summer solstice!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

summer conversation 4

4. A Eucharistic community: the Welcome Table

John 1:1, 3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.

John 12:24 ...unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

1 Corinthians 11:23-24 ...our Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me."

And what about "this is my body"?
And "this cup is the new covenant in my blood"?
The bread points to nourishment in that same self-giving of God
At work in my body, that is in me.
And the cup points to the new community drawn together and nourished
In my blood, that is in God's total self-giving in my death.
–Paul G. Hammer–

You choose to be made at one with the earth;
the dark of the grave prepares for your birth.
Your death is your rising, creative your word;
the tree springs to life and our hope is restored...
–Fred Kaan–

In Saxon English, the Lord provided the loaf, the bread, the essentials for sustaining life. We are baptized into the biography of the baby born in Bethlehem, House of Bread. In the Eucharist, we celebrate the ultimate earth day, a feast of justice and reconciliation for all creation, that brings together the ground's fruitful yield along with the labor of farmers, vintners, truckers, grocers, bakers, sellers, weavers and potters, carpenters and contractors.
Revelation 21:1-2a Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth…and I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem.
Who is this Lord of the Church, this Jesus?

Consider Jesus' lifestyle of justice and inclusion along with Jesus' command "do this!"

backtracking:

1. A baptized community: Water and the Word
Galatians 3:28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus...
Who is this Lord of the Church, this Jesus?

Consider Jesus' relationship to creation, Jesus' stewardship of all life.

2. Spaces, places, locations...

1st, 2nd, and 3rd spaces, (4th?) places in cyberspace; the liminal, the marginal and the central; thresholds, edges and centers; insiders, outsiders, strangers and friends
Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything else except to love one another...
Who is this Lord of the Church, this Jesus?

Consider Jesus' sense of home and geography.

3. Jesus, us, culture, counter culture
Colossians 2:15 Having made hash of the rulers, the powers and the principalities and having been victorious over them, Christ then made a public spectacle of them!
Who is this Lord of the Church, this Jesus?

Consider Jesus' awareness of his own culture and the customs of others.

© leahchang

Thursday, August 20, 2009

summer conversation 3

3. Jesus, us, culture, counterculture

Continuing awareness of the interdependence of all creation…

In Jesus of Nazareth God became incarnate within a particular culture, geography and historical time. And Jesus accepted death! How much more countercultural does it get?

Contexts, worldviews: natural, economic, ethnic, symbolic, class, linguistic, religious around us and within us shape us and limit where we go, what we think about, the options open to us. An individual becomes a person by becoming embedded in a textured, interwoven history of experiences shared with others. Insiders, outsiders, strangers and friends…

Contextualizing ministry, evangelism and worship. For Martin Luther, worship and hymn-singing in the vernacular was one of the marks of the true church; there are many vernaculars besides the linguistic.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 There are diversities of gifts but the same spirit, and different kinds of ministries and ways to serve, yet the same Lord. Although there are many various types of activities and enterprises, the same God is active and works in all of them, and each person receives gifts of the Spirit for the good of the entire community.
Christus Victor: an atonement model moving away from a focus on guilt and condemnation under the law to emphasizing freedom and victory of Christ, in Christ.
Colossians 2:15 Having made hash of the rulers, the powers and the principalities and having been victorious over them, Christ then made a public spectacle of them!
Also consider 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 and…
Hebrews 2:14-15 Therefore, since the children shared in the blood and the flesh and Christ shared in the same things, that through death he might destroy the one having power over death - that is, the devil - and he might free all those who by their fear of death were bound to slavery throughout their lives.
Let the river run, let all the dreamers wake the nation. Come, the New Jerusalem. Carly Simon, "Let the River Run"
Who is this Lord of the Church, this Jesus? Consider Jesus' awareness of his own culture and the customs of others.

Next week: 4. A Eucharistic community: the Welcome Table

An inclusive meal and a feast of justice and righteousness accomplished on earth for all creation. Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Then I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem…

© leahchang

Thursday, August 13, 2009

summer conversation 2

2. Spaces, places, locations…

Continuing to focus on our interdependence with all creation.

1st spaces: family, neighbors, local schools, face-to-face relationships;

2nd spaces: workplace, university, more distant and structured settings with more choices about self-revelation;

3rd spaces: traveling, affinity, trade and professional groups, social, cultural and other diversities, at times geographically further afield with potential for greater anonymity...regarding possible

4th spaces, consider cyberspace, where you can choose to reveal who and where you are, try on new ideas and even new identities.

The liminal, the marginal and the central; thresholds, edges and centers
John 1:14a And the word became flesh and tabernacled [pitched a tent, a portable shelter] among us.
Where is home for you? Geographical origins, a more recent city or town, an emotional place, treasured people and activities? How do your experiences in various locations contribute to your understanding of yourselves, of others, of the world? Our histories and stories: insiders, outsiders, strangers and friends. …in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth!
Romans 13:8,10 Owe no one anything else except to love one another, for anyone who loves another has fulfilled the law. Love does no evil to a neighbor; therefore love fulfills the law.
Paul insists we owe, we "ought" the love of Christ to every one another and compares love for others to a debt, an ought that we owe them.
Revelation 21:1-3 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…and I heard a tremendous voice from the throne saying, "Now God pitches a tent and lives among all humanity, and God will travel alongside all the people wherever they may go. They will be God's people, and God himself will dwell with them and be their God."
…in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth!
Who is this Lord of the Church, this Jesus? Consider Jesus' sense of home and geography.

Next week: 3. Jesus, Us, Culture, Counterculture

God beyond time and space became incarnate for us in Jesus of Nazareth, lived among us and shared our human experience. And Jesus accepted death! How much more countercultural does it get?

We're coming to the edge, running on the water, coming through the fog, your sons and daughters. Let the river run, let all the dreamers wake the nation. Come, the New Jerusalem.

© leahchang

Thursday, August 06, 2009

summer conversation 1

1. A baptized community: Water and the Word

Consciously connecting ourselves with all creation, recognizing and celebrating our interdependence. Recognizing the countless ways in which time and space are essential conditions in which all creation lives.
Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.
Water is the primordial substance of being, the womb of all creation, the fundamental stuff of our rebirth and continued aliveness. Water is the physical substance of our baptism.

Baptized into the Christ Event of God's supreme self-revelation in measurable, definable space and time, we become prophet, priests and sovereigns, in stewardship of creation and of all life. Baptism engulfs us in God's creative power of death and resurrection, identifying us with this planet's history and with Jesus Christ.

Consider our relationship to the elements of air, earth and fire…

Galatians 3:28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus…
The waters of baptism form a border and boundary between our old, disconnected, alienated existence and our new life in the community that is the Body of the Crucified and Risen Christ.

We are the body, the corpus, of Christ! Corporate Identity [package]: our logo, our résumé, our curriculum vitae, where we've been, what we've learned, what we live for and die for…who are we? Baptism transforms us from lone, solitary individuals into a position of particularity within the gathered body of Christ. Each of us brings a special history along with unique gifts and perspectives for contribution and service within church and world.

Who is this Lord of the Church, this Jesus? Consider Jesus' relationship to creation, Jesus' stewardship of all life.

Next week:

2. Spaces, places, locations…

Where is home
for you? Geographical origins, a more recent physical place or town, an emotional place, treasured people and activities of belonging? How do your experiences in various locations contribute to your understanding of yourselves, of others, of the world? 1st, 2nd, and 3rd spaces, (4th?) places in cyberspace; the liminal, the marginal and the central; thresholds, edges and centers. Insiders, outsiders, strangers and friends. …in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth!

© leahchang

Sunday, August 02, 2009

summer conversations 2009

description:

Four casual events
bringing together the countless faith life connections! Participate in one, all four, in two or in three. As we explore and consider aspects of living together as a pentecostal community in the power of the Holy Spirit, discussions will particularly focus on the identity of Jesus Christ as Lord of the Church and our identity in Christ as the Church.

Topics may include: baptism as a countercultural event; boundaries and borders; centers, thresholds and edges of spaces and places around us and beyond us; Holy Communion as a welcome table of justice and reconciliation for all creation.

Location: Church Library

Days and dates: Thursdays August 6, 13, 20, 27

Time: 4-5 PM

Facilitator: Leah Chang

Teachers and learners: everyone

A Pentecostal community: Time of the Spirit; Season of the Church

1. A baptized community: Water and the Word

The living waters of baptism are border and boundary between our old, disconnected, alienated existence and our new life in the community that is the Body of the Crucified and Risen Christ.

There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus…

Who is this Lord of the Church, this Jesus?

2. Spaces, places, locations…

1st, 2nd, and 3rd spaces, (4th?) places in cyberspace; the liminal, the marginal and the central; thresholds, edges and centers

…in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth!

Insiders, outsiders, strangers and friends

Who is this Lord of the Church, this Jesus?

3. Jesus, Us, Culture, Counterculture

God beyond time and space became incarnate for us in Jesus of Nazareth, lived among us and shared our human experience.

We’re coming to the edge, running on the water, coming through the fog, your sons and daughters. Let the river run, let all the dreamers wake the nation. Come, the New Jerusalem.

Who is this Lord of the Church, this Jesus?

4. A Eucharistic community: the Welcome Table

An inclusive meal as well as a feast of justice and righteousness accomplished on earth for all creation.

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Then I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem…

Who is this Lord of the Church, this Jesus?


© leah chang 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

summer conversations

Proposal:

Four casual events bringing together the countless faith - life connections! Participate in one, all four, in two or in three.
A Pentecostal community: Time of the Spirit; Season of the Church

1. A baptized community: Water and the Word

The living waters of baptism are border and boundary between our old, disconnected, alienated existence and our new life in the community that is the Body of the Crucified and Risen Christ.

There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus…

Who is this Lord of the Church, this Jesus?

2. Spaces, places, locations…

1st, 2nd, and 3rd spaces, (4th?) places in cyberspace; the liminal, the marginal and the central; thresholds, edges and centers

…in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth!

Insiders, outsiders, strangers and friends

Who is this Lord of the Church, this Jesus?

3. Jesus, Us, Culture, Counterculture

God beyond time and space became incarnate for us in Jesus of Nazareth, lived among us and shared our human experience.

We’re coming to the edge, running on the water, coming through the fog, your sons and daughters. Let the river run, let all the dreamers wake the nation. Come, the New Jerusalem.

Who is this Lord of the Church, this Jesus?

4. A Eucharistic community: the Welcome Table

An inclusive meal as well as a feast of justice and righteousness accomplished on earth for all creation.

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Then I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem…

Who is this Lord of the Church, this Jesus?


© leah chang 2009

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Vision of Faith

Here's another handout I hadn't yet posted from another time we were in year B, so it had to be 3 or 6 years ago. This was based on a printed published series, but I don't know what or by whom. These are my notes for the class I facilitated.

Bringing the texts together

Jeremiah 31:31-34

Internalized Gospel: now God is so immanent God truly lives in the hearts of humans: as Christians we read this as a Jesus text, we read it as God "pitching a tent" and living and sojourning with God's people! But what could this "new covenant" have meant to God's covenant people before God's incarnation in Jesus? To the people with whom God already had covenanted several times? Implication of "heart" in the ANE?

Contrast the law written on human hearts with the law written on stone tablets? In both cases, what is the content of the law? ""I will be their God" - say more about this!

Hebrews 5:5-12

"...once made perfect..." Kai teleiotheis... like the "perfect" Jesus tells us to be - whole, complete, a finished creation, achieving the humanness in which God created us to live - being ourselves in the same way God cannot be other than God!

God calls, designates Jesus high priest/mediator! God calls us - how? Christians affirm the priesthood of all believers: each of us is baptized priest, prophet and sovereign. But how does each of us discern God's particular call to us at any particular moment? How is God's call to us part of God's covenant with us? God's call to be our whole, true, fulfilled selves in Christ?

John 12:20-33

Jesus dies on the scandal of a tree and the tree of death - the cross - paradoxically becomes the tree of life: Jesus promises to draw all to himself - the cross and empty tomb finish the redemption of all creation. Last week's John pericope was about Jesus lifted up, in a reference back to the healing snake lifted up in the Exodus wilderness.

We see the Glory of God as we "see Jesus," the Human One, lifted up on the cross. We see the fullness of the glory of the Presence of God in the weakness, vulneravility and defenselessness of the human Jesus dying on a cross of shame. Paul determined to preach only Christ crucified, to preach only the crucified Human One lifted up in glory on the cross. Why?

"...now the prince of this world will be driven out," marking the end of the control and worship and the tyrannical supremacy of the cosmic Powers and Principlaities Deutero-Paul writes about in Colossians and Ephesians.

By destroying the evidence of our sins, God also has "disarmed the principalities and powers" and driven out "the prince of this world," since sin no longer can accuse those who have been forgiven. Since in Christ God "remembers our sin no more," just as God promised through Jeremiah, we can be whole persons, because Christ has provided total redemption and forgiveness. In Christ each of us has been "made perfect!"

Psalm 51:1-13; Psalm 119:9-16

Thursday, January 08, 2009

These Are The Words!!!!!

"Doing The Word" - a.k.a. The Mount Sinai Event

Study Scripture: Exodus 19:1 - 25:9
  • "Eagles' Wings": Exodus 19:1-6
  • The Lord in the cloud
  • The Commandments and the Ordinances: Exodus 20-23
  • Book of the Covenant; Blood of the Covenant: Exodus 24:3 - 25:9
  • God among us! Sanctuary, Tabernacle and Jesus!
  • Doing The Word, "Performing the Scriptures": The Word made Flesh
Walter Brueggemann on Torah:
biblical perspectives cover"Torah" means the entire written and cherished normative memory of the community, all the lore and narrative and poetry and song and old liturgy that had formed and shaped and authorized the imagination of the community. In rabbinic sources, moreover, it is later urged that there is also an "oral" torah alongside what is written. The reference to "law" smacks of a Christian stereotype of Judaism which grossly misrepresents it. The mistaken stereotype entails two severe costs. On the one hand, it does a disservice to Jews and Jewish practice. On the other hand, it cuts Christians off from the vitality and dynamic of the torah enterprise which could make a positive difference to us Christians.1
1 Walter Brueggemann, Biblical Perspectives on Evangelism: Living in a Three-Storied Universe. Nashville, Abington Press, 1993, page 74.