April 24th, 2016
About 10 minutes after worship ends, we’ll gather together for Aftertalk. We hope you’ll join us! Bring your questions, stories, insights, doubts, musings, imaginings and whatever else you need . Join us for some food, fellowship, laughter and ample space for reflection and real questions to help us make the transition from worship to world.
Readings for this Sunday:
Acts 11:1-18 • Psalm 148 • Revelation 21:1-6 • John 13:31-35
An absolute break in the way things were done. That's what Peter must justify to his brothers and sisters in the early church as they struggle to understand why in the world they would include Gentiles, and why they would give up on sacred practices that went to the very heart of their identity. John saw in Revelation, "A new heaven and a new earth." So did Peter's friends! In John's vision, "the one who was seated on the throne said, 'See, I am making all things new.'" Sounds about right. And "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end."
Of course our living happens in between beginning and end, with the earth beneath our feet and the sky above. We live in the in-between. How do we live it well? What fears and questions and doubts grab at us? What promises hold us? What practices enable us to live with joy?
“See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them as their God;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”
Themes - Heaven & Earth I Service & Salvation I Courage & Care
Henry David Thoreau, 19th century poet/philosopher
"Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads."
Dante Alighieri, 13th century
"Heaven wheels above you, displaying to you her eternal glories, and still your eyes are on the ground."
Joseph Campbell, 20th century
"The experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life. Heaven is not the place to have the experience; here is the place to have the experience."
Vance Havner, 20th century
"If you are a Christian, you are not a citizen of this world trying to get to heaven; you are a citizen of heaven making your way through this world."
Henry Ward Beecher, 19th century
"Now comes the mystery!" (last words)
Maria Montessori, 20th century
"Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create."
Gene Roddenberry, 20th century
"If [we are] to survive, [we] will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between [us] and between cultures. [We] will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life's exciting variety, not something to fear."
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, 20th century
"[The one] who is different from me does not impoverish me - [but] enriches me. Our unity is constituted in something higher than ourselves - in [humankind]... For no [one] seeks to hear [one's] own echo, or to find [one's] reflection in the glass."
Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, 20th century
"I remember one night at Muzdalifa with nothing but the sky overhead I lay awake amid sleeping Muslim brothers and I learned that pilgrims from every land--every color, and class, and rank; high officials and the beggar alike--all snored in the same language."
Ani DiFranco, 21st century
"I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort, where we overlap."
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, 20th century
"Oh God, the terrible tyranny of the majority. We all have our harps to play. And it's up to you to know with which ear you'll listen."
Rumi, 13th century
"Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged."