Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kin-dom n Kaoma

-Susan Harrington Tedrick 
(photo by Lynn Twitchell)

Pastor Karen emailed me to do a Mission Moment related to her sermon series that is bringing new layers of meaning to the Lord’s Prayer. Her note said that she’d like me to talk about the trip to Zambia in relation to the phrase: Thy Kin-Dom Come. 

Say What? I’d only been home two hours and I knew I was jet-lagged but…Thy KIN-Dom Come? Maybe it was a typo.

 Then it struck me. I had just spent 3 weeks in glorious kin-ship.

 When we were in Kaoma the Kin-Dom truly came! It came as friendships with widows and orphans deepened. It came as the team shed their American expectations & let the joy of abundance sneak in, an abundance of spirit with no material possessions, and when we went to church we celebrated the kin-ship of music & faith.

 The message we heard that day is just as relevant here as it was there. It was about power--mata. The power of things we ALLOW to have power over us and the only thing that has real mata--faith in God.

 There, the priest held up something that struck fear in many minds, a voodoo-like effigy that had been left on a woman’s threshold to frighten her. The gasps were audible. He then explained, in a very joyful way, that the only REAL power was Jesus.  Mata a Jesu.

 The US, too, has a history of threatening effigies: burning crosses…nooses.  We, too, give power to things that don’t deserve power. Status…income…vehicles…. Another Kin-Ship.

 The priest asked the congregation to touch the scary doll and pass it along. That was very hard for some people to do. Most congregants were uncomfortable, but they touched it and let go of the power they had given it.

 Mata…power…Only in Jesus…Jesu.

 I wondered: Am I ready to look at, touch and release the artificial things that frighten and have power over me? Are we? And to recognize the only real and liberating power? The power of the blood of Jesus? Or as they say: mata mwa mari a Jesu?

 I hope that I can let that kind of KIN-DOM COME to my heart, too.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Here is a "cross-over post" from inward/outward which provides daily soul food for the hungry (inward/

By Mary Oliver

Every day I see or hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light. It was what I was born for— to look, to listen, to lose myself inside this soft world— to instruct myself over and over in joy, and acclamation. Nor am I talking about the exceptional, the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant— but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab, the daily presentations. Oh, good scholar, I say to myself, how can you help but grow wise with such teachings as these— the untrimmable light of the world, the ocean’s shine, the prayers that are made out of grass? In the hope that today is a day you are able to spend less time at the computer and more time “looking, listening and losing yourself” in some part of nature’s beauty and delight, we offer this poem by Mary Oliver from her collection called Why I Wake Early. Now go pray.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Guest Blog: Chuck

Glory in the gloom

New England weather is setting records for prolonged rain and cloud cover. Why is it that we feel dispirited when skies are grey? The spirit is still there, creating moist miracles before our eyes.

For those of us who like to venture out, wet or not, there is the beauty of jewels of moisture on spider webs and leaves, the smell of growth in the damp woods, the chuckle and gurgle of water over rocks. If you don't feel the need for shoes, enjoy the comfortable coolness of the moist, soft sod.

More of the indoor, looking out persuasion? Revel in the comfort of being warn and dry while watching the rain drip from the eaves and decorate the puddles with rings of wavelets, the light vary with the cloud cover.

Two weeks ago, Acadia experienced very heavy rain overnight. Driving though the Park the next day offered other first hand views of the reconstructive power of the water. Waterfalls were leaping from ledges, to splash from lower levels in great arcs. Ponds rose to levels that had roaring torrents appear where placid streams normally meandered.

From whatever perspective, remember that all of this too is a part of the great creation. Go, glory in the gloom.  -Chuck Pritchard