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David Ewart
Vancouver, BC CANADA
Husband, father of two grown sons, United Church of Canada minister
Interests: brain-mind research, physics, cosmology, process theology, evolution, leadership
Recent Activity
Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Please click on the heading of any post or "Continue reading" to see the full post. By entering your email and clicking "Subscribe," you can receive a reminder at the start of each new Season. You will only receive new posts, nothing else - no spam, nada, zip. Year B - Seasons of Advent & Christmas - 2014 Advent 1 November 30, 2014 Mark 13:24-37. "The lesson for Advent is still: Stay awake. Be alert. Live in expectation. Live now as you will when the Son of Man does return." Sermon: "A Cry of Absence." Advent 2 December 7, 2014 Mark 1:1-8. "Unlike us, John the Baptizer is a wild and woolly character. But like us, he lives to point people to one who is greater than himself. John is the first Christian in the sense that he is the first who gives witness to Jesus." Sermon: "A Cry of Peace." Advent 3 December 14, 2014 John 1:6-8, 19-28. "This Advent season is a time for us to wake up and see the light. It is time for us to do what is our work: to prepare the soil of our souls, so that the seed of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2014 at Holy Textures
Dear Friends, Thank you for many the many warm appreciations. One person asked if Holy Textures will still be available on the web? The answer is: Yes. Please continue to visit www.holytextures.com and use the various links you will find there to find my commentary on the passage you are looking for. All the best, David Ewart. Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2014 at Holy Textures
Dear Holy Textures Email Subscribers, As you may have noticed, this summer I suspended providing weekly email from Holy Texures. Initially, I did this as a temporary "vacation." But while on vacation, wrestled with a sense that I should no longer provide this sort of update. Producing Holy Textures has been a great blessings for me. But as I was invited to pray on the text Exodus 3:1-6 at a retreat this weekend, the phrase that leapt out at me was "I must turn aside," Exodus 3:3 (NRSV). There are times in our lives when we must turn aside from the business that has brought us to this place in order to see what new wonder it is that God has prepared for us. And. I note. It is only when God sees that we have turned aside that God then speaks. (Exodus 3:4) I am so thankful for those known and unknown to me who have found - and continue to find - Holy Textures to be a valuable spark. And I trust that God will continue to provide many such sparks to our ministries. But as for me, I must turn aside. Sincerely, David Ewart. Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2014 at Holy Textures
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It is very problematic that the Lectionary separates Verses 13-20 from Verses 21-23, the first of three occasions of Jesus showing his disciples that he must go up to Jerusalem, suffer, be killed, and on the third day be raised. If we want the transformational bonding with Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the living God, we also can't avoid bonding with Jesus the Crucified One. Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2014 at Holy Textures
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But this incident is a beautiful illustration of the teaching Jesus has just made. Outwardly, this woman has nothing about her that is "clean." But she has two things in her heart that make her right with God: her unwavering, nagging, persistent care for her daughter; and, her unwavering, nagging, persistent trust that Jesus can cure her daughter. And these two things cause Jesus to undergo a change of heart himself. Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2014 at Holy Textures
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Walking on the sea is not an idle, capricious, magic trick. After spending time alone in prayer, Jesus has stepped out onto the back of a chaotic and dangerous spirit to go and be with his friends. Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2014 at Holy Textures
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This lesson invites us to remember our own wildernesses, our own places of chaos, when our own insufficiencies may have been blessed, broken, and given away. And yet it was precisely in risking that impossible insufficiency that there was enough. Indeed, more than enough. Year A Pentecost 8 August 3, 2014 Sunday Between July 31 and August 6 Inclusive Proper 13, Ordinary Time 18 Click here to read the complete Holy Textures background commentary on Matthew 14:13-21. Click here, Matthew 14:13-21, for an easy to print or email Adobe PDF version. Sermon by the Rev. Dr. George Hermanson, "." The real miracle today would be for the feeble scraps of our sermons on the text to truly feed and satisfy the hungry who have gathered. As I have said before, the key thing with any "miracle" story is to NOT get distracted by the special effects. The text does not explain how these things happen; nor should the sermon. But the text does explain why these things happen and invites us to be open to mystery and wonder, the strange and the impossible possible. I would suggest taking a day or two just to feel one's way into the full meaning of Verse 13: When Jesus heard the news about John ... "The news about John" is that he has been beheaded; killed as the result of jealousy and a foolish promise. And who is John to Jesus? Scholars suggest... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2014 at Holy Textures
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Even those who are accustomed to finding and trading fine things might still encounter a life-changing experience. Even those involved in the church all their lives might still be transformed in ways beyond their imagining. Year A Pentecost 7 July 27, 2014 Sunday Between July 24 and July 30 Inclusive Proper 12, Ordinary Time 17 Click here to read the complete Holy Textures background commentary on Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52. Click here, Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52, for an easy to print or email Adobe PDF version. Sermon by the Rev. Dr. George Hermanson, "Mustard Seed." The text gives us 5 ways to imagine the Kingdom of Heaven (more specifically: God's will being done on earth as it is in Heaven): like a mustard seed; like yeast (leaven) in flour; like treasure hidden in a field; like a priceless pearl; like a net that catches all kinds of fish. That is probably 4 images too many for one sermon. A key to interpreting Jesus' teachings about the Kingdom of Heaven is that there is almost always a reversal from our current social practices and customs: The last shall be first, and the first shall be last. Anyone who seeks to save their life must lose it. are two good examples. So how is a mustard seed like the Kingdom of Heaven? Well for one thing it is small instead of mighty; and it is mostly considered a weed instead of a desirable crop.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2014 at Holy Textures
Hi Everyone, I will be away on vacation for the next 4 weeks, so will not be posting an update each week. Instead, below are links that you can use for each of the next month. Blessings to you all and your ministries. David Ewart, www.holytextures.com . . . Pentecost 2 June 22, 2014 Matthew 10:24-39 "We all know how to lose our life so that it is lost. The trick is to figure out how to lose one's life so that it will be found. And the key to that mystery is to lose our life for Jesus' sake. For Jesus' purpose, aim, or end." Sermon: "To be added." Pentecost 3 June 29, 2014 Matthew 10:40-42 "Welcoming "in the name of" means welcoming in the honour of; in the reputation of. It means welcoming in a way that is true to the integrity and character and goals of the one being welcomed. In a way that is truly worthy of the one being welcomed." Sermon: "Welcome." Pentecost 4 July 6, 2014 Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 "A good way to open today's worship service might be to ask: Are there any here today who have never been weary? Never had to carry a heavy heart burden? Okay, you're free to go." Sermon: "Wisdom." Pentecost 5 July 13, 2014 Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 "You and I might not waste our efforts on the down trodden, the thorny, and the hardened, but God does."... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2014 at Holy Textures
They worshiped him, but some doubted. Matthew 28:17 To celebrate our 89th Anniversary in the midst of the current process of reforming our collective identity, let's change our founding text from John 17:21 to Matthew 28:17. Seriously. This verse from Matthew is not some incidental, by-the-way, side comment about riff-raff. This verse describes the initial response of the core disciples when they first encounter Jesus now resurrected. Ought we not lift this up as a paradigm of how communities of faith today might respond to the Good News of resurrection? Worship AND Doubt Worship with joy, awe, gratitude, and compassion. Worship with unhesitant, nothing held back, loyalty. Worship with our whole self: body, soul and mind. Worship grounded in clarity, perspective, intent and purpose. Worship oriented by a trustworthy moral compass. Worship grounded in right relationships. AND doubt with curiosity and openness. Doubt with confidence that expects and enjoys uncertainty and ambiguity. Doubt that wonders. Doubt that challenges unexamined opinion and self-righteousness. Doubt that drags us toward truth and confession. Doubt that knows we do not yet fully embody all that God dreams for us to become. Doubt that has the courage to leave the beloved familiar for the desired undetermined future. Let's Be Like Them Seriously. Isn't it time to ground ourselves in a new text? So why not ground ourselves in the first responses of the first disciples? Let's be like them. I know I'd like to belong... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2014 at David Ewart
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These 5 short verses touch on several crucial themes: 1) The authority of Jesus. 2) The purposes of the church: go, make disciples, baptize, teach, obey, remember. 3) The presence of Jesus-now-resurrected. A congregation that is centred on these will not go far wrong. And might even get a fair bit right. Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2014 at Holy Textures
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In John, "thirst" has the double meaning of literal thirst for real water and physical life; and "spiritual" thirst for a real relationship with God and eternal life. Thus, those who come to Jesus and trust him will have floods of life flowing out of them. Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2014 at Holy Textures
Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and faith-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Please click on the heading of any post or "Continue reading" to see the full post. Year A - Season after Pentecost - 2014 Note that in Pentecost, the Sundays are numbered as "after" Pentecost Sunday. So the first Sunday after Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, is Pentecost 1. This year, Easter was almost as late as it can possibly be. And so Pentecost and Trinity Sundays come just as we in the Northern Hemisphere enter the summer season. And having left off reading through Matthew 3 months ago, we pick up at the end of Chapter 10. What has happened since we last were listening to Jesus at the Sermon on the Mount back in Chapter 7? Quite a bit actually. Jesus has been demonstrating that he can walk the talk, and he has been teaching about the costs of following in his footsteps: Jesus cleanses a leper (8:1-4) Jesus heals a Centurian's servant (8:5-13) Jesus heals many at Peter's house (8:14-17) Jesus teaches the Son of Man has no where to lay his head (8:18-22) Jesus stills a storm (8:23-27) Jesus heals two Gadarene men possessed by demons (8:28--9:1) Jesus heals a paralytic (9:2-8) Jesus calls Matthew,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2014 at Holy Textures
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To be a spirit-filled community of peace requires that we learn and practice and experience the reality and art of repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2014 at Holy Textures
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We might all hear the same words - each in our own language - but we will not all hear and understand exactly the same meaning. The problem with life, and faith, and following Jesus is always: What does this mean? Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2014 at Holy Textures
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The blessing Jesus prays for is: That we may be one as Jesus and God are one. That is, the quality of companionship between Jesus and God is the measure of our companionship with each other. Shortening the quotation to: That all may be one; misquotes the verse as it omits the defining quality of the oneness to which we are called. Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2014 at Holy Textures
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The underlying Greek word which is translated into English as "truth" is alethea. In Greek, an initial letter "a" is like our English "un."Lethe is the river in Greek mythology that the dead drank from in Hades in order to forget their past. And so "a-lethea" - truth - has the sense of: waking up; remembering; overcoming oblivion and stupor; being alive and vital; not being deceived by false ideas or desires or scams; SEEING what is as it actually is. Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2014 at Holy Textures
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If we substitute the "me" with who Jesus says "me" is - the "I am" that he begins with - we get: No one comes to the Father, except through the way, the truth, and the life. Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2014 at Holy Textures
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Many voices call our name. Can we be like the good sheep in this lesson and recognize and respond to the voice of Jesus calling our name? Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2014 at Holy Textures
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In this lesson - and in the Last Supper - breaking bread is an act of companionship and solidarity; of loyalty and friendship; of mutuality and sharing. Jesus-now-resurrected still appears to people in mystical visions. These are unique, individual experiences. But all of us can still recognize Jesus-now-resurrected in quite ordinary, everyday ways. Anyone here got some bread? Let's give thanks, break it, share it, and see what happens. Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2014 at Holy Textures
Dear Holy Textures Subscribers, My apologies for any delays and difficulties you may be having accessing Holy Textures. My service provider, TypePad, has been experiencing a "Denial of Service" attack for the past several days. They make progress defending against an attack, the site works; they come under new attacks, the site goes down. I don't understand all the details, but I have been assured the site has not been hacked. Your use of Holy Textures, your email address, etc. has not been compromised. No internet site is safe from such attacks, and as a TypePad user for almost 10 years now, I have found their service to be very reliable and dependable. And so, while the hope of the attackers may be to drive business away from TypePad, I intend to stay here. I hope you will also feel confidant in continuing to use Holy Textures. Sincerely, David Ewart Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2014 at Holy Textures
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John doesn't care what we see with our eyeballs. He wants us to SEE with our inner eye who Jesus really is. That is why he has written these signs for us. That in SEEing, we might believe; and in believing, we might have the life that is in Jesus. Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2014 at Holy Textures
Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Please click on the heading of any post or "Continue reading" to see the full post. By entering your email and clicking "Subscribe," you can receive all new posts by email. You will only receive new posts, nothing else - no spam, nada, zip. Year A - Season of Easter - 2014 This year, Easter is almost as late as it can possibly be. It has given me time to give a close reading of the Holy Week texts and background information. I come away even more amazed at the courage of Jesus to voluntarily face the torture and humiliation of Roman execution on a cross, in order to remain faith to God's calling - God's purpose - for him: To proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Whatever else Easter may mean, it surely is a sign that God has vindicated the words and deeds of Jesus. We can trust him and what he stood for. And give our own lives for his vision. As usual with the Season of Easter, we get to spend time with the Gospel of John. I like to think of John as like a good day at the spa:... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2014 at Holy Textures
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To deny the physicality of the resurrection is to deny that God vindicated the words and deeds of Jesus which are embodied in his flesh. Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2014 at Holy Textures
Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Please click on the heading of any post or "Continue reading" to see the full post. By entering your email and clicking "Subscribe," you can receive all new posts by email. You will only receive new posts, nothing else - no spam, nada, zip. Year A - Season of Easter - 2014 This year, Easter is almost as late as it can possibly be. It has given me time to give a close reading of the Holy Week texts and background information. I come away even more amazed at the courage of Jesus to voluntarily face the torture and humiliation of Roman execution on a cross, in order to remain faith to God's calling - God's purpose - for him: To proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. As usual with the Season of Easter, we get to spend time with the Gospel of John. I like to think of John as like a good day at the spa: Soaking in the swirling eddies and quiet back pools of his repetitive, non-sequitor, images and stories. John wants us to really GET the life that is Jesus. What could be more refreshing than that? Easter Vigil April... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2014 at Holy Textures