Scripture: Living and Active

Scripture: Living and Active
Our most significant scriptures are marked with post it notes.

Continuing the work of Jesus, simply, peacefully, JOYFULLY, together.

We gather for worship at 9:30 am on Sunday.
Children go to Sunday school following their special time in worship, about 10:15 am.
Potluck is the first Sunday of the month.

17975 Centreville-Constantine Road, Constantine, MI 49042

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

O, Immanuel, Come!

Though unworthy for
you to come 'neath my roof, yet,
Come, Immanuel!

A comment from Miranda River on the Catholic Forum (June 1, 2012) is the touchstone for my haiku prayer.  How did I find Miranda?  I was looking, googling, for confirmation of where this prayer is lodged in the mass.  It comes right before one goes forward to receive the eucharist:

"Lord, I am not worthy for you to enter under my roof, but say only the word and my soul shall be healed."

I find this the most moving part of the Mass personally whilst I am in my own process of discernment and inquiry. I really do not feel worthy for the Lord to enter into my life, into my own 'reality' as there is a lot of my life that is contrary to Jesus' and the Church's teachings, and so I really don't feel worthy for God to come to me.... and yet there is part of me that is even afraid of the idea of my soul being healed. I do believe that this discernment process is a slow slow healing of my soul, but I do feel really confused too, its not a comforting or happy process, it often makes me feel sad and out of balance.

How do you personally connect with these words...?

Monday, December 22, 2014

O Dawn (Sunday) and O Ruler (Monday)

Lord, our God, King of the Universe, 
Maker and Giver of life --
You who created the starry planets, 
You who ride on the wings of the morning --
Have mercy on me!

This is a prayer that bursts up from within me, seemingly unbidden, and consciously unknown in its source.  It is the form of a traditional Hebrew blessings.  Yet it blurts out as a petition, often coming when I am at the end of my rope or on "the shortest day of hope."  In the age of Google, I can search to find where it comes from.  But the only result is in March 2011 on this very blog, written by me.  Is it the prayer of a past life?  My own?  Or someone else's?  It is a prayer for today's fading yellow dawn.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

O Key of David -- W D 40

O come, Thou Key of David, come, 
And open wide our heavenly home; 
Make safe the way that leads on high, 
And close the path to misery.

W D 40,
grease interlocking frozen 
Fears! O Key, Release! 

When I went to the dog park the other day, my key would not fit into the lock.  Wrong key?  Broken lock?  But there was a man with two dogs in the park. WD 40 with me, the universal key to stuck locks.  Hah!  Instead I found I could reach my hand through the gate, behind the lock, and trip the latch.

God has the key and has made the universe of totally interlocking parts.  But what if the locks are rusted or frozen?  This took me to today's haiku, prayer.

"O come, Immanuel" by the Piano Guys

Friday, December 19, 2014

O Flower of Jesse

O Timeless Flower;
Bud, Seed, Source.  Re-conceive Thy-
Self: Kiss, Peace, Justice!

The psalmist writes: “Your HESED womb love was established forever.” Psalm 89:2
The angel says: “You will conceive in your womb…a kingdom that has no end.” Luke 1:31,33
Jesus says: “The kingdom of God is within/among you.” Luke 17:21

O, Flower, Upside Down,
open, dripping nectar
and catch the dawning light
of tender mercy;
Unfurl yourself, O,
so gracefully, with fearsome
Turn on
all the lights!

by Sufjan Stevens

Thursday, December 18, 2014

O Lord!

O, Ha Shem, "I am,"
we live and move and have our 
Being in you, LORD. 

The name of God was considered to Holy to voice when reading Hebrew scripture.  Therefore, when the Hebrew letters YHWH appeared, the reader would say "ha shem," meaning, "the name" in Hebrew.  Praying, "O, LORD," can slip off my lips in many ways.  May I bow to "the name" that holds more than I can conceive.

Save us, O LORD, carry us back.
Rouse your power and come. 
Rescue your people, show us your face.  
Bring us home.

Bob Dufford, SJ 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

O Wisdom! The last prayers of Advent.

O, Sophia, grieve
torn children! O Wisdom's Womb,
tame Terror's Heart!

For over 1,000 years, the traditional daily prayers for the last week before Christmas are called the O Antiphons.  They cry out to various images and qualities of God to come, be with us, and save us. The Litany of the Great River by Meinrad Craighead introduced me to this tradition.  I look for my deepest heart pray using these calls.

O God, great womb of wondrous love,
your Spirit moving on the deep
did wake a world within yourself,
a pulsing, lighted world from sleep.

Now come with rest, O Sabbath sun,
O Sanctuary, sacred home, 
we groan till all is grown complete,
fulfilled, at peace, O Great Shalom.

Text, Harris J. Loewen, Assembly Songs, 1983

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Imagine! Peace Chairs, One Day in a Small Town in Michigan

Thank you, Wendy Anderson Halperin, for your lovely video of our day together in December, creating Peace Chairs.  This is a great encouragement for the process to continue!

You can contact Wendy Anderson Halperin and become part of the Sit in Peace project here.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Epiphany in the midst of Storm Ion

Sometimes I am a slow learner.  It seems that signficant trends can just pass me by.  For example, when did all responsible moms start making their children wear helmets when riding their bikes.  I missed that memo entirely.

Similarly, when I read about our current storm, "Storm Ion," I wondered, "When on earth did we start naming winter storms?" 

Naming Winter Storms

Hurricanes and tropical storms have been given names since the 1940s. In the late 1800s, tropical systems near Australia were named as well. Weather systems, including winter storms, have been named in Europe since the 1950s.  Important dividends have resulted from attaching names to these storms:
  • Naming a storm raises awareness.
  • Attaching a name makes it much easier to follow a weather system’s progress.
  • A storm with a name takes on a personality all its own, which adds to awareness.
  • In today’s social media world, a name makes it much easier to reference in communication.
  • A named storm is easier to remember and refer to in the future.
I remember The Blizzard of '78, our first winter in Elkhart County.  But apparently winter storms only got these kinds of tags in hindsight. 

Names are handles of meaning and markers, creating, in the case of winter storms, an illusion of control over the power of new weather extremes.  Before the winter season a high school Latin class helped to choose names and put them in order.  Then it becomes interesting to see how the name suits the storm as it blows across the country, just as the chosen names we have for our newborns must find the right fit on our tongues, the right adaptations.  Evelyn becomes Eve.

How do Ion and Epiphany name each other? I love that "cows' way" is part of the sense of "going" or "to walk" in the long list of "ion's" history as a word.  Here we are, going along the cows' way, the stable way, and POW! something appears! Epiphany! Light!
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Epiphany, a "striking appearance" is described in Matthew's gospel, as the story of the magi is spun.  It is as much the discovery of the child, Jesus, as the discovery of a way to go, an ION, a deeper than physics attraction for what we treasure and risk in life. 
For the seekers of Jesus in the circle in which Matthew's gospel story was told (Matthew 2), here was a way in to the new circle of meaning and solidarity:

Look for cosmic signs accessible to anyone in any land. 
Follow them. 

Find companions on the way. 

Do not trust rulers who guard power with deception and terror. 

Listen to the inner cosmos of dreams for wisdom that saves. 

Leave behind the best you have to offer. 

Return by another way. 

Tell the story.
          Word Origin & History -- epiphany
c.1310, "festival of the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles" (celebrated Jan. 6; usually with a capital -E-), from O.Fr. epiphanie, from L.L. epiphania, neut. pl. (taken as fem. sing.), from Gk. epiphaneia "manifestation, striking appearance" (in N.T., advent or manifestation of Christ), from epiphanes
"manifest, conspicuous," from epiphainein "to manifest, display," from epi- "on, to" + phainein "to show" (see phantasm). Of divine beings other than Christ, first recorded c.1667; general literary sense appeared 1840, first in De Quincey.

It is not easy to follow the signs of the heavens.  I don't know about you, but I know very few of the constellations.  I do not know how to follow them or how they move through the seasons.  We have lost the darkness that allows us to see the bright shining planets and falling stars. 

And then there are the new signs in the sky, streaks of straight and crossing lines.  Some would claim that the military research that goes on in the ionosphere, called HAARP, makes one more contribution to human disruption of long standing cosmic patterns -- weather. 

Morning sky over Florence Church, October 2013

It is hard to read the signs of the times.  And dangerous lest we fall under into the influence of terror in one form or another and forget to be GOING, on the way, the cows' way, down to earth, with Emmanuel, God with Us.

And so on this day of worship -- at home on Epiphany in the midst of Storm Ion -- we pray:

God of gold, we seek your glory:
the richness that transforms our drabness into color 
and brightens our dullness with vibrant light; 
your wonder and joy at the heart of all life.

God of incense, we offer your our prayer: 
our spoken and unspeakable longings, our questioning of truth, 
our searching for your mystery deep within.
God of myrrh, we cry out to you in our suffering: 
the pain of all our rejections and bereavements, 
our baffling despair at undeserved suffering, our rage at continuing injustice: 
and we embrace you, God-with-us,
in our wealth, in our yearning, in our anger and loss.

Jan Berry in Imaging the Word, vol. 3, Susan A. Blain, ed.  (p. 115)

Saturday, January 4, 2014


We will be celebrating the culmination of this season of worship in our homes due to the coming storm and existing snow on the roads.  How disappointing!  I was so looking forward to Donald Lanctot's epiphany message, to the burning of the greens, and the Pastor's Pancake Brunch.  One of those three has been rescheduled for Sunday 12 January.  That would be the Pastor's Pancake Brunch.  I am determined to find another place for Donald's message of darkness into light.

Meanwhile, soak in these images of the season!