Saturday, December 17, 2016

Advent 3: Joy: Re-cycle, re-new, re-sist


Re-cycle, re-new, re-sist:
papers by hand by Jubia

Today we lit three candles, including our pink one. And sang 3 verses of Barbara Lundblad’s Emmanuel …
O come, O come, Immanuel
And bless each place your people dwell.
Melt ev’ry weapon crafted for war,
Bring peace upon the earth forever more.
Rejoice, rejoice! Take heart and do not fear,
God’s chosen one, Immanuel, draws near.
2. O come, green shoot of Jesse, free
Your people from despair and apathy;
Forge justice for the poor and the meek,
Grant safety for the young ones and the weak. Refrain
3.O come, now living water, pour your grace
And bring new life to ev’ry withered place;
Speak comfort to each trembling heart:
“Be strong! Fear not, for I will ne’er depart.” 

And while lighting the candles we read from Isaiah 35: 1-10:
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
 the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
 like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,
 and rejoice with joy and singing.
 The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
 the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
 They shall see the glory of the LORD,
 the majesty of our God.
Reader 2:
Strengthen the weak hands,
 and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
 “Be strong, do not fear!
 Here is your God.
 He will come with vengeance,
 with terrible recompense.
 He will come and save you.”
Reader 1:
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
 and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then the lame shall leap like a deer,
 and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
 For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
 and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool,
 and the thirsty ground springs of water;
 the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,
 the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
Reader 2:
A highway shall be there,
 and it shall be called the Holy Way;
 the unclean shall not travel on it,
 but it shall be for God’s people;
 no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray.
No lion shall be there,
 nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
 they shall not be found there,
 but the redeemed shall walk there.
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return,
 and come to Zion with singing;
 everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
 they shall obtain joy and gladness,
 and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

and saw that in the King James Version, it comes out The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.

And Jeremy and I sang Lo How a rose and the Rose as Better Midler sang it…

On this Sunday we consider JOY. Traditionally this Sunday has been known as Gaudete Sunday…as Advent was a time for contemplation, this third Sunday in Advent became a time for break in the reflection…a pause for joy….and we break up the purple candles with  a  pink….for JOY snd for Mary….

And on this Sunday, she sings a song from the depth of her soul…a song of joy….of resistance …of victory…we call it the magnificat…
My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded : the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth : all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me : and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him : throughout all generations.
He hath shewed strength with his arm : he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat : and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things : and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel : as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.

And Jeremy played for us Paul Mc Cartney’s riff on the magnificat, i.e. Let it Be

In the Gospel lesson, Matthew 1: 18-25,Jesus answers John’s questions in terms of the prophet Isaiah…what do you eyes see?
Matthew 11:2-14 (The Message)

2-3 John, meanwhile, had been locked up in prison. When he got wind of what Jesus was doing, he sent his own disciples to ask, “Are you the One we’ve been expecting, or are we still waiting?”

4-6 Jesus told them, “Go back and tell John what’s going on:

The blind see,
The lame walk,
Lepers are cleansed,
The deaf hear,
The dead are raised,
The wretched of the earth learn that God is on their side.
“Is this what you were expecting? Then count yourselves most blessed!”

7-10 When John’s disciples left to report, Jesus started talking to the crowd about John. “What did you expect when you went out to see him in the wild? A weekend camper? Hardly. What then? A sheik in silk pajamas? Not in the wilderness, not by a long shot. What then? A prophet? That’s right, a prophet! Probably the best prophet you’ll ever hear. He is the prophet that Malachi announced when he wrote, ‘I’m sending my prophet ahead of you, to make the road smooth for you.’

11-14 “Let me tell you what’s going on here: No one in history surpasses John the Baptizer; but in the kingdom he prepared you for, the lowliest person is ahead of him. For a long time now people have tried to force themselves into God’s kingdom. But if you read the books of the Prophets and God’s Law closely, you will see them culminate in John, teaming up with him in preparing the way for the Messiah of the kingdom. Looked at in this way, John is the ‘Elijah’ you’ve all been expecting to arrive and introduce the Messiah.

We have been celebrating all weekend and exploring paper…with Junia 
Junia and Bob
Junia getting ready to make paper

Junia and 
…and the Flute Choir of New York City that played for her opening…
The Flute Choir of NYC
learning about the history of and the the making of paper…
The history of paper

And so we had our conversation…

Why paper? What drew you to paper?
She started working with paper during a time when her flute had been stole and found that making paper filled her with the same feelings that plain the flute did…a sense of meditation and onenesss and JOY…What does the experience feel like for you?
For her, the experience is not unlike that of prayer…
She says that you can’t make paper if you are not at peace with yourself….what does that mean?
One has to see the paper…describe that …it takes split second timing, the particles of fabric floating in the water come together for just a moment, you have to pull it just then or the moment …and the paper is gone…

"Finding the paper"
And when you lose the moment, you just have to, as the song said just, “Let it be”….metaphors, metaphors….and just because you are not supposed to mix natures, vegetable and mineral, paper and rock, she worked at it until she could include gem stones in her paper…. 
Paper with gemstones

Where do you get your materials?  Recycling….
She has always been a saver, one who finds them and put stem to use, especially  in a city of conspicuous wealth and consumption where so may good things are replaced and out on the street.. Old blue jeans, old shirts, all recycled, turns it into something new. 

Why do you always begin with flute playing? 
Junia begins the service with her flute
Andre, of course  sees the two  as related….how so?
It’s all about 
Creation and joy
Creation and resistance…
The act of playing, of creating, is the first step in resisting the powers that deaden life, that threaten us with non-being

And so in that spirit, we join in Mary’s song and go back into the world…her papers remain on the walls of the chapel, to remind us…
Thank you Pat and leila

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