Epiphany’s truth

The Epiphany unveils a powerful truth: that if Jesus is Lord, then Caesar is not Lord, nor Herod, nor all the violence of the world.

Remember: “when Herod heard this, he was frightened.” Amen.

May it be so.


Quote: Sara Miles
Image: ‘The Three Wise women’ Lore Raymond

For Istanbul 

For Istanbul 


Another act of senseless, yet intentional violence. So disturbing, so heartbreaking, so dangerous.

In these moments of horror and destruction we can find the courage to move into this danger. Move in to collect all shattered hope. To remold and hold that hope until those wading in the rubble can gather their balance and look beyond, able to imagine a future.

We must rise above fear and sit. Sit with those grieving and injured in their sadness and hopelessness until hope returns.


quote- Alive Now

Here is the world

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For the last two weeks this country’s news and news from all over the world has drawn our attention to tragic stories of people’s lives being changed forever through senseless, selfish, angry and disturbing acts of violence. Violence that has caused death and life-changing injury.

Wait… did I not write about this three weeks ago, last month and the month before that?

No need to be flippant. Everyone is aware of the tragic state of affairs in this country and the dangerous anger rampant in our world. We may not all agree on what to do but many of us are certain that something needs to be done.

We are in the season of Advent. On this second Sunday, the prophets call out for preparation and repentance. May we look upon our world for all its beauty and its danger moving forward with fearless compassion. May this movement be as prayer. Called to repent, instructed to prepare – may we seek to find the points of light streaming through the dark clouds before us. Light that brightens a path to peace and safety.

Oh Tender Mercy,

Dawn upon us this morning,
Break into the shadows of death
that seem to be overwhelming
the many worlds in which we live, and those in which we don’t that surround us.
Oh Tender Mercy,
We pray for those
who are in mourning,
who grieve,
who are suffering in the desolation of loss,
who are drowning in the pain of the senselessness of violence.
Bring forth the light of hope to hold them as they sit in the shadows.
In silence and word, we offer prayers for those we know who are struggling: (silence)
O Tender Mercy,
Break upon us with your dawning,
Guide our feet with the strength of our prayers,
to walk in the ways of peace with action,
to do what we can do as your people
to pave ways of peace wherever we go.
O Tender Mercy,
Your dawn is new every morning,
and we are grateful the points of light in our lives, in the midst of the shadows around us. Your love prevails.
O Tender Mercy,
Break forth among and within us.
Amen.

(Sunday Prayer Advent 2c RCL from RevGalBlogs  )

Memory of today…

It is an anniversary–14 years ago today, September 11, our sense of peace and security was shaken to its core. There are few people in this country (born before September 11, 2001) who do not remember where they were on that Tuesday morning.

I can picture exactly where I was as news began to report the attacks in New York, the Pentagon and the plane crashing in a Pennsylvania field. Working as a chaplain in a large teaching hospital, I was always on high alert, prepared to respond to unspeakable traumas every day. This particular morning the routine had been normal — it was time for a cup of coffee, after making first rounds in my assigned units. Sitting with another staff chaplain, we begin to notice small clusters of people gathering to talk about airplanes crashing into the World Trade Center in Manhattan. Not in my wildest imagination could I have considered what was to come.

So many people tell a story of how his/her life was changed on that day. The natural response was to search out and contact love ones – to hear their voices or see their faces. On that morning we; myself, my brother and sister, were waiting for our parents to return from a two-week holiday in Paris, France. Their flight was to land in Newark, New Jersey sometime mid-morning. In the blink of an eye their return became a big and scary question. No one knew where these lethal planes had originated and waiting for that news would seem a lifetime. What could we do? How would we find our parents in the midst of such chaos? Mom and Dad had been with my aunt and uncle during those 2 weeks who were still in Paris. I called my uncle’s office, spoke to his secretary and gave her information on how to contact me when/if she received news from my uncle. I then called my brother who lived in Alexandria VA working as a chaplain at a private preparatory school. My sister-in-law answered the phone from their basement. The next exit from their house was the Pentagon. The ground around them shook as a plane crashed into the Pentagon’s walls. The noise of rescue vehicles and helicopters filled the air near their yard and home. Now there was concern for our parents flying around New York and for my brother’s family so very close to another attack. A call to my sister brought some comfort; she and her family were safe, alert and aware.

It was not long before we knew that the planes used for these horrific acts were domestic flights. They had left American cities on course to attack other American cities. Who could do these things? As the day unfolded news began to report that these actions were planned in middle-eastern countries, far away – by people known as terrorists (a term that would become all too familiar in the days and years to follow). Even hearing these details, the question remained — where were the international flights – where were our parents? It was late morning before my pager alerted me to a call from my uncle’s office with news. Mom and Dad would not be landing on American soil, not on that day nor many days to follow. Their plane was on route to an Air Force military base in Gander Newfoundland. Along with many other international flights they would land and remain in Gander for several days while they waited for clearance. A book has been written about this small town’s big heart telling of the important work they did as a part of the 9/11 rescue.

THE DAY THE WORLD CAME TO TOWN – 9/11 in Gander51SePOB7ysL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

As the afternoon waned, the same chaplain and I met again stunned and confused by all that had happened since morning. We knew the long, difficult and emotional work began to recover all the injured and honor all who died. Feeling helpless, we talked about who might need our prayers and support at that moment. We soon found ourselves in a professor’s office at the school of medicine. He was a Muslim and he was sitting alone, feeling the enormity of this day. In silence, we shared prayers for direction and peace.

…where were you?

(revised and re-posted)

Making Darkness Conscious

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“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
Carl Jung

Prayers for Ferguson and America

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In times of conflict-

Oh God, you’re bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another, without hatred or bitterness, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Be not afraid

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There are scary things happening in this world. Where fear is not real, it appears people are trying to create it. May we walk through these days assuring ourselves and those we meet ‘all will be well’, living in faith not fear.

Be not afraid
Angel words to humans
Fear not
Easier said than done
Let not your hearts be troubled
Divine words
There is so much to make us afraid
So many things that are just wrong and hard
So many broken places, people and hearts – so many sobbing…
My heart, your heart, Boston, Texas, Conn, Oklahoma, Ground Zero, the world, the world, the world…
Your heart, my soul
Your mind, my heart
Be not afraid
Fear not
Let not your hearts be troubled…
May God help us not to give into fear and or despair…
Encourage a friend today…
Encourage yourself
Fear not…

Mark Bozzuti-Jones: Blog- The Fullness