Sunday, August 29, 2010

On Being at Table and Respect

I brought you into a plentiful land 
to eat its fruits and its good things.
But when you entered
you defiled my land,
and made my heritage an abomination

~Jeremiah 2:7

Sermon, Sunday, August 29, 2010
by Katie Mulligan

Yesterday was the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s address at the 1963 March on Washington: “I Have a Dream”.  Nearly five years after that address, Dr. King was dead, assassinated on April 4, 1968 while standing on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee. He was planning to lead a protest march with striking garbage workers. (A brief bio here)

As a black man pushing against injustice, even in non-violent ways, Dr. King was subject to arrest and assault, endless attacks on his character, and his home was bombed. And yet he persevered, daring to speak publicly, openly, loudly, what so many cried out in their hearts. He pulled together a broad coalition of people, men and women, straight and gay, black and not black, rich and poor. At the age of 35 he won the Nobel Peace Prize, the youngest man ever to do so.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thoughts from a Walk and Ecclesiastes

One day we will fade away. School children will wonder how to pronounce Usains. They will confuse us w/Ukians & Ukranians & Uruguayans & Uzbekistanis. They will wonder if it was really Usanis & not Usains and whether there is a linguistic connection between Usa & Asia. A teacher will insist the children mark Uganda & Usa & Uk & Uzbekistan & Uruguay in the right place on a map w/out activating the chip in their head.
For all is vanity and a chasing after the wind. 
There is nothing new under the sun and especially not us. Or Usains.

Therefore there is nothing better for mortals than to eat, drink, and find enjoyment in their labor. This too is from God.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Someone Else's Words

A Non-Sermon
Sunday, August 8, 2010

I am exhausted. I've had a cold. I miss vacation. The cats are cranky. School starts soon. The house is a mess. It seems that many of the people I love are in crisis--the kind of crisis where you lose your faith. So I have no words of my own today. Which is fine, because Christians are a loquatious bunch and there are plenty of other people's words to borrow.

You may think this is about mushrooms, because of the picture. And I did once write a paper titled "Jesus the Fungus", describing our Savior as a contaminating, house-eating fungus whose corosive quality eats away at the U.S. house of racism and bigotry. If you want it, e-mail me. But today was about seeking after the divine and not finding that sneaky, shifty, crafty, low-down skunk of a God.

So we read this scripture, Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16 

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen...All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.

Ok. There's more to the scripture than that. Click on the link, go read, I'm not stopping you. But I am about to crash for a well-earned Sunday afternoon nap. I could just stop with "faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." But I'm a preacher, so a little more.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mangos for Jesus

Mango w/Sticky Rice
 "The reign of God is a warm, fleshy, all-encompassing body with enough spare flesh for all to be nourished."

Elizabeth Stuart, Introd. Body Theology
cited by Lisa Isherwood, The Fat Jesus

Sermon: August 1, 2010
by Katie Mulligan

Scripture Readings: Ecclesiastes 1:1-14, 2:18-24 and Luke 12:13-21

We are continuing this week in a mini-series about prayer.  Last week we talked about angry prayer—those prayers of rage and despair that we sometimes refuse to allow out of our hearts.  Today we will talk about food. And more precisely how food can be a way of prayer.  And then later we’ll take communion together. It will be an act of prayer masqueraded as an act of food, and together we will celebrate Christ in our midst. In the best of our acts of food, this is what we are doing.

Our first passage this morning was from Ecclesiastes, and probably you have heard much of it before. All is vanity, all is dust in the wind. There is nothing new under the sun.  It is an unhappy business the Lord has given us, to toil fruitlessly on earth. All that we are and have will pass away into the hands of others, and there will be no trace of our lives left on earth. All our days are full of pain, and our work is a vexation; even at night our minds do not rest. All is vanity.  Perhaps you resonate with this passage? Have you had your mid-life crisis yet? (Or your quarter-life or two-thirds-life crisis, or even your end-of-life crisis?)  Have you found yourself waking up one morning and realizing that this is it?