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Friday, December 23, 2016

Advent 4: Love...and what about Jospeh?

12/18









The theme for the fourth …and last…Sunday of Advent was “Love”…and we were joined by our friends from the Seed Group of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards. (They meet every Wednesday at West-Park). They finished our  service with another moving performance of their special music and movement, each taking a turn as leader..As Jeremy Goren said, Our songs may not speak directly to the theme, Advent and Love. But we bring them with love and we hope that the love shines through.  And it did. 
Our friends from the Seed Group


Lading a song


Before they shared their songs, we shared one in old call and  response form, Mary Had a Baby…

And we reflected on Joseph….here were our thoughts…

And the 4th Sunday is LOVE….as last Sunday was about Mary, this Sunday belongs to  Joseph…before I go further, impressions?

(And one  said courage. And another patience. And another love

He is the patron saint of workers, the patron saint of May Day…he worked his hands in wood as a carpenter.   We have his story…an unexpected pregnancy….that could have dire results for Mary…not to mention his feelings…then the  visit of an angel…with an UNBELIEVABLE message….
If this is not a history, a Instagram or tweet or livestreaming from the scene, but a story, What then are we to see?
What i see first is trust.
…and Love
We note that he….has no relations with her….until the child is born…some in  my lectionary group saw this as perhaps a continued resentment or estrangement..I said that idea sounds like 21st century isogesis…reading into…

There has always been this Speculation about Joseph..….this ancient English Cherry tree carol…from pseudo-Matthew…or the Infancy Gospel of James……and, surprisingly, the Koran..only ion the Koran the story is told of a date plan and dates..by the time we get to old England, it’s cherries…of Joseph’s doubts and anger..

(so I sing the carol…one of the few collected Child ballads on a sacred theme..)

He virtually disappears from story……I always wondered about his death…about this last conversation with the son he had raised….was it like Jonathan Kent and Superman, if Martha had given birth to Clark?  the bottom line is ….it was an act of love…


These are hard days we are living in….and uncertain….there is no time for debate about  doctrine….or theological fine points…what I hear over and over again in the conversations I hear, spiritual  or secular, Christian or communist, is LOVE….it’s almost like going back to the Beatles, all we need is love…a love that is courageous…and patient…and active…and strong…love..it’s that simple…

Thank you Leila and Pat



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