Sunday, November 26, 2006

Night Visions

As I watched in the night visions, I saw.
Daniel 7:13a

We're coming again to the season of more night than day - Advent - what a perfect time for night visions. Today we have ended the church year, looking to the Ancient One, the Lord who is forever and forevermore, the Alpha and the Omega.
And at this ending, there is a new beginning - an opportunity to hear the truth once again, an opportunity to listen to Jesus' voice, an opportunity to see in the night a vision of who Jesus is and who Jesus is calling each of us to be.

Night Visions: searching the shadows of advent and christmas
by Jan Richardson
This is favorite of mine - an Advent book that we used each night in Advent 2000 with our close friends and neighbors, Daryn & Kristen. Each evening, we padded in stocking feet down to our neighbors' apartment and we shared readings and songs in the dark evenings. In the first pages, we read this, "The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before. It is not possible to keep it from coming, because it will. What is possible is to not see it, to miss it, to turn just as it brushes past you. And you begin to grasp what it was you missed... So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder.
There will be time enough for running. For rushing. For worrying. For pushing.
For now, stay. Wait.
Something is on the horizon." - Jan Richardson

Isn't this how God's call is?
So easy to miss...
so stay. sit. linger. tarry. ponder. wait. behold. wonder.
This is the season of night visions - of gentle, persistent growth in the darkness of Mary's womb; of darkness giving birth to light; of seemingly endless waiting and that which lies at the end of our waiting.

Lingering with you,
Pastor Joy

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Giving all

In memory of husband and wife team, Pastors Carillo, who were murdered last Saturday in El Salvador and are remembered in a Memorial Service in Milwaukee tonight.

For all who suffered on this night years ago in the events of Kristallnacht and throughout the Shoah, remembered and mourned in chapel today at LSTC.

For all who suffer and die because of faith and that our grief, fear and anger may be transformed to deeper commitment in the struggle for justice and peace. That we may continue to raise up leaders who are and will be part of the transforming reign of God - leading us into a new way of living with one another.

The LORD sets the prisoners free, the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down. The LORD watches over strangers, upholds the orphan and widow.

We remember, we believe.

Pastor Joy

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Sacrament of Vocation

Lately in several of my classes I've had the opportunity to talk about vocation from several different perspectives. It seems that normally when we talk about vocation it appears somewhat detached from the rest of our liturgical life. Where does it connect in our theology? Perhaps it connects in our baptism, in our very (re)creation. It connects in the first article of the creed when we proclaim God as the maker of heaven and earth. In creation, God calls us to be who are to be. It connects in the Lord's Supper as we partake of the body and blood of Christ. Instead of digesting what we eat, it consumes us. Jesus' very body and blood moves us to where God is calling us.

God calls us wherever we are to be the love of God in and to the world. That is our vocation, whether we are students, pastors, diaconal ministers, accountants, brothers, sisters, and so on.

How does God's grace come to you? How does God's grace move you to live out your vocation where you are? My prayer is that we might all hear God's grace calling us to acts of love, peace, and justice towards one another.

In Christ,

Ben Sheets
Visit Coordinator

We remember, we believe

All Saints' Day

Today, the admissions directors of the ELCA seminaries joined in worship at Augsburg College. The flames from many, many candles flickered and glowed as we participated in a service of rembrance on this All Saints Day.

President Pribbenow remembered one of those saints who, near to the end of her life, drank down the communion wine offered to her in one joyful gulp... and smiled. She had not smiled for many days but when she drank it she smiled broadly. Perhaps because she would meet the One who first offered this gift to her very soon, perhaps simply enjoying the delightful draught of the fruit of the vine.

For what do you thirst, for what do you long, for what do you wait?

We sang "Jesus, remember me" and we remembered those who have died. They were named and a bell rang. It is powerful to remember... Emilie, Joseph, Janet, George, Tavia, Ben, Hattie...all those who have gone before us. Sweet Honey and the Rock sing, "I don't know how my mother walked her trouble down. I don't know how my father stood his ground. I don't know how my people survived slavery. I do remember, that's why I believe."

Who do you remember? How have they led the way on the path that you travel today?

Remembering with you,
Pastor Joy