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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Friday, January 06, 2006

An Epiphany

Having watched the History Channel's great program on the History of Christmas, the story of the Three Kings has been re-played several times in my mind.

Probably astrologers, the Three Kings saw the rising of a special star in a specific section of the heavens near a specific set of constellations as a foreboding of the rise of a King among the Hebrews. Startling. They were probably Zoroastrians, following the divine message revealed by Zarathushtra - a monotheist religion believing in one God.

They - all non-Hebrew - went looking for a King and went to Herod initially to get their directions straight. Although they were fairly well versed in the religions and folklore of their day and age in their own and other countries, they came to Herod to get a confirmation (through Hebrew texts) of where this King may be.

Getting the information, they traveled onward to find Mary, Joseph and Jesus. Depending on what texts you read and/or art you look at, Jesus may be depicted as a newborn or a two year old, robust, holding his own on his mother's knee.

What would the scene have been (without even thinking up questions of the town in question, whether there was a home or a stable or a cave.....) for the family. The learned men of the time - from the 'outside world' (non Hebrew) - acknowledged this child as a King.

....what could have gone through the minds of Mary and Joseph?? We can only wonder. It would be safe to imagine that this visit was logged into Mary's consciousness along with the other incredible things: her pregnancy, the angels, the shepherds, naming him before his birth.
And of Jesus.... at best, a child. Three amazing and exotic looking men with their entourage, baggage, gifts, saying peculiar things to him, mentioning things to his parents he could not understand.

This was an epiphany - a showing, an awakening, a revelation - for the world for all time. The truest essence of his being was revealed by strangers, outsiders, to his village, his relatives, even to us all these years later. Yet this is NOT the epiphany for Jesus.

He would not has his own epiphany just yet; that would take time and patience and maturity and grace. An epiphany of Jesus, but not yet the epiphany for Jesus. That was yet to come in a stream, in humility, following the inner and outer movement of the Spirit.

The annunciation, the birth, the wise men, the baptism, the wilderness, the call, the travel, the miracles, the denunciations, the ministry, the deception, the agony, the surrender, the death, the rising, the ascension, the descent of the spirit...... and it begins again....... amen.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Hip Hop Prayerbook

Just got a Church Publishing Inc. catalogue for Spring 2006 and this Hip Hop Prayerbook was featured.

While hip-hop in general might not be for all of us, it speaks very poignantly to some of us, most often those who have not always been incorporated into the church.

Regardless of the denomination, church leaders have a tendency to say they want to see involvement in the church by youth and young adults.... this may be just the resource that opens the door to a new generation!

Yo, check it out!

"He guides my life so that I can represent
and give shouts out in his Name."

"And even though I walk through the Hood of death,
I don't back down for you have my back."

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

It's 2006 already

It was 12:01 on Sunday morning. It turned 2006.

.... and it didn't feel different to me. I still felt the warmth of God around me as I finished praying for the visitors to the Farm, my sister, cousins, diehard friends, acquaintances and enemies. Besides that, nothing else had changed. My hair was still more salt than pepper, but not moreso; my paunch was still paunchy, but not moreso; Emmy-Lou was cute as ever (fast asleep with her muzzle resting on my upper thigh), but not moreso.

It seemed more of the same.

Yet it's a new year and I'm still here to tell the tale and you're still here to read it.... so that IS new news after all.


On a separate note, I am calling on y'all to send in: comments, questions (liturgical or otherwise), observations, sermons, projects, stories like "the most Christian person (exemplified Christ) I ever met", ideas about what you would like to see here. Have you seen an article, read a book, heard some music, found a website or seen a movie or TV show that was inspiring, informative, well worth recommending? Please send it on to me and I'll gladly share it will all our readers. Looking forward to your responses at

In the meantime, I'll be posting a piece on making a hospital visit later this week.

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