Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Advent Haiku



nature's preparing
for the long dark lonely wait
- hope always rises

                     ~ tiwago




(photography by tiwago)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Advent Meditation Upon a Stump



The nation is but a stump of what it once was. Nothing much good comes from a fresh-cut stump; maybe a sucker or two - frail scraggly imitations of former glory. Shall the sucker succor us? Or maybe fungi, feeding upon the corpse of the past? Humbly working, destroying, breaking down, composting history, rebuilding humus; fecund, fertile soil. We wait and we abide - we walk by and see nothing happening. Then a shoot grows; wind and rain and sun raise it up from the decay. 

He will not use his eyes or ears to judge us.
He will grant justice to the poor and powerless.
He will give a voice to the weak and voiceless.
He shall then take off our self-righteous coats,
And robe us in goodness and in faithfulness.

The predator and the prey shall know peace.
The haves and the have-nots shall know rest.
An innocent child shall love and lead them.
Powerful and powerless shall break bread:
And their children shall play together as equals;
And the strong shall accommodate the weak;
And then the Serpent will become powerless;
And mankind shall once again become kind;
And the Earth and Sea shall no longer fear us.

Rooted in failure and rot, a tree springs forth to give us shade and comfort, to give us nature and nurture, to give us hope and life. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Advent at Standing Rock

An Elder stood in the river,
Praying with cleansing sage -
Arms lifted high to the sky.
Freezing water drips from him,
Drops, blessing and anointing, 
The remnants of the Tribes.
Upon the bank ranks of boots, 
Gathering their show of force.

One to baptize us with Pneuma Smoke and a Living Water;
The others baptize the People with teargas and water-cannons.

You brood of vipers!
How can you presume to say,
Law and order is on your side
(Laws of your "founding fathers")?
The greater Law is on our side:
A Law given to our Ancestors;
A Law of grace and mercy from our Father.

~ Tiwago

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Today's Sermon

The Face of God

Moses saw many Faces
Burning bush, burning cloud, burning glory
The people feared the burn
Sent Moses for a face-to-Face
God revealed Himself
Showing Moses His backside
Moses, the Patriarchs, the Prophets
Saw many Faces of God
Love, Mercy, Grace, Care

God became flesh
Was He born-again
Can what was never born
Be reborn
But born he was
Born into family drama
Born in a fearful night
And the people saw the Face
And they saw every face thereof

The blue mucus covered face
Fighting for the first pneuma

The red scrunchy face
Hungry, wet, or teething

The wide-eyed face of fear
Smuggled into Egypt

The acned face of a student
Was he the teacher's pet or thorn

Face covered with sweat and sawdust
The beard of maturity blooming

Face covered with sweat and dust
Eyes squinting in the sun of the road

Face covered in bloody sweat
Communion wine with God

Face covered in sweaty blood
A cruel crown of mankind

The faces of agony, isolation, rigor
The face of darkness entombing
The face of a gardener
The face of a traveling companion
The face of a fellow fisherman

The Face
The Face
The Face

In the beginning
The face of man
The face of woman
Molded in the image of
The Face of God
Look at the Face beside you
Look at the Face in the mirror

The Face
The Face
The Face


~ Tiwago

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thank You!

I am grateful for the Glory of God's Face that I see reflected in every mote of His Creation; for its beauty, awe, wonder, and inspiration; for the lessons it teaches me on diversity and interdependence; for the blessing of its peace and tranquility; for my place within the Circle - for His love! I lift up the caring stewards who love Creation back. I am blessed to be among a multitude of saints, artists, and poets who are evangelists for nature and the Nature of God. 

And, I am thankful for you, my readers, my friends, my companions along the way. May your Thanksgiving Day and your every day overflow with peace, joy, and love.

(photography by tiwago)



Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Waiting


You know what time it is!
You know it is time to wake;
Your salvation is closer
Than ever it was before -
The night is at its darkest,
As it is just before the dawn.
Let us put down the things of darkness,
And take up the bright Armor of Light!

Let us live honorably once again,
And stop wallowing in fear and lust -
In selfishness and in spitefulness.
Take up the bright Lord Jesus Christ;
Forget the greedy Serpent brainstem.

~ Tiwago


(Romans 13:11-14)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Patterns in the Woods




Friday, November 18, 2016

Fall Fungi






Thursday, November 17, 2016

Garbage



A group made its way through the city dump. Homeless children foraging through the hills of trash kept watch. As he climbed the mountain of garbage, his ministry came to mind: grace to the throw-away people; mercy to the broken; meals with the refuse. He carried his own timber. The Romans were efficient and economical executioners; the wood had probably been recycled - stained with the fear-sweat, blood, and the effluvia of death. Some whispered that it had not been recycled, but repurposed - part of a hog-pen.

At the apex of rubbish and waste, he was transfixed in a cruel mockery of transfiguration. Beside him, suffered and slowly died two other criminals. One admitted guilt or culpability; but were they truly bad men, or just victims of an unjust society? I do not know, but i will ask them someday. As the guards played poker with his clothes, the man in the center rasped through dry, cracked lips: "Forgive them Daddy, they don't understand." 

The representatives of the religious infrastructure mocked him: "He didn't save others, he can't even save himself!"

The Temple guards and the soldiers of the Empire mocked him and gave him vinegar to drink: "Here is your cup of wine your majesty!"

The crucifix mocked him: "Here is your King of Fools!"

One expiring on another cross mocked him: "You're my savior? Save yourself - and save us while you're at it!."

One expiring on yet another cross intervened: "How can you mock Jesus - you too have been condemned and you suffer beside him. We earned our crosses, but he has done nothing illegal other than to try to help us. Remember me Rabbi when you assume your throne!"

The one in the center spoke again: "I will. You will sit by my side today."


(painting by Paolo Veronese)



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

When Jesus Rioted



Jesus was a one-man riot! To the law-and-order sort, he: disturbed the peace; committed battery and vandalism; stole money; started a stampede; hurt small-business men; disrupted the financial system; resisted arrest; promoted lawlessness and discord...

Jesus was a one-man riot! He cleaned house! The Temple was the public square. The Temple was the seat of authority. The Temple was the stock-exchange. 

Jesus was a one-man riot! He cleaned house, and then threatened to tear down the walls! Sometimes, we have to destroy before we can create. The walls were Jericho-walls, the Temple a Tower of Babylon, built on the wrong foundation. It was Passover, and the Temple did not receive the Blood of the Lamb.

Jesus was a one-man riot! He cleaned house! He promised to replace the Temple! What had taken a generation to build, he would restore in the amount of time it took Jonah's whale to throw-up. Walls made of stumbling blocks would be replaced by a cornerstone and stepping blocks; rocks replaced by Rock. Massive monumental stones would make way for a hole and rolling stone door - the closed exclusive edifice fell to make way for an open inclusive one. Is my Church, is my society, a wall or a hole in the wall?

Jesus was a one-man riot! 

(painting by Michael Smither)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Post-Election Lection

Here is a sample of the Revised Common Lectionary readings for this Sunday:



Stay calm;
I got this.

(Psalm 46:10)


My wrath will fall upon you leaders who divide those you lead, and destroy that which you are to protect. You have not cared for my people. You cause them to fight with each other. You drive them away from me. I see you! 

I will gather them back, and tend their wounds. I will help them to flourish. I will raise up new leaders, who my people will not fear. My people will no longer despair, and none will be left out or left behind. A righteous one will come - one who will be wise, who will be just, who will bestow grace and mercy. Their country shall be preserved, and they shall know peace and safety. 

Jehovah-tsidkenu shall come to them.

(Jeremiah 23:1-6)


By God's mercy, I know
there will come a dawn.

(Luke 1:78)


(photography by tiwago)

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Forgotten Corpse


Scales still cover a long fallen Dragon;
Dead, decaying, decomposing, descending,
Into the ground, into a rich new loam.

Generating heat - one final time;
Draconian grandeur replaced by,
An ultimate magic, grander still.

                                         ~ Tiwago


(photography by tiwago)

Saturday, November 12, 2016

An Unused Prayer

I had prepared a prayer for Charge Conference, just in case it was needed. It was not. But, I am vain enough to share it anyway! 


Abba:

We gather together in praise and thanksgiving for Your mighty works in the world, in the Church, in this congregation, and in each and every one of us. In confession and repentance we acknowledge that there is still much sanctifying and perfecting work to be done by the Spirit within us, individually and as a Body.

We intercede on behalf of all for a healing reconciliation for our divided planet, for our divided Church, for our divided nation, for our divided congregation, for our divided families, for our fragmented selves.

Root out from us the root of fear. Prune from us the parasitic vines of racism and sexism, and the rotten branches of imperialism and colonialism. We plead to be used as vessels for your love, and that justice flow through us in ever-flowing and overflowing channels. Let us look not to the Empire, but to the Kingdom, so that all may know social justice, environmental justice, economic justice; so that the world may see Christ when they look upon us. Let us be the instruments of Your peace, but also make us shields for the defenseless. Let us be worthy, living sacrifices in a selfish society.


In gratitude and submission we pray in the name of Immanuel. Amen!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

People Will Talk




They were talking about their church in the grocery-store (at the cafe, at the post-office, on the sidewalk - you know how we are). They were bragging about the building (its antiquity, its decor, its beauty, its "glory" - you know how we are). But then a Stranger spoke:

"All that you praise is fleeting, and will one day it will all fall."

Now, the church was a dear treasure to them, and in fear they begged the Stranger for more details: "How can this be?" "When will this be?" What of our investments?" "What of our improvements?"

"Many will claim to know when you will have to close your doors, and warn you of impending doom - do not give your ear to these false prophets. You will see horrible wars and atrocities on the news, and be tempted to see approaching Armageddon. Great division will form among people, and you will be tempted to see rapture and end-time. The environment will collapse, and you will be tempted to despair. The World will attack you of the Body because it can not harm the Head - this is not a punishment but an opportunity! You will then talk about greater things than upholstery, carpeting, and drapes. You will testify!

"But beware of locking-in your testimony in advance. You must make room room for the Spirit to act through you. At the proper time in the proper place, words and concepts will come to you that no earthly or demonic force can stand before. Yes, other members of your church will betray you, and friends and family will abandon you, and you will be hated because they hate me; but, you will be sanctified as you abide.

"Though the building will fail and your church will fall, the Church will endure and be perfected."


(from Luke 21)


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

98

"Time for a new song!"

Sing your heart-song to the Maker
(Sink down into the Soul's base -
Rise up with the Spirit's high note):
"The Lord is my Champion, my friend,
And he'll keep on fighting 'til the end!"

Rap it. Clap it.
Moan the Blues.
Strike the drum.
Plug in the amp.
Make a joyful noise!

Make a joyful noise to the Creator
(Break into a Irish jig -
Sing your ode to joy):
Electric guitars growling;
Choirs of the broken bellow!

Rap it. Clap it.
Moan the Blues.
Strike the drum.
Plug in the amp.
Make a joyful noise!

Listen to the symphonic sea,
And to the operas of whales.
Hear the Earth groan,
And its birds warbling.
The calling cymbals of the flood, 
And the response of echoing hills.
The Universe pulses and roars,
At the ongoing incarnation,
Emanuel, come to judge it,
Upon the scales of grace and mercy.


~ Tiwago



Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud
Sing out strong
Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad.

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.

Sing, sing a song
Let the world sing along
Sing of love there could be
Sing for you and for me.

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song


The Carpenters




(photography by tiwago)
(a line stolen from Queen)


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Anachronistic Flower

Tall Bellflower; Campanula americana

What trauma didst befall upon thee,
That thou, belle of the summertime,
Wouldst rebel by coming to bloom
In a season most unnatural to thee -
Adorning self with summer's finery,
In the autumn of thy waning days?

                                          ~ Tiwago


(photography by tiwago)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Out of the Wilderness


one hundred
and eight years
blaming
luck and fate
goats and gods
management and moses
but always
a light
shining

            ~ tiwago


(photography by tiwago)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Am I a Ten Commandment Christian or a Beatitude Christian?



Why do some worship the Ten, but treat Christ's Beatitudes like liberal propaganda?

God's blessings are on the poor - His Kingdom is for them.

Why do some curse and punish the poor for their poverty?

God's blessings are on the malnourished - His feast is laid out for them.

Why do some gorge on unhealthy food, but deny healthy food to those who can't afford it?

God's blessings are on those who patriots revile, who good Christians exclude, who big business detest, who politicians ignore, who people deride as zealots - rejoice in their abuse, it proves you are on the right path!

Why do some commercialize people and consumerize society?

The rich and powerful should beware - you've had your moment of fame.

Why do some worship celebrity idols?

The safe and comfortable should beware - worldly security is not permanent.

Why do some fear the unknown?

The pretty party people should beware - your hangover is coming.

Why are some so short-sighted?

Those surrounded by sycophants should beware - you will be recognized as false prophets.

Why are some so vain and others so gullible?


Hear me: love back those who act against you; be graceful back to those who hate you; bless back those who curse you; pray on behalf of those who abuse you! If someone seeks to harm you, stand tall and do not harm them back. If anyone tries to take advantage of you, stand up and give them grace and mercy. Give money, time, and love to all those who ask - if they try to steal your money, time, and love, let them have it with your blessing. Do for those who do not ask what you wish someone would have done for you!

(From Luke 6:20-31)



(photography by tiwago)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A Hike in the Woods