Wednesday, December 12, 2007

First Homily

So, I wrote my first homily for my EFM group's Christmas Eucharist Celebration. We each picked what part we would have in the service and what foods for the shared meal afterwards. Our theme we were given, or maybe we chose, I can't remember now, is gifts. I don't know what any of the readings will be to include the gospel reading, and the only other requirement be that it was between 2-3 minutes in length.

Sermon in a sentence, not quite, more like snippet of scripture to work from, and it's pretty obvious what that snippet is. So, here it is:

…For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable…how true is this - for us in our lives, as we go out everyday into the world? How easy it is to get lost and overwhelmed by hopelessness and sadness…especially during the season of giving. Holding in tension the joy of giving to our loved ones and knowing there are so many who go without everyday.

News stories about Iraq, Afghanistan, CIA torture techniques, Darfur, killing sprees in Colorado, severe weather causing deaths in the mid-west, Guantanamo Bay, habeas corpus, who will be the next president, deficits, talk of recession, out sourcing, consumer confidence, Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring ting tingling too…

…For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable…cannot be undone, revoked, unalterable…how amazing is that? That God gives and does not take away. He is always there waiting for the ‘Here am I’, that entrance into our hearts. That entrance into the realm of it is possible to change the world. It is possible to live this life as though it is the kingdom of God right now, right in this moment, that every moment is a moment to bring God’s love for us to another…one word, one touch, one acknowledgement, one courageous act of love…

Imagine a world without borders, without fences…Imagine a world where ethnicity, sexuality, gender - didn’t matter…Imagine a world that saw instead Christ in each hello, good-bye, come again, how can I help you, thank you, peace be with you…Imagine a world where people had the courage to say no to violence even in the face of their own imprisonment or death…

…For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable…how often do we think, I’m just too tired, I’ve done enough, and felt guilty for not doing more? How often do we turn away only to hear and feel God gently nudging us, encouraging us, surprising us…

I look at the people in this room and feel humbled by all of you. Each of you in and of yourselves gifts; teachers, healers…treasured for your sharing, compassion, and companionship along my own journey. I look at each of you and find courage – strength – and most specially, laughter. You help me remember each week that it is possible to accomplish anything with God’s help.

…For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable…can it really be that each of us is gifted…as the days on which the Jews gained relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and presents to the poor. What are our gifts? And when we embrace them, what will we do with them?

8 comments:

Lee said...

That was beautiful and heartfelt, JS! It made me yearn...for the closeness of God...and for the sake of others. You're good at this!

Peace! Hope! & Joy!

jsd said...

Thank you, Lee. When I first wrote it I wasn't sure what would come through. So I sat on it for a day then added a little bit more, and decided to let me inner-demon go, and that it was good.

I'm really glad you heard something in it.

murat11 said...

Your homily has a nice zen-like spontaneity, almost a poetry slam throwdown feeling (that's a good thing!), bolstered by the 2-3 minute time limit. It's kind of cool to think of limiting the time to "homil-ize," pushing the message through, without the "luxury" of droning on for twenty minutes. Good stuff, jsd.

jsd said...

Why thank you murat :-) The wife also said that it had that poetic feel to it...and I think if things "turn out" that well I can maintain a sense of the poetic always.

San said...

Very sweet, JS.

jsd said...

Thank you san.

Camplin said...

Poetry, kind of, but I think it is more prose with a good flow. Prose can be as beautiful as poetry when truth is embedded in the prose.

jsd said...

Camplin: It's been so long since I've thought of anything I've written as prose, but you are correct. Thank you for your thoughts.