Sermons by : Rev. Dr. Jane Florence

19
Apr

Holy Ground

“The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the sky proclaims God’s handiwork. Day and night declares praise to God through all the earth”

From the psalmist, we hear: The earth is an expression of the Creator. The Earth proclaims God’s grandeur. The psalms announce: the trees clap their hands, the flowers lift up their heads, the rain caresses and the world speaks without words to announce God’s presence, the day and the night point us to the Holy One. My friends, we stand on Holy Ground: Sacred Mother Earth, Divine Sister Sun, Enchanting Brother Moon.

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12
Apr

Grounding Blessedness

When I was in high school and old enough to drive myself, I went to the mall one day and bought a Bible. It’s not that we didn’t have Bibles in our house; there was the big one on the coffee table, and several others in each of our rooms as well. I had the one that my Mother gave to me for Christmas when I was six. It was not a “Children’s Bible.” It was red letter, leather-bound King James. Mother entered our names on the family tree in the front—in cursive. I carried this Bible to church every Sunday from first grade through high school. I also had the Bible that the church gave me when I was nine, which was a King James Version. Someone wrote in the front of it “Baptist Beliefs.” It’s not too worn. In the 1970s, there was a new Bible published: the Living Bible. It was not the King James with all the “thees” and “thous”. It was a paraphrase in modern language. My mother would have bought one for me had I asked, but I remember how pleased she was when I showed her my purchase (neon orange and yellow fish) and the multi-colored markers that I bought to color-code my favorite scriptures. Looking at the verses that I highlighted back then is interesting—and a little bit scary.

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05
Apr

A Gift and a Task

Some of you remember the television show “Mork and Mindy.” It launched an unknown Robin Williams to fame. As an extraterrestrial, Mork comes to earth from the planet Ork and learns that things are different here. Mork’s Orkan greeting of” “Na-nu Na-nu” or quenching his thirst by thrusting his finger into liquid, and thinking one’s head is used for sitting, shows just how naive we can be about other people’s ways. It doesn’t take planetary voyage to have a cultural awakening. Maybe even say, a move across the country requires some acculturation. When I moved from South Texas to Nebraska, I learned about a cultural icon; the Big Red “N” that marked everything. I learned what happens when I left an unopened Diet Coke in my car overnight in January when temperatures plunged to subzero, and I learned I have to ask for my tea to be sweet. I learned about hordes of bunnies, and black squirrels, and migrating cranes.

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15
Mar

Eyes of the Heart

He is not a saint in the Roman Catholic sense of the word. But his writings and his work have changed millions of lives. Saints are usually not canonized until several centuries after death, so I would think he could be a candidate in 200 years or so.

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08
Mar

Source of Strength with Teresa of Avila

In 16th century Spain, men were accustomed to thinking of their wives as “slaves valuable for breeding.” In fact, when a wife wrote a note or letter to her husband, the closing would often read, “ Your wife and slave.” A widely read spiritual author of the time, Fansicso de Osuna, recommended to men, “the moment you see your wife running back and forth on pilgrimages and devoting herself to sanctimoniousness, close the door of your house. If that should fail, then break her leg, that way she can limp from her house to paradise.”1 Homebound, barefoot and pregnant was a good Spanish wife: devout enough to want to go to mass and obedient enough to stay home.

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