Wednesday, December 01, 2010


Tomorrow I leave for Seattle where I will spend the weekend co-leading the first WordsMatter "Train the Trainer" event for the Episcopal Church. We have 9 people from different dioceses coming. In preparation for this event we all have to write a brief narrative on this question:

Share with us an experience when you noticed the power and/or
importance of language (words, symbols, or images) and the impact
of that language on your life, your faith community, or your relationship
with God. This experience may have helped you embrace the
Divine more fully or it may have been destructive, harmful, or painful
to you in your personal and/or faith journey.

When I co-led the NCC ecumenical version of this event last August I wrote a reflection about bread. I reflected on bread as a symbol for the body of Christ, many diverse ingredients, each different, blending into a whole. It was as much a reflection on the process of making bread as a symbol for the body of Christ as it was on loaves of bread as the body. I reflected on bread because I made five different kinds of bread for our final worship experience.

But for this event I am not making bread, someone local is making it. So I'm pondering what I want to reflect on. I keep having this song -

"Someone and someone
were down by the pond
Looking for something
to plant in the lawn.
Out in the fields they
were turning the soil
I'm sitting here hoping
this water will boil
When I look through the windows
and out on the road
They're bringing me presents
and saying hello.

Singing words, words
between the lines of age.
Words, words
between the lines of age.

If I was a junkman
selling you cars,
Washing your windows
and shining your stars,
Thinking your mind
was my own in a dream
What would you wonder
and how would it seem?
Living in castles
a bit at a time
The King started laughing
and talking in rhyme.

Singing words, words
between the lines of age.
Words, words
between the lines of age."

(Neil Young, Harvest, Words, Between the lines of age..)

- tumble through my thoughts, even though it isn't what I want to reflect on. At least not exactly....

But I am thinking about words. Words like Covenant and this brilliant article from Walter Brueggermann, first published in 1980! Still so appropriate.

And I'm thinking about the words I said and agreed to abide by in my ordination vows, my 11th anniversary will be Dec. 28.

Mostly I'm thinking about "Incarnation" and "Priesthood" and male pronouns and female. What does the incarnation mean for a woman priest?

I'm not sure where my reflection is going to go, but I have to have it written today.

It's only words.

But sometimes words are everything.


Mary Beth said...

Love the Bee Gees and this song. Love you. See you soon! Travelling mercies. mb

Terri said...

I actually changed the video and song to this one from Neil Young - because I realized that this was the one in my head, not the Bee Gees..and MB posted while I was still working on it! Funny.....

RevDrKate said...

30 years and Brueggemann reads like he wrote it yesterday. Words...oh indeed, such powerful things....wielded, witheld....used with care or as weapons.

Homily for the Festive Eucharist at the closing of the Episcopal Women's Caucus

The readings that we chose for the service tonight were all picked specifically for this service because they lift up the role of women ...