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Epiphany XV

We incorporate (take into the body) all kinds of memories, postures and gestures that do work quite apart from or despite our best thinking or rational attempts to change. Many of the practices (and wisdom) of the body happen at unconscious and preverbal levels. The way we hold ourselves and move through space entails a deep sort of “knowing” that we rarely think about or notice.

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Epiphany XIII

This week the Gospel reading holds one of the hardest sayings of Jesus. At least for me. Matthew 5:43-44: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” This one is hard not so much because I have a lot of clearly defined enemies. Although I suppose I do have a few. And no doubt, I’ve made some.

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Epiphany VII

And we need healing from so many things in our lives. The very religious traditions that shape us are broken and sometimes do more harm than good. The institutions and the texts themselves stand in need of healing. The light of the Christ candle was taken symbolically to places in the sanctuary where those gathered could receive healing touch or light a candle to honor their own deep need or the needs of others. It is a standing invitation. . .

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Christmas | Twelve Days to Celebrate

We’ve been celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas at our house, with enthusiasm – or at least dedication – for more than twenty years. Hard to believe. In the beginning I was an eager and well-intentioned, but mostly uninformed young Baptist. I gave my husband (who was still my fiancée that first year) 12 gifts in the days leading up to December 25. The next year at Christmas, when I was about to begin seminary, and we had been married for a few months, we shifted the tradition to the days after Christmas.

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Advent VIII

“Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.” (Anne Sexton) This is the work of Advent. If I can listen to my own soul* and give you even an inkling of what I hear, I have given a gift far greater than all the stuff or the fluff that fills most of the sound and fury of our waking hours. But giving this sort of authentic self revelation to those with whom we are already most familiar. . . now that is a challenge.

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