January 24, 2016 – Body Language

Epiphany 3   January 24, 2016 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a   Body Language *********************************************************** We live in a culture that’s more than a little obsessed with body image… Consider – the beauty industry, the health industry, the sports industry – all the ways we obsess over the body and body-related images… The apostle Paul has a rather different kind of body image in mind….As he tells us – together we are the body of Christ – individually members thereof. The body image that matters – is all about our shared identity in the body of Christ. On the night before his death on the cross Jesus prayed all his followers will be one (John ch17)… The apostle Paul tells us – this is already the way it is… And yet, our unity is still very much a work in progress… God has given the church all the gifts and graces, all the forms of ministry, all for the common good… And the apostle uses down-to-earth, yet imaginative language to describe how intimately interconnected with God and one another we are… Today we’re hearing St Paul preach on the unity of the church, the body of Christ… By divine synchronicity, we’ve been in international Week of Prayer for Christian Unity since last Monday… In celebration of this theme of Christian unity, some of us from each of our churches worshiped at St John the Evangelist Catholic church in Pocasset last Tuesday evening, with members of their parish, at the invitation of their priest, Fr. David Frederici… I’m pretty sure all of us who were there agree – this was wonderful worship – and speaking for myself, also a great learning experience… Fr David told me just before we began the service that he and I would process down the long aisle together. “When we get near the altar we just do a little bow,” he said. So with just this little bit of instruction, we walked down the center aisle, and sat together, looking out at everyone. (I had to get used to seeing the congregation seated on three sides, like in T-formation…) But there weren’t many people there, and the atmosphere wasn’t very formal, which helped. I didn’t hear our daughter Rohi calling out to remind me of something I’d forgotten, but…In the middle of the service, their music director came over and pointed out to Fr David where he planned to have the choir sing a song not in the program. Which made me feel right at home. Members of our choirs joined together in song. (Their music director, good ecumenical host, chose four hymns that are all in our hymnal and familiar to us…Adding just one choir anthem we didn’t know…) Connie (Odom Soper, from our Bourne church) and a member of St John’s parish read scripture. Fr David and I gave brief homilies. (I mentioned how much I admire Pope Francis, what a good example he is of Christian unity. Fr David spoke about Jesus’s commandment that we love one another…) The Holy Spirit was very present throughout, from first exchanges of warm greetings, all the way through shared farewells. As the service was ending, Fr David and I bowed again and processed together back to the front doors, doing farewell handshakes, sharing comments with parishioners heading out… One...

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January 25, 2015 – Fish stories for all ages

Mark 1:14-20 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him. Jonah Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying, “Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid his fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord. But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and such a mighty storm came upon the sea that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried to his god. They threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten it for them. Jonah, meanwhile, had gone down into the hold of the ship and had lain down, and was fast asleep. The captain came and said to him, “What are you doing sound asleep? Get up, call on your god! Perhaps the god will spare us a thought so that we do not perish.” The sailors said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, so that we may know on whose account this calamity has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. Then they said to him, “Tell us why this calamity has come upon us. What is your occupation? Where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” “I am a Hebrew,” he replied. “I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” Then the men were even more afraid, and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them so. Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea was growing more and more tempestuous. He said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you; for I know it is because of me that this great storm has come upon you.” Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring the ship back to land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more stormy against them. Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, O Lord, we...

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