It’s Almost Here…

Was looking at different resources and writings about Christmas and came across this one. Thought I would pass this along.

Grace & Peace,
Z


Messiah’s Grand Entry

by the Rev. Roger Scott

Hear me, my friends and relatives,
Hear me, all you people.

An honor is bestowed upon me to be the Master of Ceremony
to the greatest grand entry of all time.
You who walk in darkness, come to the arena where there
is great light.

The Messiah is making His way to the arena,
And His give-away to all is the good news
that will bring you much joy.

He is coming in from the east, wrapped in a star quilt
and cradled in His mother’s arms.

Rise to your feet, all you people, in honor of the “Great One”,
as the father and mother step to the beat of the drum.
The song that is rendered has been composed
by heavenly hands.

Coming into the arena behind the child are a host
of heavenly angels, adorned in their ceremonial garments;
behind them are the family lineage of the child, followed by
our own ancestors, dressed in their finest regalia,
dancing proudly.

Come, all you people, let us enter the arena,
dance to the beat of His song;
our time has come to celebrate,
to greet the future with traditional dignity.

This sacred circle will make us one,
for unto us a Savior is born. (Luke 2:8-11)

The Rev. Roger Scott is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. His poetic interpretation of Luke 2:8-11 draws upon his experiences from the pow wow culture within Native America.

Copyright © 2007 Roger Scott. Used by Permission. Reproduction granted for use in church worship services. See column on right for information about obtaining reproduction permission

Hope

Hope is such a strange thing. Normally, you don’t recognize that you have it in your life. When things are going well, when you aren’t worrying about tomorrow, hope seems to be a constant, yet silent, part of your life. It’s easy to be full of hope when you are riding the tide of joy and happiness.

Hope is about expectations and waiting. It’s about being patient at times. Lately, hope has been a difficult thing for me to grasp. Now, I know that I can be a pessimist many times, but I honestly have always held hope in my heart to get through the day. It has become increasingly more difficult to hold hope that closely. I don’t like this fact, and it troubles me quite a bit. Things around me continually get me down, some for good reason, some not. Optimism is a struggle, but I want to have hope. I came across this quote today from William Sloane Coffin. He has increasingly become one of my favorite preachers/leaders/writers.

“Hope is a state of mind independent of the state of the world. If your heart’s full of hope, you can be persistent when you can’t be optimistic. You can keep the faith despite the evidence, knowing that only in so doing has the evidence any chance of changing. So while I’m not optimistic, I’m always very hopeful.”

This is my goal. To maintain a state of hope independent from what may be going on around me. It may not always be easy, and I may not always be successful, but hope is the only option. I wish everyone hope as the go through each and every day.

Grace & Peace,
z

Really? Comments That Make You Think

The below article is one that I saw while surfing news sites. The article does not bother me, but a comment posted below it did. The comment was:

“It seems that Obama is letting people who lost their right to vote, a chance to vote without giving Republicans the chance to challenge the voter?”

Now, I do not know the election laws of each individual state, but this angers me to no end. Just because a person does not own a piece of property, or does not rent a place, this means they have no right to vote? If any group of people in this country is affected by this election, it is people who are homeless. I don’t think that just because they may not be voting your way means that they have lost the right to vote. Also, does the Republican Party really embrace the needs of the homeless community? I really have nothing insightful to say about this right now, just wanted to pass the article along, but more importantly the comment.

-z


From New York Post:

Homeless “Driven” to Vote Obama

By JEANE MacINTOSH

Last updated: 10:27 am

October 7, 2008

Posted: 9:34 pm

October 6, 2008

CLEVELAND – Volunteers supporting Barack Obama picked up hundreds of people at homeless shelters, soup kitchens and drug-rehab centers and drove them to a polling place yesterday on the last day that Ohioans could register and vote on the same day, almost no questions asked.

The huge effort by a pro-Obama group, Vote Today Ohio, takes advantage of a quirk in the state’s elections laws that allows people to register and cast ballots at the same time without having to prove residency.

Republicans have argued that the window could lead to widespread voter fraud because officials wouldn’t have an opportunity to verify registration information before ballots were cast.

Among the volunteers were Yori Stadlin and Vivian Lehrer of the Upper West Side, who got married last week and decided to spend their honeymoon shepherding voters to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

Early today, Stadlin’s van picked up William Woods, 59, at the soup kitchen of the Bishop Cosgrove Center.

“I never voted before,” Woods said, because of a felony conviction that previously barred him from the polls. “Without this service, I would have had no way to get here.”

Just Read It, That’s all I’m Going To Say

Pope Benedict: I’m praying for Anglican church

  • Story Highlights
  • Pope Benedict XVI says that he is praying for the Anglican community
  • Pope prays after Church of England’s ruling body voted to support women bishops
  • Benedict says he doesn’t want to see more ‘schisms and fractures’

(AP) — Pope Benedict XVI said Saturday that he is praying there will not be any more rifts in the Anglican community following the recent Church of England decision on women bishops.

Answering questions from journalists aboard his flight to Australia, Benedict touched briefly on the turmoil in the Anglican church.

“I am praying so that there are no more schisms and fractures” within the Anglican community, Benedict said.

On Monday, the Church of England’s ruling body voted its support for women to become bishops. That stance risks causing further division among Anglicans, since traditionalists are opposed to that idea.

The Episcopal Church, the Anglican body in the U.S., is led by a woman, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

The Anglican Communion, a 77 million-member family of churches that trace their roots to the Church of England, is also wrestling with other contentious issues — gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex marriages.

Benedict said he did not want to “interfere” in the debate.

Still, the Vatican on Tuesday said the decision by the Church of England to allow women to become bishops will be an obstacle to its reconciliation with the Roman Catholic Church. The Vatican does not permit the ordination of women.

Anglicans split from Rome more than four centuries ago, when English King Henry VIII bolted in 1534 after papal refusal to grant him a marriage annulment.

Catholics and Anglicans have been engaged in talks to overcome theological divisions.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Find this article at:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/07/12/pope.anglican.ap/index.html

After the first week

Well, I am officially a graduate student. Not only that, but a seminarian. This week has been stressful, overwhelming, exciting, inspiring, frightening, calming, and many other things all rolled into a single week period in Kansas City.

I have realized how little work I did as an undergraduate student. I never really developed a good discipline for studying or completing work. That is now beginning to attack me full force. I am 3/4 of the way through the reading for one course. I’ve spent two days on it. Luckily, this week I only had 2 courses. Next week I add 3 more classes on Monday. I know things will probably settle down over time, and I will learn to adapt and complete the things I need to get by, but at this point it is too much.

The new job is going okay so far. Still not really sure what will go on, but I’m starting to see a few things form. I am going to attempt to start 2 groups at first, which will be primarily lead by me. It looks like we will have a movie viewing/discussion group and a topical/faith issues group. I really hope the college students are as interested as they seem to be in all of this. I really don’t have the time to be a lot of effort into something that is totally going to flop.

I’m learning to take time for my own spiritual discipline, which is something I haven’t done well in the past. I attend some type of worship service 4 days a week. 2 of those are at Saint Paul on Tuesday and Wednesday, 1 is on Thursday at Baker, and finally I go to a church on Sunday. It has been nice to be able to be a part of a congregation, and not part of the leadership.

I hope to find time to update this often and use it as a reflective tool with what I am doing in my life.