Friday, April 24, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I rarely watch the reality television shows; it seems like people are either making fools of themselves or just getting their 15 minutes of fame. However, this video shows the positive side of such shows. How some people who never get a break, finally get a chance to chase their dreams:

It brought to mind for me this Easter season, what the folks from Nazareth might have felt in Christ's day. "Wow, I didn't know he was the Son of God and would be risen from the dead"

May all your days have pleasant surprises until all the walls are broken down and we are truly one in Christ.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Three Holy Days in three words

Confusion, Discomfort, Joy

Confusion: did the first disciples really understand at that moment the powerful changes Jesus made to the script for the passover meal? The radical freedom from death by the simple meal of bread and wine. As well as how the richness of Christ serving by cleaning you (baptism) and providing nourishment for your spirit (holy communion).

Discomfort: what's so good about Good Friday? Remembering how much Christ loved us...that he was willing to die for us. We do squirm during the service, it is uncomfortable to ponder his last seven words of love.

Joy: he is not in the tomb, He is Risen

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Local Hero of the Faith

Last night I shared a tiny bit about the powerful woman, Sojourner Truth. She was born in nearby Ulster County, NY

Here is my favorite story from her life:

Throughout her life,
Truth sought social change through peaceful methods.
Her actions could speak louder than words.
But when she combined her actions with words,
spoken or sung, the effects verged on extraordinary.

It was during the time that Sojourner Truth
lived among members
of the Northampton Association in Massachusetts,
from 1844 to 1846, that her words and actions
allowed her to perform a feat of near miraculous proportions.

When a rowdy mob of "wild young men"
threatened to disrupt a tent revival meeting she was attending,
Sojourner followed the example of others and hid, "quaking in fear."

Hid, that is, until she remembered who she was
-- not Isabella Hardenbergh the former slave,
not Isabella Hardenbergh an illiterate and powerless black woman
-- but Sojourner Truth, called to preach,
called to testify, called to greatness. She said to herself:

Shall I run away and hide from the devil?
Me, a servant of the living God?
Have I not faith enough to go out and quell that mob,
when I know it is written, "One shall chase a thousand,
and two put ten thousand to flight?"
I know there are not a thousand here;
and I know I am a servant of the living God.
I'll go to the rescue,
and the Lord shall go with and protect me.

Oh, I felt as if I had three hearts!
and that they were so large,
my body could hardly contain them!

(did you catch that? Remember what the Grinch did when his heart Grew 3 sizes?)

Sojourner left the tent alone and unaided,
and walking some thirty rods
to the top of a small rise of ground,
commenced to sing in her most fervid manner,
with all the strength of her most powerful voice,
the hymn on the resurrection of Christ.

With an emphasis on the lyrics,
and little mind to the occasional flat note
and lack of harmony,
Sojourner continued to sing
as the mob of young men surrounded her
with sticks and clubs.
But, instead of beating her,
they entreated Truth to continue singing
and tell them her story.
According to the account in her autobiography:

She did speak; they silently heard,
and civilly asked her many questions.
It seemed to her to be given her
at the time
to answer them with truth and wisdom beyond herself.
Her speech had operated
on the roused passions of the mob like oil on agitated waters;
they were, as a whole entirely subdued,
and only clamored when she ceased to speak or sing. 3

Gradually the din of angry voices subsided
and the only voice which could be heard was Sojourner's.
Climbing into the back of a nearby wagon,
Truth proceeded to preach and sing
to her increasingly respectful congregation.
Finally she struck a unique bargain with the young men.
They promised to leave the site after one last spiritual
and to allow the revival meeting to continue in peace.
Then Sojourner rejoined
her fellow worshippers under the tent.

Sojourner Truth had attitude.
And she had faith.
It took great courage for her to step outside
that tent and put herself in the center
of a mob of disrespectful, and potentially dangerous, men.
Truth could have chosen the easy path
and stayed inside the tent with the others.
Instead, she chose to back up her words with her actions.

She refused to "keep her place,"
to be intimidated or ignored.
She was a force to be reckoned with,
a force with an invisible and mighty right arm
to aid her in her campaign against inequality.

Sojourner knew her fight was not hers alone.
It was her faith in God
that sustained her through her endless series
of trials and tribulations.

During our life, we too face trials,
remember God is with you
just as the Almighty was with Sojourner Truth