Showing posts from December, 2006

Compassion: Advent 3C sermon

The first time I saw the movie, “The Matrix,” was New Year’s Eve 1999, as we headed into the new millennium. I was struck by the power of this story and its ability to convey a modern day version of salvation and the Messiah. Granted I was less impressed with its use of high powered machine guns despite the fact that those being shot were not real humans but figures playing parts in a computer generated matrix.

The plot is based on the premise that world is no longer real but has been taken over by a form of artificial intelligence, machines. These machines were once human made but eventually became self-sufficient and dominant. took After a long war the artificial intelligence took over the world. An entire species has been spawned by what was once one machine and they have created an alternate reality based on a computer generated world. Having lost the war humans are now born and bred to be the life source, the batteries for the machines. Humans are confined to a weird cocoon kind o…

Make straight the paths, Advent 2C

One of the opening scenes from the movie, “Life or Something Like It,” shows Lanie Kerrigan, played by Angelina Jolie, on her way to work. Every day she passed by a street prophet who stood on a crate, arms in the air, his back arched and head held high while he prophesied, “I see and I say,” proclaimed Jack the street prophet.

One day Lanie, a driven journalist engaged to a football player with the Seattle Seahawks, stopped by the prophet and threw a few coins his basket. She was up for a promotion and really wanted this new job.

Jack the street prophet responded to her coins by telling her that the Seahawks would beat the Broncos 16-13, the next day it would hail in Seattle (a town of mild and temperate weather) and then on the third day she, Lanie, would die.

Of course this kind of prophesy disturbed Lanie. On the other hand she also tried to dismiss it as rubbish.

Still the prophet’s words weighed on her. She found herself examining her life: her comfortable but extremely superficial …

December Deep Freeze

Here in the Chicago land area we are knee deep in snow with temperatures in the teens...and it is only early December. Given that I am recovering from this infection and have PICC line in my arm I am disinclined to walk outside (at not much more than from car to building), for fear of slipping and harming the line. So, I hibernate inside. I ride my exercise bike and do chores around the house and take naps. I look outside and appreciate the beauty of the snow and I look at my still undecorated Christmas tree. I'm not sure how or when I will get to any Christmas shopping since I only have a few hours in between IV antibiotic treatments...maybe I need to hurry up and shop on line...and my poor dogs are going a little nutty being cooped up with only brief trips outside (they too know its cold and aren't thrilled, frozen paws and all)...

So Advent this year is all about being quiet and staying indoors. Its about waiting, waiting for the PICC line to come out (maybe Christmas Day?) …

Friday Five

1) Do you observe Advent in your church? Yes, observing Advent is a big deal in my church because I love it. We change all the vestments to a deep blue (dark night) and use no flowers. In order to enhance the idea of simplicity we put away our silver and use blue ceramic chalices, paten, and cruets. And we hang a large Advent wreath with three blue and one pink candle.

2) How about at home?When our kids were young we observed Advent at home with the lighting of an Advent wreath and some prayers at dinner time, plus we used an Advent calendar to mark the days until Christmas. This year, because I have been very ill with an infection (and hospitalized for 11 days) I feel that I have been in Advent for three weeks already...dark, anticipation, waiting...and now I mark my days around the doses of IV antibiotic I have to give myself 4 times daily. I have decided to ritualize these IV treatments with music (usually Mozart Sonatas) and praying the daily office. Also three of the four times I…