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Last week we talked about boxes, and how we want to put Jesus in a box, but how he is always breaking boundaries. In today’s scripture, Jesus has put himself in a box. It takes a voice from an outsider to challenge his viewpoint. Jesus is very human in this story and not very nice or kind. Dogs were wild animals and were considered unclean. To call a Gentile a dog was a derogatory statement. This is a tough passage to study. (Matthew 15:21-28)
I love this scripture. It’s a rich passage. A great gift from God. A box ready to be unpacked. It has meant a lot in my life at times when I have taken faith risks. I like impetuous Peter who gets out of the boat and sinks so fast. So I thought that this sermon would be an easy one to write as I peered into the box. But as I wrote this sermon, this scripture, didn’t want to stay in a box. It kept popping open, kind of like a child’s toy … jack-in-the-box. We like to put Jesus in a nice tidy box. This is who Jesus is. This is what you should believe. But Jesus didn’t follow the rules! He didn’t stay in the box. (Matthew 14:22-33)
I have to admit that my logical mind tends to agree with disciples! My mind is bounded by a lunch box. It is quite simple. This is all I have and it is not going to feed all of you! Jesus, however, is not boxed in. (Matthew 14:13-21)
A sermon given by guest speaker Lynda Jamieson. Sorry, we do not have a transcript or recording for this sermon. (Philippians 4:4-9)
A sermon given by guest speaker Lynda Jamieson. Sorry, we do not have a transcript or recording for this sermon. (John 15: 1-5, 12-13, Galatians 5:22-26)
One of the legacies from St. Patrick whether he actually wrote it or not is the prayer known as St. Patrick’s Breastplate. It is an ancient form of prayer for protection on a journey and is also a personal statement of belief. The prayer reminds us that God in Christ is ever close to us. God is Present with us. (Psalm 139:1-6,13-18)
Pelagius and Augustine, two 5th Century men, had quite an impact on Celtic Spirituality: one defined what it is, and the other what it is not. In 664 a synod was convened at a monastery in Whitby where the clashing theologies were debated. King Oswig decided in favor of the Roman mission, and gradually the Celtic stream of spirituality became less influential. Celtic Spirituality never died out totally in Britain and their blessing prayers were passed down orally from generation to generation. Many of them were collected together in the late 1800’s. (Psalm 103:1-5, 20-22 & 31:1-8)
“Bless to Me” is a strange phrase to our ears. When we pray this phrase we are asking God to make this moment right now holy and sacred so that we will be able to see and feel God’s presence in the moment. We are delighting in the “small things,” in the everyday objects and routine happenings, and moving through the day deliberately noticing everything around us. (Psalm 148:7-12 & 42:1-4)
That was a powerful scripture reading with those healing stories following on immediately one after another. The stories remind me of God’s power to heal us whether physically or spiritually, and individually and communally. The word that struck me most of all in these healing stories was the word “touch”. (Matthew 9:18-36)
Celtic Spirituality is grounded in a way of living that observes and celebrates the ordinary acts and encounters of life. Living the blessing way means living by giving continual praise and thanks for the holy moments in our lives. Today, we are thinking about the rhythms in our lives: our daily rhythms and the rhythms of the season. (Psalm 113:1-4 & 104:19-23)