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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Second Sunday After Christmas/Epiphany:......WORD.......


1/3/16

The gifts of the Magi



I arrive at church ready to wait for Pat and Larry to arrive and decorate only to be surprised that the stage is already set. Dion apparently stayed after Antigona finished last night and set things up.  And I breathe a little easier. 
The stage is set

We are small again. But it lifts my spirits to see Eric from the Noche family back again.

After reading the story of the Magi in Matthew, I share my own little bottles of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Remember past celebrations of El Dia de los Tres Reyes Magos in this place.  And after singing We Three Kings, it’s time for reflection.

We are three days into the new year. I’m guessing more than a few resolutions bit the dust already….but we’re still at THE BEGINNING….as we are every year at this time…a new beginning…so John 1 is a good place to BEGIN…

In the beginning was the WORD…echoes Genesis 1….God says it and it IS….

What does that mean?

For my kids' generation, when someone  says something you agree with, the response is WORD…I have a friend in Washington Heights…down the street from the Presbyterian Deli, I love that….she’s on the board of a coop called WORD UP Bookstore…they tutor, they do workshops, open mics, readings…a completely community based store. As for WORD UP,  it means I totally comprehend what you’re saying, doing…in Greek, it’s almost the same, logos....the ultimate inherently visible  logical reality….

In open mics now we have singers and we have spoken WORD…which is poetry or story or improve or rap without music…like my friend Joel Gold with his 1950’s beat improv…and our man Dion does spoken WORDstand up, another form

John says, In the beginning was the WORD….

If Christmas is about incarnation, John’s Christmas story is about the WORD becoming FLESH….a WORD that is LIGHT in the darkness….

We speak about the Bible as the Word of God…and Jesus is the living WORD….

What am I up to here?
In my tradition, I’m now called a Teaching Elder…I used to be called a minister of WORD and Sacrament…when I preach I bring the WORD…

We Protestants tend to think in didactic ways…we tend to use music and art  to illustrate the WORD, like pictures in a children’s Bible…but in  fact, a work of art is its own WORD…

Something like Noche’s Antigona doesn't illustrate anything, it simply is. It is it’s own WORD to be in dialogue with the Bible’s WORD or my WORD…and when you see Soledad dance, it doesn't symbolize anything…like you can't take a painting and say, What does this part here mean?  It just IS…You see Soledad dance and all you can say is YES…or, as the kids say, WORD…WORD is given, TRUTH is told.

Which is why it’s appropriate to epiphany…literally
·    Epiphany means: a Christian festival held on January 6 in honor of the coming of the three kings to the infant Jesus Christ or…
·    : a moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way

You see, it’s the same thing…you SEE something and all of a sudden you GET It…like a light switch goes on…

That’s what it was with Jesus apparently…..people saw it….they got it

St. Francis said ….preach often, use words when necessary

When I see you, I see the WORD. When Dion visits with the homeless people or John walks Rachel home or when Kate and Hope and Marsha serve a meal at a shelter….you see it, you know it….

That’s what I long for, ache for …to be a community that is a living WORD…that when seen is like an epiphany where we see what is is to be WORD…

And that my friends, is  my word for today.

And for our offertory, I play, what else:

                                                                        The WORD

We will pray. And celebrate Eucharist, another visible WORD.  We will hear a WORD of peace, and then out into the world…







"The Word"

Say the word and you'll be free
Say the word and be like me
Say the word I'm thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?
It's so fine, it's sunshine
It's the word, love

In the beginning I misunderstood
But now I've got it, the word is good

Spread the word and you'll be free
Spread the word and be like me
Spread the work I'm thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?
It's so fine, it's sunshine
It's the word, love

Everywhere I go I hear it said
In the good and bad books that I have read

Say the word and you'll be free
Say the word and be like me
Say the word I'm thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?
It's so fine, it's sunshine
It's the word, love

Now that I know what I feel must be right
I'm here to show everybody the light

Give the word a chance to say
That the word is just the way
It's the word I'm thinking of
And the only word is love
It's so fine, it's sunshine
It's the word, love

Say the word, love
Say the word, love
Say the word, love
Say the word, love





The Word Became Flesh
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own,[b] and his own people[c] did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him,who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born,not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.[d] 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God,[e] who is at the Father's side,[f] he has made him known.


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