Friday, December 28, 2007


Maybe Jesus had it right after all! In calling a group of sinful people, flawed people
to be him in the world, Jesus knew what he was doing:

Only broken people could reach out to broken people,
sick people to sick people,
blind to blind,
lame to lame,
mute to mute,
imprisoned to imprisoned,
hungry to hungry,
naked to naked,
marginalized to marginalized,
victim to victim,
victimizer to victimizer,
sinner to sinner.

Maybe Jesus knew that in our struggle
for peace, justice and restoration
the biggest enemy was in the mirror.

Maybe this called out people will see each other
and see themselves,
will see each other and see Christ . . .

Maybe this called out people will want to let others know
that they too are called out,
they too are good,
they too are loved,
they too are beloved,
they too are holy,
they too are God's own.

Maybe this is why thanksgiving is at the center of this gathering,
maybe the broken spillness is the mirror where the called out people see themselves
and are reminded of the plight,
of the need,
of the hunger . . .


Feast of the Holy Innocents 2007

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Eighth Day

outpoured song outpoured Spirit
outpoured water outpoured wine
outpoured blood outpoured breath
outpoured sweet sad humankind
in the pouring is the finding
outpoured song outpoured wine

broken prayer broken promise
broken lyrics broken life
broken bread broken body
broken God in all our sight
in the breaking is the sharing
broken bread broken life

raging storm ruined shame
doubtful humans dawning hope
kindling knowledge knowing kin
perfect one perfecting all
in the rising sin is routed
reversing fall sounding call

Holy Cross Day, September 14, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

On Prayer

I wonder what drives our conversations with God? Is it about getting to know God better, being part of the divine plan, deepening our relationships, letting go of our burdens? Or is it about God the "sugar daddy" who wants to give us stuff and responds to our every whim?

Prayer is foremost about God. We come seeking relationship, comfort, and strength. In prayer we acknowledge our dependence on God and our willingness for Christ to be Lord of our lives. The relationship built by prayer allows for each of us to be transformed into God's own image one conversation at a time.

In his book Worship and Spirituality, Don Saliers tells us that the Liturgy "waits for us." So indeed prayer, our conversations with God, waits for us constantly as we come seeking the divine. The channel is always open, the line secure. Prayer makes God available and yet the more we practice it, the more we work for it, the more we realize God's mystery.

I do not want "Lord baby Jesus" or "old man with a beard." What I want is to be heard and to align myself with the divine life. This means that prayer is really not ours for it belongs to the whole people of God. Our communal prayer on the Lord's day spills into our daily life as we pray without ceasing. Thanking, blessing, asking, are some of the ways that we pray as we work at life. Are we ready for this kind of encounter with Almighty God?

What's your take my brother?

Peace, Juan+

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Liturgical Language

The recent "Imus controversy" has sparked in me a desire for further conversation about the impact of language within the Christian tradition. As one who is formed by liturgy I believe that the language that the community uses is of utmost importance not just for the worship of God but for the formation of Christian disciples.

The challenge transcends what has been called "inclusive" language. Inclusive language has traditionally refers to gender neutral and race sensitive articulation in prayer, sermon and written word. The latest verbal snafu by a member of the media reminds us that the church has a duty to speak counter culturally. This reminds me of a question posed to Tom Long about the why's of inclusive language. The one asking the question thought of inclusive language as a politically correct ideal and not necessarily a matter of liturgical (my words) necessity. To this challenge Tom answered, and I will paraphrase, "inclusive language is important in the church because it models the ideal in a community of faith, it models who we strive to be."

Here I am advocating a Christian ethic of language and its use. Based upon the idea of a God who is Word and who continually uses word to reach out and bring forth a new creation. Three possible points of my argument are that word is creative, prophetic and redemptive. Any Christian language that does not bring forth these things should be reconsidered.

So, my brother, this is just the beginning. I am working on the essay as we speak. What do you think.

Peace, Juan+