Saturday, December 31, 2011

Shana Tova Umetukah!

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 
 
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” 
 
And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. 
 
(Revelation 21:1:6; New Living Translation)
 
 
This is one of the suggested readings for a Watch Night service. We think of New Year's Eve as a party holiday - a "what happens on New Year's Eve stays in New Year's Eve" kind of day. (Consequently, New Year's Day is the day to pray to the patron saint of hang-overs...) So why read Revelation? It's such a downer! But look: new heaven; new earth; new Jerusalem; new bride; new marriage; new life; new us. God the Mother Herself will wipe away the tears of the old year - the old life, and give birth to a new painfree deathless life. God the Father will Create anew! God will free the bound.
 
The bachelor party is over; live like a honeymooner! Put the old year, the old life, the old you behind you. Walk tall; God is beside you with the tissues.
 
Have a good and sweet year: Shana Tova Umetukah!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Childermas

Today is Childermas (Children's Mass) when we remember Herod's massacre of the Holy Innocents







We also must pray that soon the massacre will come to an end.


Aliahna’s Song –

Tell me there is no hell
When a nine-year old
Lives in a trailer park
With 15 sex-offenders
Out of 24 close homes!

Tell me there is no evil
When Aliahna Lemmon
Was bludgeoned dead
With a brick by a man
Entrusted with her care!

Tell me there is no satan
Laughing when her body
Was found in his freezer
Stuffed into many baggies
And hope was ripped out!

Tell me there is a heaven!
Tell me there are giggles - 
Daisy fields and puppies!
Tell me You were with her,
So she did not die alone!

Tell me! I need to hear You.
 
~ Tiwago

Sunday, December 25, 2011

December 25, 2011


Merry Christmas every one from The (Not So) Naked Alien! May you each be safe and warm.

Friday, December 23, 2011

#Lectionary #Poetry - In the Beginning, Let There be Light;


In the Beginning of time,
there was already Logos.
The Logos was with God.
The Logos was God.
He was the Beginning;
in the Beginning with God.

The Logos spoke all into
being at the Beginning.
Without him - nothing.
What he spoke was Life,
and his Life is our light.

The light shines in the void.
The void can not extinguish
the light, his life, Life.

God sent John to witness;
to testify to the light, so that
all could see the light.
Could see that the true
illuminating light was
coming to fill our voids.

John was not the light.
The light was coming.
Logos returning to speak.

The Logos was in the world.
The Logos made the world.
The Logos was the Beginning.
The world didn't/doesn't know
the Logos that spoke it to life.
The Logos returned unknown.
We close our eyes in our fear.
rejecting what the light shows.

But those with open eyes...
But all who believe in Life,
in light, in Logos, in God...
But all who do not reject a
life of living in the Light -
are the children of God.

Born not of blood.
Born not of human will.
Born of naught but grace.

And the Logos became flesh.
The Logos is with us.
The Logos is us.

We see the glorious light.
We see God's glory in it.
Full of grace.
Full of truth.
Full of Life.

(John 1:1-14 as told by Tiwago)





Wednesday, December 21, 2011

#Christmas #Poetry; Psalm 98

Gary Larson


We have a tradition that the animals speak at midnight as Christmas Eve turns to Christmas Day. Only that one time of the year? It amazes me that we can live in the midst of nature and not hear it every minute!
  
1 Sing a new song to the Lord,
      for he has done wonderful deeds.
   His right hand has won a mighty victory;
      his holy arm has shown his saving power!
 2 The Lord has announced his victory
      and has revealed his righteousness to every nation!
 3 He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel.
      The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.
 4 Shout to the Lord, all the earth;
      break out in praise and sing for joy!
 5 Sing your praise to the Lord with the harp,
      with the harp and melodious song,
 6 with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn.
      Make a joyful symphony before the Lord, the King!
 7 Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
      Let the earth and all living things join in.
 8 Let the rivers clap their hands in glee!
      Let the hills sing out their songs of joy
 9 before the Lord.
      For the Lord is coming to judge the earth.
   He will judge the world with justice,
      and the nations with fairness.
(Psalm 98; New Living Translation)

Monday, December 19, 2011

#Poetry; Holy Fleet Feet -

Ansel Adams


 
 
With feet swift and light,
She skips on snowy bright
Mountain-peak stepping-stones.
 
Blessed are the feet of our Good News!
 
Listen! The watchers sing
In unbridled joyful glee at the
Sight of God's homecoming.
 
Blessed are the feet of our Good News!
 
Flash-mob all you ruined shells,
You meek and humbled husks,
Bail has been made and fines paid.
 
Blessed are the feet of our Good News!
 
The Lord has rolled up His sleeves,
Bared before all the world to witness
Salvation for each and every single soul.
 
Blessed are the feet of our Good News!
 
(Retelling of Isaiah 52:7-10 by Tiwago)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Diary of a Family -

Robert Anning Bell 

26 When Elizabeth was six months pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee, 27 to a virgin who was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David’s house. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 When the angel came to her, he said, “Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you!” 29 She was confused by these words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. God is honoring you. 31 Look! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and he will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. 33 He will rule over Jacob’s house forever, and there will be no end to his kingdom.” 

 34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How will this happen since I haven’t had sexual relations with a man?” 

 35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come over you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the one who is to be born will be holy. He will be called God’s Son. 36 Look, even in her old age, your relative Elizabeth has conceived a son. This woman who was labeled ‘unable to conceive’ is now six months pregnant. 37 Nothing is impossible for God.” 

 38 Then Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be with me just as you have said.” Then the angel left her. 
(Luke 1:26-38; Common English Bible)

Elizabeth:
 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”  
(Luke 1:25)

Zechariah:
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
      he came and set his people free.
   He set the power of salvation in the center of our lives,
      and in the very house of David his servant,
   Just as he promised long ago
      through the preaching of his holy prophets:
   Deliverance from our enemies
      and every hateful hand;
   Mercy to our fathers,
      as he remembers to do what he said he'd do,
   What he swore to our father Abraham—
      a clean rescue from the enemy camp,
   So we can worship him without a care in the world,
      made holy before him as long as we live.

   And you, my child, "Prophet of the Highest,"
      will go ahead of the Master to prepare his ways,
   Present the offer of salvation to his people,
      the forgiveness of their sins.
   Through the heartfelt mercies of our God,
      God's Sunrise will break in upon us,
   Shining on those in the darkness,
      those sitting in the shadow of death,
   Then showing us the way, one foot at a time,
      down the path of peace.
(Luke 1: 68-79; The Message)

 Mary:

46My soul doth magnify the Lord, 
 47And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 
 48For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 
 49For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. 
 50And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. 
 51He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 
 52He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. 
 53He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. 
 54He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; 
 55As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

(Luke 1:46b-55; King James)

Joseph:

19 Joseph was her promised husband. He was a good man and did not want to make it hard for Mary in front of people. He thought it would be good to break the promised marriage without people knowing it. 20 While he was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. She is to become a mother by the Holy Spirit. 21 A Son will be born to her. You will give Him the name Jesus because He will save His people from the punishment of their sins.” 

 22 This happened as the Lord said it would happen through the early preacher. 23 He said, “The young woman, who has never had a man, will give birth to a Son. They will give Him the name Immanuel. This means God with us.” 24 Joseph awoke from his sleep. He did what the angel of the Lord told him to do. He took Mary as his wife. 

(Matthew 1:19-24; New Life Version)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Don't Wall Me In!

Photography by Tiwago




Finally, after years of strife and bloodshed, God had given peace to the little kingdom and the king now was able to finish and move into his palace and administration center. But his comfort made him uncomfortable, so he spoke with his friend and advisor who spoke for God: "I'm living in a fancy mansion built with exotic wood, but God still lives in a tent!"

"God is with you," said his friend, "do as your heart tells you." The king was joyous to be able to do something physical and visible for God, so he rushed out and started planning and stockpiling supplies.

That very night though, God spoke with His prophet: "You spoke prematurely! Go and tell my servant that I ask him this question - 'What makes you think YOU will be the one who will build MY home?' I have not locked Myself up in a building! I have traveled with My people so that they will always know that I AM always with them. In all of our travels together, has anyone ever heard Me complain about not having a box to be put in? So go tell My servant: 'I AM the one who raised you up from shepherd to king. I AM the one who has always been with you in desperate times. I AM the one who gave you this peace. I AM the one who will make you world famous. I AM the one who will decide where my people will live and give them a home. I AM the one who will protect them. I AM the one who makes YOU a house!'"

(Retelling of 2 Samuel 7:1-11)

Friday, December 9, 2011

The 1% Has Been Sent Away Empty -

A young frightened unwed mother praises God for her pregnancy and for His grace in the world:



My soul doth magnify the Lord.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid;
for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Because he that is mighty,
hath done great things to me;
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is from generation unto generations,
to them that fear him.
He hath shewed might in his arm:
he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat,
and hath exalted the humble.
He hath filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath received Israel his servant,
being mindful of his mercy:
As he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his seed for ever.

(The Magnificat - Luke 1:46-55; Douay-Rheims)





Thursday, December 8, 2011

Always? Continually? Every?..... Seriously?


Photography by Tiwago
 
 
 
Rejoice - always.

Pray - continually.

Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Don’t suppress the Spirit.

Don’t brush off Spirit-inspired messages,  but examine everything carefully and hang on to what is good. 

Avoid every kind of evil.

Now, may the God of peace himself cause you to be completely dedicated to him; and may your spirit, soul, and body be kept intact and blameless at our Lord Jesus Christ’s coming. The one who is calling you is faithful and will do this.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; Common English Bible)


Meditations:
  • What does "always" and "continuously" mean to me? What spiritual disciplines help me?
  • Do I really have to give thanks for "every" situation, or just the ones that I like?
  • What are some ways I might unknowingly suppress and brush-off the Spirit?
  • Am I being asked to avoid doing evil or to avoid hanging out with evil people?
  • Are "calling", "cause" and "kept" in the last verses related to prevenient, justifying and sanctifying grace?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

#Poetry; Sow When You Weep -


  
When God restored our fortunes
it was like a crazy foggy dream.
 
Mouths overflowed with laughter.
We shouted in uncontainable joy.
 
The nations of man took note -
"Their God does mighty things!"
 
For us He had done mighty acts;
we rejoiced in His loving grace.
 
God, restore our fortunes again!
Let water flow again in our deserts.
 
Let those who sow with tear-filled eyes
harvest with joyous shouts on their lips.
 
Weeping, we carry seeds of hope,
but we return with the fruits of grace.
 
(Retelling of Psalm 126)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holy Acorns -

The Spirit has come upon me!
The Lord has sanctified me!
 
To bring you Good News.
To heal the broken ones.
To free the dissident witnesses
     and the prisoners of injustice.
To proclaim that God is here.
To comfort all who mourn.
 
To administer to the mourning.
To replace ashes with bouquets.
To replace the scents of death
     with the perfume of abundant life.
To replace your weak spirits
     with the warm courage of praise.
 
You will be mighty oaks of righteousness!
You are the planting of the Lord Himself.
By your lives He will be glorified in the world.
 
The slums shall be revived,
     for the Lord loves justice.
He hates when we profit off of others.
He hates it when we hurt others.
He will restore what others have taken.
He will enter into a covenant
     with us forever and beyond.
 
Our descendants and disciples
     shall be recognized everywhere.
All who see them will see God!
 
I will celebrate my God.
He resonates in every atom.
When I was naked, He gave
     me the clothes of salvation.
He covered my shame with
     the robes of righteousness.
A groom in his fine tuxedo.
A bride draped in soft silk,
     jewels and mysterious veils.
 
As the rich earth gives life
     to new shoots and saplings,
As the tilled and weeded 
     garden nurtures the crop,
So does God cause our
     goodness and our praise
          to grow before the world.
 
(Retelling of Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11)

Friday, December 2, 2011

In the Beginning

da Vinci

The good news of Jesus Christ - the Message! - begins here, following to the letter the scroll of the prophet Isaiah.

   Watch closely: I'm sending my preacher ahead of you;
   He'll make the road smooth for you.
   Thunder in the desert!
   Prepare for God's arrival!
   Make the road smooth and straight!

John the Baptizer appeared in the wild, preaching a baptism of life-change that leads to forgiveness of sins. People thronged to him from Judea and Jerusalem and, as they confessed their sins, were baptized by him in the Jordan River into a changed life. John wore a camel-hair habit, tied at the waist with a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild field honey.

As he preached he said, "The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I'm a mere stagehand, will change your life. I'm baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism - a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit - will change you from the inside out."

(Mark 1:1-8; The Message)


Meditations:
  • These are the first words of the oldest of the Gospels. Do we see John on Christmas cards or pageants, hear about him in carols?
  • Can you imagine Santa Claus wearing an itchy red camel suit and eating locust cookies?
  • Did you know that the word "advent" means "coming" or "arrival"? That John is making the road smooth for Christ?
  • John is a charismatic preacher, the kind that I make fun of... What is it about John that attracts and repels people?
  • John lives out a vow to God made by his mother. Would I be able or willing to do so? What vows has our Mother God made on our behalf?