Saturday, November 23, 2013

Eucharistically Yours

Hello Friends.

There was a great plan to have some cool photos just for this message.  Butt... Well for the last 3 days we have had arctic winds.  And not just the kind of wind that muffs your furs.  These are the kind of winds that blow you right off your paws and you end up in a tree somewhere.  In fact the roof of my shed blew off and a window in the living room blew out.  So I thought I'd just pepper this message with some photo that you may not have seen before.

Do your peeps have story time with you?  Mine does.  You get too put aside stuff, snuggle together, and listen to an unfolding story about someone and somewhere else.  Story time invites all of us to enter into the worlds of others, to involve ourselves in their trials and triumphs, to encounter new cultures and challenges through others. Fairy tales give us stories that included dragons and giants, noble knights, heroic platypus' and not-so-noble connivers and conspirators.
But for those raised in the church, there was another time, another “story time” that described the ongoing relationship between God and God’s creation, between God and all God’s children. The church had a different kind of “story time.” This “story time” was called “testimony time.” It was the open-ended, ongoing “story” of God’s First Story (Old “Testament”) and Second Story (New “Testament”) as it unfolded within our story, the Third Testament of God’s Never-ending Story. “Testimony time” was the church’s “story time.”
Before worship hour became a carefully scripted "performance", before Sunday morning became an obligation instead of an opportunity, worship was the playground of the Spirit, a time for heartfelt expressions of God’s Spirit in the lives of the faithful.  The worship “hour” itself was not confined by the minutes on a clock face, but was an undefined time determined by the stirrings of the Spirit.
Here’s the most striking thing about “testimony” stories: they have no conclusion.  Unlike fairy tales or Hallmark-channel movies, there is no automatic happy ending. “Testimony stories” are never a done deal. The curtain never falls. They are always plays in progress.
One Christian couple who watched and waited as their twenty-something daughter became employed as a server at a “Hooters” bar and grill, where asked how their girl was doing.  They simply replied, “She is working on her testimony!
We are all “working on our testimony.” Every day of our lives, every moment of our lives, we are “working on our testimony.” How many times, now that you look back on your life, were “working on your testimony?”
None of us have straight lines in our life stories.  Instead we have complex plot-lines, with paths not taken, wrong turns made, and double-backs to new beginnings.  Our roundabout, ox-bow lives make up our “testimonies,” our personal story of God’s persistent presence and perseverance in our lives. We are all “scattered sheep” looking for the guiding and good shepherd to take us home
On Thursday we will celebrate what might be the only holiday that has resisted grand scale commercialization.  Christmas decorations have been up in some places since September, and twenty-eight percent of brands started their holiday campaigns on or before October 1st. Halloween is no more than a gigantic candy-gram, but is coming to rival Christmas as North America’s favorite holiday.  

Easter is another reason to enhance tooth decay — but it has the additional ambiance of selling new spring clothing.

Thanksgiving, however, does not lend itself to big commercial enterprises — expect perhaps for grocery stores.  Thanksgiving doesn’t have any accessories except friends, family, turkey feathers and tables.  No fashion designers hawk “Thanksgiving wear.”  There is nothing you are supposed to buy for Thanksgiving — except turkey, cranberries, and pumpkin lattes. Thanksgiving is still pretty much just about getting as many people who love each other together and saying “thank you” — for their presence in your life and for the presence of God in their lives.

Just like we sign our letters “Sincerely yours,” Thanksgiving is when we sign our lives “eucharistically yours.” “Eucharist” simply means “thank you” in Greek.  When we gather around the fatted bird at the table, we are saying to God, each one of us, “Eucharistically Yours.” We are signing our life story “Eucharistically yours.”
In Judaism, at the other end of this year’s seasonal cycle, there is the spring celebration of saving activity and a new redemptive relationship known as Passover, or Pesach.  It is the festival that celebrates God’s actions that liberated the Hebrew slaves from Egypt. An astonishing number of miracles marked the events that led to the Egyptian rulers letting the Hebrew slave population “leave the premises” without bloodshed.  A Passover Hymn that celebrates all these miracles, all these saving redeeming moments is “Dayenu” — a title that mean literally “it would have been enough for us.” The hymn extols the miraculous work of God, act upon act, stage upon stage, any one of which would have been “enough for us.”  You can check out the words and HERE.
Redemption is the act of being saved.  The scattered sheep being brought back into a safe and guarded flock.  But the “Dayenu” hymn at Passover recognizes that God did so much more.  Each one of us could write our own “Dayenu” litany this Thanksgiving . . . . In fact, we could go around the Thanksgiving table with each offering a eucharistic “thank you” to the God who brought us through another year, and end with the phrase “Dayenu” — it would have been enough for us.
Thanksgiving is the time we take a “time out.” A time we don’t buy stuff, or decorate, or hold concerts or do anything in particular, except be “eucharistically yours” with those we love. Thanksgiving is saying “eucharistically yours” for God’s continuing story in our lives — past and present and future. And Thanksgiving is our “Testimony Time,” our “Story Time,” for acknowledging the powerful and persistent presence of God’s enveloping love in our lives.

Eucharistically Yours,
Goose



 
 

36 comments:

  1. WOWSER that is some major wind to blow out your window. GEESH! Hope you're doing okay.
    Guess what we saw today... a six WEEK old Weim puppys. Mom had to ohhh and ahhh. The thing was SO darn cute.

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  2. Great message Goose. We all have 87 things to be Thankful for and we should be thankful in good and bad times, living with that thankfulness spirit. Yes, we all have a testimony time and we should ask: How is God working in our lives today??

    wags
    Jazzi and Addi

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  3. This was a wonderful message! It just shows that we don't need all that extra "stuff" to make wonderful memories with family and friends. It's too bad that the true message of Christmas is easily forgotten! Thank you again for this wonderful post!!! :)

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  4. What a wonderful phrase (working on your testimony)! My Mommy really likes that, as we are all a "work in progress".

    Have a blessed Sunday and stay warm! XOXO

    Pee Ess - your Mom sure has some great pics of you!

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  5. Hari Om
    what a wonderful post Goose-ji... incredible photos and fantastic message. One of my major gripes for the last 20 years is the commercialisation of spiritual Holy-days. Here's to the remembrance of gratitude. Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

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  6. Last week, we had a very dangerous wind (damaged our fence but severe damages happened on the Central part of our state). Golden LOVE story time. Lots of Golden Thanks for the wonderful message. Golden LOVE. Lots of Golden Woofs,Sugar

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  7. Blown into a tree??? Love your bunny ears :)

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  8. Yes we loved the idea of working on your testimony. Gosh those winds must have been cold. Stay warm Goose. Have a serene Sunday and get in some big easy today.
    Best wishes Molly

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  9. sorry to hear you are/were it the path of that storm we saw on TV and glad you are both safe and sound. yet another sermon that hits the nail smack dab on the head... you have a knack for that and i look forward to reading becuase it always touches me to the bottom of my heart.
    I started going to church in 1952 at 8 years old when my dad went to a revival because mother begged and begged.. he was a hell raiser, drinking and running around, we saw him change into a NEW person over night by taking Jesus into his heart. he pastored from 1955 3 churches and after he retired was intermin pastor at 7 different churches... the church I knew back then was the type church you describe here. testimony was a large part, we sang, he spoke from the Word and we did testimony. and yes, for a 3 year period my working on my testimony nearly got me killed. . what denomination is your church. not that it matters, but i might see if we have someone here like you...

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  10. I like what the couple said... She's working on her testimony. Mom said she will copy that answer. She hopes that's okay. Mom was listening to praise and worship songs earlier. She's sharing it with me too.

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  11. You and your Mom always have the most beautiful messages each Sunday. Today's is especially thought-provoking. Mom says one should read it several times because there are so many good messages in there. Thank you for that.

    Beautiful photos, Goose, but we had to laugh at your Christmas pigtails:)

    Woos - Phantom, Ciara, and Lightning

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  12. We truly have become an over commercialized culture, who don't take enough time to reflect on our lives and their blessings. We are works in progress: Lee and Phod

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  13. Thanks much Chaplin Goose, well Thanksgiving is huge around here, all the peeps,, kids and grandpeeps come and we enjoy the whole day, even brother Mickey and his two sisters come over for the day, a time to celebrate. Yep we still decorate for Christmas, but thats the fun part of it, the whole city of Piedmont has a lighting festive with over 75% joining in. Four us it's our "testimonial time" from Thanksgiving through Christmas, for Mom & Dad a time to reflect and for us its WOW foods, peeps and playing!

    The Mad Scots

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  14. I love the beauty and simplicity of Thanksgiving -- you said it so well. Xx. Thank you so much for sharing your love and testimony with so many. We are grateful!!

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  15. that was a great post, brother. For me all holidays are great because then we all are together and that's the best gift ever. It's not chewed within minutes or damaged in zilch it's a thingy what we have forever in our heart and in our memories.

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  16. A very special post, Goose. And those ear adornments are adorable!!

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  17. Thanks for this post today, Goose! You said something that's been floating around in my head for weeks, but I couldn't quite grasp, and of course you said it beautifully!

    That post where you wore the jingle bells is the first one of yours I ever read, and I still giggle about it!

    Bunny

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  18. oh my gosh that sounds way to windy and way to cold....we hope you got your window fixed...we know your mom keeps your house cold but yikes...having the wind blow in would be way too cold

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  19. What a powerful post Goose!!!! I love the answer of "working on her testimony"-I will need to ingrain that in my mind. O.k. so is that Bert of Belle? I think it is Bert but just not sure.
    We got snow this last week and it is staying really cold here. I am so thankful that we have a roof over our heads and can stay warm. I am thankful for you and your mom; for His Spirit united so many, regardless of proximity. You teach me a lot dear friend.
    Have a warm afternoon and Blessed Thanksgiving.
    Hugs & Wags,
    Noreen & Hunter

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  20. Those are beautiful photos. It looks like some buddy is in the holiday spirit
    Lily

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  21. Gee Goose, is your mom napping right now? Mom said something to her but your mom was so tired she walked past and had zombie eyes! We are glad the wind stopped. We thought it never would!

    Have a wonderful Sunday!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  22. Thank you for the Good Lesson today.
    I hope everyone is ok and no one got hurt from the broken glass.
    It's getting really cold here too.
    My dad let me sleep in the big bed last night.


    xo Cinnamon

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  23. Wow Goose. Pawsome post. Mom really needed to hear what you had to say today, so thank you for reaching out and speaking to her through this post. Hope you're staying warm and dry!

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  24. Goose (and Mommy) wes missed yous so furry much!!!
    Kisses
    Nellie

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  25. Thank you for this beautiful post Goose. We did not get the wind here but it sure has been cold. Stay safe and warm
    hugs Bailey, Hazel &Greta

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  26. Just beautiful Goose!

    That pic of you in pigtails made me spew my coffee!

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  27. Thanksgiving in my favorite and I wish you and yours a very happy and peaceful one!


    Loveys Sasha

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  28. We have had terrible winds here too!! Thank you and your MOM so much for sharing these special messages with us. We have story time with mama each and every day and we just love it!! We are looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with just us!! xo Chloe and LadyBug

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  29. Pigtail Goose BOL, you look super cute. I need my Humom to do story time with me :) xxoxxxxx

    Mollie and Alfie

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  30. Wonderful Thanksgiving message. Loved seeing those pictures again. I hope you are able to get everything repaired.

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  31. Holy wind! Are you all okay? What can we do?

    We saw so much beautiful in those photos. Some of them for a second round.

    I've consulted with Lil and Bud and they agree that this one is for the book. ;D

    Eucharistically yours, Lydia

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  32. Hi Y'all!

    That was beautiful Goose. The photos were gorgeous too.

    Hope y'all are safe and have been able to get your window fixed so y'all can stay warm!

    We are in the mountains for the Thanksgiving Holiday with family. We've had some rain and big winds here too. Looks like the next few days will be "iffy". Latest weather calls for an ice storm for us. Ugh!

    If y'all don't get to visit for a few days, be sure to go back and check out my "Mischief Monday" post...I've been thinkin' of y'all! as you'll find out!

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

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  33. Wows, I hopes you guys are okay with that nasty wind!!!
    Oh, I LOVED this message!!! And I love 'working on my testimony'..FABulous! We all are, aren't we? Ma sure is!! BOL
    Loves the pics too Goose...even though they're old, you still are so very handsome!!
    Kisses,
    Ruby ♥

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  34. Oh, Goose! This was so beautiful - and so right on!
    Cammie!

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