• Eirenicole

Sermon

Members of Peace

Members of Peace

Members of Peace 2560 1920 Nicole

The fullness of God the Creator – of everything! was pleased to have all of God’s own being (fullness) dwell in this itty bitty of a baby whose birth we claim to Celebrate on December 25th.
Still, “without justice and love, peace is an illusion.” #DomHelderCamara
The project of God’s justice – making all things right, reconciling us to God and each other, AND all creation (whether things on earth or things in heaven) – this project of God’s justice is fueled, empowered, made personal, purely by Love: by making peace through Christ’s blood, shed on the cross.
Then, God’s presence will be known, the people will consult God – and pay attention, and an industry of war will no longer be necessary: indiscriminately, across the board, the only commerce will be the facilitation of peace.
Put on the armor of light – walk in the light of Jesus. Live with honor. What does that look like to live honorably? For one, it means living honestly – let your actions live out what you believe. What is it that you believe? We believe in Jesus Christ – the messiah, anointed Present. So if you say that you believe in Jesus Christ, to live honorably is to act on that, to live it.
Awake! remember your baptism and, together, let us center on Jesus who dwells in me and in you – take time allowing the spirit of Jesus (in whom God is pleased to dwell) to speak; confess our frenzy and anxiety at the onset of Advent. Awaken, and remember. Together we are members of peace. Know peace; be an instrument of peace.

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Anointed Abode

Anointed Abode

Anointed Abode 2560 1920 Nicole

For whom do I create? Well, for everyone who listens to what comes from my mouth and views the art I’ve crafted. Ultimately, though, I know I do all of this because I believe in Jesus Christ, and the project of Kingdom building – a kin-dom of all creation, perfecting, becoming… Opening hearts, opening minds, opening doors.
So why would I ever give potentate status to anyone other than Jesus? What convinces us that others’ opinions or disposition toward us should have unlimited power or influence over us?
To say, “I believe in Jesus Christ,” ought to indicate that my life would display something of that belief. Christ, the Messiah, Redeemer – Anointed – is present, now. I believe this reality because I experience that nearness, the truth of Jesus’ voice and strength and love. And because if I don’t? where else can I go? everything about who am I will eventually fall apart.
What does it mean, might it look like, that we live our belief together?
Maybe it means not looking to other “successful” churches to find answers to our problem of dwindling numbers, but look to the Presence, the Jesus Christ we claim to believe in, praying together for God’s leading, praying that we can be the light of Jesus in this world. Perhaps if we pray like we had nowhere else to go, we might even pray ourselves into truly believing it.

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Spiritual Abode

Spiritual Abode

Spiritual Abode 2560 1920 Nicole

We are interconnected. We are accountable to God – together. Which means, we are accountable to each other, too.
The whole earth is full of God’s glory. This holy God fills the land with plenty of what we need – exactly enough. But we are accountable to one another for its care. Men and women put their lives on the line, and have given their lives for the protection of this land. Your land. My land. But it is rebelling against us because of the disregard we’ve given it.
Perhaps, as we remember and honor the veterans who have and who are even now in service to the protection of our freedoms in this land… consider what our responsibility is to the land – this land that was made for you and me.
And we might see the reality, God’s glory, the reality of God’s presence even here, and see more clearly that material things “only collect rust or dust, and once we know that the only thing that counts is treasure in heaven, surely we [will] find a new way to live!”

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Cosmic Abode

Cosmic Abode

Cosmic Abode 2560 1920 Nicole

The result of living out of a mythology of self and without grace, the grace of dignity – the truth of who I am, who you are, as uniquely imaging God – the result of living for the myth and not living in the grace of knowing my true worth … is shame.
If each of us understands of what our relationship with God consists, If each of us let go of the mask that we made identity – cobbled together as a façade – our entire sense of worth is no longer in question; and there is no longer shame.
But we have to have faith. Believe that the end is present because God is timeless, and God is near. In fact, God is among us. And we are not alone.
“Everything in God’s universe is present-tense. Divine love transcends time and place.” In the Eucharist, taking communion, we remember. Today we remember – remembering the saints, in communion. And together dwell in this Cosmic Abode of the communion of saints.

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Disciple's Faith

Disciple’s Faith

Disciple’s Faith 2560 1920 Nicole

Sometimes faith is believing that you are enough, that I am enough – believing that God’s love is the only true standard – and that if I fall short in loving others (or even myself), God’s love has covered even that. Because, you know, grace.
Faith gives us the courage to be vulnerable.
God promised that this new covenant will mean that every bit of who God is and God’s intention for creation will already be writ large on their hearts. This hope is timeless. As it was for the Israelites, so it is for us. Faith is what got them through it all, and it is faith that moves us now.
We can be fewer in number, decreasing in mobility and endurance – and permeate the community, disciple with nothing but who we are. And that is enough. Because God alone, is enough.

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Disciple's Communion

Disciple’s Communion

Disciple’s Communion 2560 1920 Nicole

It requires a fair amount of faith to live in unity, with a bond of peace. We must believe there is “one body and one Spirit, … called to the one hope … one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.” It is communion; it is the disciple’s communion. It is active faith – not unthinking, holding to some literalism that creates a fissure between us – but genuine, ‘working out our faith’ (Phil2:12) working hard at it, with even a bit of fear and trembling. For this kind of faith we must be gentle with each other and with ourselves, patient, bearing with each other in Love. Because those who love are born of God and know God. Those who don’t love – and it is easy to love those who love you, but Jesus says, “love your enemies too!” (Lk6:35) those who don’t love, don’t know God. Period. Because God. Is. Love.

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Disciple's Attention

Disciple’s Attention

Disciple’s Attention 2560 1920 Nicole

The Japanese concept of ma – the sound of silence – is the silence that can be found between sounds. It is being present to the moment, attentive to the noises and sounds – and finding a sense of well-being, even joy, within it. It is only enjoyed, however, when there is true listening. Only when we pay attention to what we hear can we also detect the substance that is in the in between. Crucially, if I’m not listening and noticing those spaces, hearing into the nuance, the life contained with them, I “may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand; . . . [and fail to] turn again and be forgiven.” Mk4:12. I may not turn to you and be reconciled, or truly understand from where you are coming . . . and alienate you.

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Disciple's Sight

Disciple’s Sight

Disciple’s Sight 2560 1920 Nicole

When I look, actually see – because I’m not paying attention to you if I’m trying to say everything I want to make you understand – when I see you, I notice more about your expression, sense your presence. And it is powerful. This is what Jesus did. He went to the people – the outcasts, the immigrant, ones that made other people uncomfortable – Jesus went to the people and listened. He noticed the sick and healed them, he recognized the foreigner and offered acceptance, belonging. And Jesus said, “Follow me.”

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Instruments of Reconciliation

Instruments of Reconciliation

Instruments of Reconciliation 2560 1920 Nicole

I wonder if the idea of changing our perspective on a matter – which previously we considered sinful (surely they’re going to hell for this) we might feel something like the sibling to the prodigal son. The sin of the prodigal son was not that he spent all his money. That he drank too much or ate more than he needed. It wasn’t even that he had sex with multiple women. The sin of the prodigal son was that he thought he didn’t need anyone else – or that anyone else counted on him. The prodigal son thought that all he needed was a bunch of money and to find all the ways he could be entertained, feel “good,” to live a full life. What God calls sin has nothing to do with whatever thing a person does, and everything to do with being in right relationship with one another and God, the dutiful son – doing all the “right” things – became indignant. When the dutiful son forgets that it has nothing to do with the things we do, per se, he becomes just as much the “sinner” as his brother. Not until he recognizes why he stays, what actually does belong to him – belonging itself, for one, and all the rights of an heir – then he too is reconciled with the father.

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Reconciling Action

Reconciling Action

Reconciling Action 2560 1920 Nicole

Reconciliation is not just agreeing to disagree. Reconciliation that argues it out and settles the matter of how to move forward together, that is based on a covenant with one another, that is obtained by communing together – this reconciliation is active. We choose to listen into one another’s perspectives without assumptions.

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