise of steadfast presence, no matter what.

Matthew 6:25-34

 ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

 ‘So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

(Thanks to for the text!)

Sunday, October 1, 2017

this is how you do it - Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria's full speech about racism

I wish all our leaders - no, make that all of us - could be that clear. Racism is pervasive. And it's not all right. It's not just an opinion. It's evil.

Episcopalians: This is from our baptismal covenant. It goes well with the General's speech.  I've probably posted it before, but I'm posting it again because I think we need to go back to it (and the rest of our promises) on a regular basis.

CelebrantWill you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving
your neighbor as yourself?
PeopleI will, with God's help.
CelebrantWill you strive for justice and peace among all
people, and respect the dignity of every human
PeopleI will, with God's help.

It will be a long, long time, unfortunately, before we're rid of this scourge. Those of us who are white especially bear the responsibility here. It's seeped into our pores through the images we've ingested since birth, and we're all just going to have to do a lot of work on ourselves and our world over the long haul. As with most everything in life, and especially in our life in Christ, we need to be persistent.

There's one more thing from the baptismal service that is particularly apt for this.

CelebrantWill you persevere in resisting evil, and , whenever
you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
PeopleI will, with God's help.

May God give us courage, wisdom, insight, energy, and love to move forward together.