Monthly Archives: December 2007

Wonderfully Frozen

    Yesterday I shoved my face into a handful of dead oak leaves, and smelled and smelled and smelled.  I hope it stuck in my chest.  I hope it can go back home with me.

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Thoughts on Worship at My Church, an “in-house” kind of thing…

The following is some thinking I did earlier this year on an issue we wrestle with at our church: worship that is inclusive and inviting and that covers different styles, tastes, generations, etc. Feel free to read if it is “one of those days.

Worship at Christ Church

Some of us have been thinking for some time about our “win” for Sunday mornings. As I have been preaching and preparing for preaching about worship, this question has been at the back of my mind constantly.

I think the sermons I am working on are helping me see that win.

At the end of the day, the question we must ask ourselves about Sunday 11 a.m. are, did we work as hard as we could to create the conditions conducive to worship? In one sentence, I would say our win is to “facilitate worship that is guided by the criteria of focus, relationships, and quality where people have a genuine opportunity to worship God in spirit and in truth.”

So now let me unpack it all. Continue reading

The Little Planet that Christmas Found, Pt 2

Then one day the Shadow came.  And inside the Shadow lived Darkness.  And inside the Darkness were the Whatifs.  And some of the whatifs were so strong.  Whatif the trees die?  Whatif the little creators hurt you?   Whatif Creator doesn´t think you are good?  Whatif Creator doesn’t think you’re precious?  Whatif he is just pretending that He loves you?

At first Little Planet didn’t listen to them.  But one day, one day when she was very curious, she decided to listen, but just a little bit.  And the next day, she found she wanted to listen a little more.  And the next day, even more.  And soon, Little Planet began to fall under the Shadow. 

And she felt very much alone.  And she felt very sad.  And she felt ashamed of what she had done.  And she believed there was no one there to help her.  No one in the whole world really loved her, or thought she was special.  She was all she had.   And that day, the Shadow covered her completely.

And Little Planet, who had become the Little Lonely Planet, was now the Little, Lonely, Broken Planet.  And the shadow began to grow.

The wind did not work like it was supposed to.  The green and growing things did not work like they were supposed to.  The little creators began to hurt each other and to hurt Little Planet.  And there was sadness across the entire planet, inside and out.  Everyone thought that the Shadow would reign as King forever.

And nobody, not even the Shadow, knew what would happen next.

The Little Planet that Christmas Found, part 1

When the universe exploded into being, there was a great dance of happiness, and the laughter of Creator could be heard in every corner of his creation.

 And the galaxies leaped in delight.  The stars sung out their joy.  The comets raced throughout the universe, announcing Creator’s love.   And the planets…  The planets rejoiced.

Creator smiled.  His happiness was complete with the wonderful world that He had made, the universe that kept unfolding before him.

*         *        *

 As the dust settled, and the universe cooled, there was one planet in particular that Creator loved.  Her name was Little Planet.  Creator treasured her and held near to His heart.  And this planet was the happiest planet in the universe.  She was precious in the eyes of Creator. 

 She could feel the smile of Creator like a beautiful summer day.  And when the wind blew, she remembered the soft breath, Creator whispering its name.  When the waters separated, and the fish appeared, and the birds flew, and the green and growing things grew*, there was great joy. 

 And just when Little Planet thought that every good thing that could ever happen had already happened, Creator put someone that looked just like himself inside. 

 The little creators had Little Planet for their home.   And Creator was with Little Planet, and Little Planet was with Creator.  And every day, every day, was the best day ever. 

Creator told Little Planet, Live in happiness, only beware of the Shadow, and the Darkness, and the Whatifs**.   So Little Planet lived in his happiness, but she did not know anything about the Shadow, or the Darkness, or the Whatifs.




*the “green and growing things” is taken from Jerome Berryman and his work with telling Scripture stories to children.  Check out Godly Play online for more info.

 **the “Whatifs”were brought to my attention by Shel Silverstein…  the ones in this story are the sadder, darker cousins…