THE WEEKLY WORD
Sermon on Paul's Letter to the Ephesians chapter 6
As the Christian year comes moves towards its culmination, we celebrate the festival of Michaelmas, in which we turn to the one who has so united himself with Jesus Christ that he shines out his countenance. He stands by us in all our trials and challenges of becoming truly, fully human.
Every day we encounter evil. It rises up in a multitude of forms, grasping every moment of human encounter, enters our thoughts, our hearts, our desires, and tries to lead us off the path, out of the full daylight of consciousness. As we wrestle to try to take hold of our unique selfhood, it adjusts to our personal pitfalls, and clothes itself in partial refections of what we think we want. Evil is clever, and dedicated!
The Christian Community Movement for Religious Renewal Worldwide will be 96 this September 16. In four short years our centennial will arrive. How might we want to recognize and celebrate our 100th birthday? Join us on Sunday the 16th for this month’s special Members’ Meeting: a Community Potluck and Gathering to converse with one another about our 100th milestone and how we want to celebrate it at the local and North American regional levels, and with the wider world!
This Fall, Rev. Bastiaan Baan will offer a conference October 20-21: How Do We Know, Confront and Work with Evil? We expect a fair number of visitors from outside our congregation. If you would like to offer housing, you can let Liza know. You can register on our website to attend! Such events illustrate our wider mission as a center of spiritual life.
The modern individual is able to meet another person and see through to his or her essential presence as an individual human spirit. To do this the various other ‘lesser bodies’ are momentarily disregarded, such as the person’s race, sex, nationality, language, religion, class, political affiliation and profession. To be able to behold the other, one has to momentarily renounce the otherwise continuous experience of self-feeling. This experience of feeling oneself as a self has grown both in its magnitude and intensity. It thus becomes increasingly resistant to the necessary renunciation for the purpose of receiving the revelation of another’s individuality.
The intensity of the experience of feeling oneself as a self has the side effect of promoting a disregard towards all the ‘lesser bodies.’ We’ve all probably heard someone claim how they are not an American, (or some other nationality) but rather ‘a citizen of the world.’ In this sentiment is expressed a reluctance to identify with one’s nationality. It is a tendency of the individual human spirit to be reluctant or to outright reject identifying with any one of the lesser bodies.
Theme for Holy Week and Preparation for Easter
This year our theme is ‘Walking with the Risen One.’ We’ll explore his achievement of overcoming the polarities of the created world in sermons & daily conversations after the service.
Starting Holy Saturday, March 31st, from 6:00—6:30pm, we’ll begin a new monthly Close of Day ritual devoted to the community of those who have crossed the threshold of death. From the pulpit, within the context of the sermon, the names of those who died in the month that follows will be named, that we may better accompany those across the threshold, and live in stronger connection with them.
Who built the cathedrals of Europe? No one knows, and that is the point. They were built anonymously. Their work was an expression of the builders’ religious practice. To have it recognized would have offended the intention of their devotion.
Sacrifice remains essential to religious practice in general and for The Act of Consecration in particular. The word ‘sacrifice’ is often used outside the context of religious practice. We can grasp its religious meaning through comparison with its commonplace usage.
A Contemplation for Advent
From the top of a mountain we can see the lay of the land. We see where we are in relation to where everything else is. Finding a place to stand to gain perspective is something we continually practice in the course of our day. Our stance allows us to determine how we are to order the space around us for which we are responsible.
How do we gain perspective in the course of time?