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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
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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. 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. Your information will not be shared or sold in any way to any one; ever. Year C - Season After Pentecost, September to November - 2022 How does our Christian story help us to respond to the various crisis - personal, political, economic, and climate - that our planet is facing these days? This is not the first time that followers of Jesus have felt they were entering cataclysmic social and political turmoil. My prayer is that Holy Textures will help you uncover and live trustworthy, clear-eyed, non-anxious, compassionate hope that is worthy of God's unwavering justice-seeking-love for this beautiful world. And for those of you who like to plan ahead - Christmas Day is a Sunday this year. David Ewart Permission is granted for non-profit use of these materials. Acknowledgement in oral presentations is not required. Otherwise, please acknowledge source as, "David Ewart, www.holytextures.com." When you give a banquet, invite the poor Pentecost 12 August 28, 2022 Luke 14:1, 7-14 "This is what Jesus is teaching / proclaiming... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2022 at Holy Textures
Background In 1978, in my final interview to determine if I would be recommended for ordination to the Ministry of Word, Sacrament, and Pastoral Care in the United Church of Canada, I was asked to share my understanding of the Trinity. There was a long pause after I replied, “It’s all a mystery to me.” Apparently the committee was expecting a more fulsome answer. But evidently my answer was sufficient for the occasion, and I was ordained “in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” And for the next 40 years, “mystery” was my default answer whenever I was asked to comment on this bedrock Christian teaching. But in my old age, and after helpful exposure to teachings and critiques from feminists, Indigenous wisdom holders, historians of Western ideas / culture / class, Process theologians and others engaged with contemporary Western science, I am ready to make a stab at offering that more fulsome response. And trusting that I will still be honouring “the name”. Before I Begin But before I begin, let me briefly lay out a few underlying assumptions I am making. Christians don’t believe in “God”. By this I mean that Christians don’t believe in a singularity. “God” is not a separate self / being / object that exists somewhere out there, or up there, or in here, or anywhere. “God” just does not “exist” in the usual way you and I experience the existence... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2022 at Holy Textures
I have abandoned my first take on this post. For one thing, there are at least as many ways to be an atheist as there are to be a Scottish Presbyterian. And my initiative for writing is not to argue with atheism - nor Presbyterianism - in all their many forms. My goad is to write about what still nags at the "faith" I seem to still have. I am also today weighed down by the news of the slaughter of 19 children and 2 teachers at Robb Elementary School, Uvalde, Texas. What, in the name of a trustworthy, good, God can one say? I wonder how I would re-present Jesus at any of these funerals. What could one say that wouldn't be offensive; not be off the mark. (Learning how not to be like Job's friends is a start.) Let's begin by remembering that Christians do not believe in God. Christians do not believe in a singularity; they believe in a Community; a foundational Threesome that underlies and infuses all realities. If there is a "god", that "god" is relationship; not a separate, single, self. And, if there is a "god" who is relationship, Christians assert that this relationship is epitomized by love. Love that holds nothing back. Love that is totally committed to the good of the other. Love that gives with no strings attached. Love that has no pre-conditions. Love that never forgets; never looses attention; never... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2022 at David Ewart
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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. 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. Your information will not be shared or sold in any way to any one; ever. Year C - Season After Pentecost, From Trinity Sunday to the End of August - 2022 Easter was late this year, so the first three readings are not used this year. These are shown as Pentecost NN. Note that in Pentecost, the Sundays are numbered as "after" Pentecost Sunday. So the first Sunday after Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, is Pentecost 1. And I know that Pentecost Sunday is the final Sunday of the Season of Easter, but I've included it here just to get us started. The Season After Pentecost is long. It occurs over many local seasons, anniversaries, and events that our communities celebrate. It will also occur over many unplanned, unexpected, unpredictable surprises - some of them welcome, some of them disruptive and unsettling. We are fortunate then to find ourselves about to be immersed in stories about ancestors who lived through these same experiences. My prayer is that Holy Textures will help... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2022 at Holy Textures
2023 marks the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the school that would eventually become Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute. A reunion is planned for April 21-23, 2023. Check the Alum Facebook page for news. (I'll repost things here as I... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2022 at DMCI Class of 63
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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. 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. Your information will not be shared or sold in any way to any one; ever. Year C - Season of Easter - 2022 I frequently forget that the Bible is NOT focused on my personal beliefs or feelings. Jesus was NOT sent here to be a life coach (as important as finding guidance for our lives is). The message of Easter is NOT life overcomes death; love overcomes hate; joy overcomes fear. The Bible is focused on relationships. On right relationships. And healthy communities. The message of Easter is that we can trust the Good News which Jesus proclaimed: Repent. The Kin_dom of God is at hand. The tyrants of this world keep trying to kill the hope that another way is possible. I wonder how our communities will respond to the Good News that the hope revealed in Jesus' can be trusted. Can be trusted enough that we can already start living now for the new way of "heaven on earth." And resisting the ways of the tyrants.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2022 at Holy Textures
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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. 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. Your information will not be shared or sold in any way to any one; ever. Year C - Season of Lent and Holy Week - 2022 The 40 days of Lent do NOT include the Sundays. So the Sundays are referred to as being "in" Lent. For example, "Lent 2," means, "The second Sunday in Lent." This means the Sundays are always a mini-celebration of the resurrection - even in Lent. So, while we are preparing ourselves for the walk to Jerusalem and all that will happen during Holy Week, there is no need to pretend that we don't know about, and are not already celebrating, Jesus' resurrection. I've had the 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 faithful to God's calling - God's purpose - for him: To proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2022 at Holy Textures
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This, of course, will not be the last time words and wits will fail Jesus' opponents and they will resort to violence. They took Jesus to a cliff to through him off Year C Epiphany 4 Sunday between January 28 and February 3 inclusive May be replaced by Transfiguration Sunday if the assigned date is the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday. Click here for the revised and updated Holy Textures Luke 4:21-30. Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2022 at Holy Textures
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A passage like this always reminds me of Jonah. When the Spirit of the Lord shows up - run away! Because a God-sized blessing always comes with a God-sized mission. Bring Good News to the poor Year C Epiphany 3 Sunday between January 21 and January 27 inclusive Click here for the revised and updated Holy Textures Luke 4:14-21. Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2022 at Holy Textures
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But since this is a sign and not a miracle, the point is not, "Wow! HOW did that happen?" The point is, "Wow! WHO did that?" When the host ran out of wine ... Year C Epiphany 2 Sunday between January 14 and January 20 inclusive Click here for the revised and updated Holy Textures John 2:1-11. Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2022 at Holy Textures
Dear Friends and Holy Textures Subscribers, Sadly, Jenee Woodard, the curator of The Text This Week, has been unable to update her web site for several months now. And I have discovered that several Text This Week links for Holy Textures are broken and result in a "Page Not Found" error. Starting today, I will be creating new Holy Textures posts to intercept these references and provide a re-direct to the correct post. Unfortunately, this means that FeedBlitz, will send you an email for each new post. They are not spam. And Holy Textures has not been taken over by pirates. I apologize for these unneeded emails. I trust that you continue to find strength and renewal through these days of Epiphany, All the best, David Ewart Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2022 at Holy Textures
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Jesus' baptism is not about repentance. It is about his identity being publicly, ritually re-rooted into God. And this re-rooting of OUR identities continues to be the primary work of the church today. The Holy Spirit descended upon him in the form of a dove Year C Epiphany 1 Baptism of the Lord Sunday between January 7 and January 13 inclusive Click here for the revised and updated Holy Textures Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2022 at Holy Textures
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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. 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. Your information will not be shared or sold in any way to any one; ever. Year C - Season of Epiphany - 2022 This year Epiphany falls on Thursday, so the only option to use this story is to shift it to January 2. This will provide an occasion for education about the lectionary and "12 Days of Christmas" as you explain why its January and we are still reading about the three magi. But on the other hand, perhaps a story about noticing the signs that the sky are revealing, and being moved to do what is required may be helpful for these times. Easter is later this year, which gives a stretch of "ordinary" Sundays to catch one's breath before launching into Lent. This means there are 8 Sundays following Epiphany before Ash Wednesday, March 2. This will give us time to sample Luke 3, 4, and 5 - with one detour into John (for reasons that escape my imagination). Unfortunately it also means we miss the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2021 at Holy Textures
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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. 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. Your information will not be shared or sold in any way to any one; ever. Year C - Seasons of Advent and Christmas - 2021 This year, Christmas Eve is on Friday, so it'll be a busy few days for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Christmas 1. Be prepared! (Don't you love it when the Gospel proclamation has a direct application to those who proclaim the Gospel?) I wonder how this Christmas will find our experience of community; our celebration of the embodiment of the spiritual? How is our faith helping us to be collectively safe? Blessings to all those who prepare and host gatherings where worship encounters anew the presence of the Holy One / Holy Three. David Ewart Permission is granted for non-profit use of these materials. Acknowledgement in oral presentations is not required. Otherwise, please acknowledge source as, "David Ewart, www.holytextures.com." Alternate Advent Click Christmas Story in Advent for 4 Advent lessons and Candle Lighting suggestions that tell the stories of Mary and Joseph, Mary and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2021 at Holy Textures
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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. Year B - Season after Pentecost - 2021, Part 2 September to Reign of Christ or Christ the King One of the things I like about Year B with its focus on Mark is that we get a fuller reading of the Gospel text. A richer, more detailed hearing of Mark's narrative, of Mark's testimony, of Mark's proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. The final weeks of Pentecost move us to reflecting on end times, taking up our own crosses, and asking "What will do after this?" This are questions our world needs good responses to. May these texts guide us to find the way of life and truth. The questions I ask myself in each of the commentaries below are always: "Why was this Good News at the time of Jesus? Why is this Good News for us, here and now?" I pray you will be able to use these offerings to respond to those questions in your own context. Note that in Pentecost, the Sundays are numbered as "after" Pentecost Sunday. So the first Sunday after Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, is Pentecost 1. And because the dates of Easter and Pentecost change each year,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2021 at Holy Textures
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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. Year B - Season after Pentecost - 2021, Part 1 Trinity Sunday to first Sunday of September One of the things I like about Year B with its focus on Mark is that we get a fuller reading of the Gospel text. A richer, more detailed hearing of Mark's narrative, of Mark's testimony, of Mark's proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. The questions I ask myself in each of the commentaries below are always: "Why was this Good News at the time of Jesus?" and "Why is this Good News for us, here and now?" I pray you will be able to use these offerings to respond to those questions in your own context. This summer is also your opportunity to preach Chapter 6 of John in August, so make sure to plan your vacation for then! Just kidding! Sort of. Diving more deeply into John has transformed my faith, and my connection to the visceral Good News that Jesus proclaims. Chapter 6 is a good way to get into the flesh, blood, and bread of the reality of Jesus. Note that in Pentecost, the Sundays are numbered as "after" Pentecost Sunday. So the first... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2021 at Holy Textures
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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. Year B - Season of Easter - 2021 This has been a year of pandemic, climate, economic, and political disruptions. Among other things, it has revealed deep-seated inequalities that have made plain for all to see that the old "normal" is deeply unfair and unsustainable for too many human and non-human lives. Easter provides a whole season to reflect on the Good News that the oppressive political system that executed Jesus is not the only game in town. The proclamation, "He is risen!" is not just the celebration that the individual person of Jesus is risen. We are celebrating that everything Jesus stood for is risen. Is undefeated. Is the true and trustworthy. His struggle is now our struggle. His story is now our story. How do we want to write our chapter of the life of Jesus? 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-sequitur, images and stories. John wants us to really GET the life that is Jesus. What... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2021 at Holy Textures
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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. Year B - Season of Lent and Holy Week - 2021 The 40 days of Lent actually do NOT include the Sundays. So the Sundays are referred to as being "in" Lent. For example, "Lent 2," means, "The second Sunday in Lent." This means the Sundays are always a mini-celebration of the resurrection - even in Lent. So, while we are preparing ourselves for the walk to Jerusalem and all that will happen during Holy Week, there is no need to pretend that we don't know about, and are not already celebrating, Jesus' resurrection. I've had the 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 faithful to God's calling - God's purpose - for him: To proclaim the Kin_dom of Heaven is at hand. As usual with the Season of Lent, 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... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2021 at Holy Textures
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Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Gospel 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. Year B - Season of Epiphany - 2021 Epiphany is a Season dedicated to enlightenment, to insight, to overcoming engrained habits / ways of thinking and understanding that prevent us from experiencing the fulness of Christ's call for how live in this complex and wonderfully diverse world. It begins with a story of foreigners reading signs in the skies that all could see, but only they acted on. I wonder what are the signs today that all can see, and who will be the ones who act? This year, there are 6 Sundays following Epiphany, January 6, and before Ash Wednesday, February 17. This will give us time to read through Chapter 1 of Mark - with one detour into John (for reasons that escape my imagination). I like a long Season of Epiphany because it gives a chance to catch one's breath after Advent-Christmas before plunging into planning and preparations for Lent. I've also included links to the final few readings for Epiphany even though they aren't scheduled for this year. These are good texts that are too often not read at all because of their placement at the end of Epiphany. So every once and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2020 at Holy Textures
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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. Advent and Christmas provide us with an opportunity to long for - and prepare for - and welcome - the onset of God's primordial aim for the well-being of the whole earth. In times of crises, the temptation is to choose self-interest. The call of Advent is to choose community - community with all living beings; community with the whole living earth.. To mimic here on earth the the joy-making relationships eternally expressed among the Holy Three persons of the Trinity. May it be so. David Ewart Permission is granted for non-profit use of these materials. Acknowledgement in oral presentations is not required. Otherwise, please acknowledge source as, "David Ewart, www.holytextures.com." Year B - Seasons of Advent & Christmas - 2020 Stay awake! Advent 1 November 29, 2020 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." Make the road smooth and straight Advent 2 December 6, 2020 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... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2020 at Holy Textures
John has written so that our reading of his words might help us form a deeper bond with Jesus. This suggests that we need to ponder how to read John's words so that this might happen. There are many different ways to read: for distraction, information; entertainment; new ideas; new... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2020 at Written So That You Might Believe
Hi Everyone, I am looking forward to being with you all for the first session of studying John together. I would love it if we could just read through the whole book during our time together – but that would take up all of our time! So instead I will... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2020 at Written So That You Might Believe
There have been several days of hot wind now. Green grass is beginning to show through, and the trees are fattening. We're only just into spring, and yet this is summer weather. Each season seems to contain within it a foretaste of the one to come. Blurring the boundaries of times and seasons. And there on top of the TV amid the flowers like a shrine is Trevor's picture. Grandson. Four years old, who died of leukemia last Friday. In the picture he seems plump and healthy, but the toque is probably meant to hide hair missing from the chemicals and radiation. This is a snapshot of child-life dying. Tomorrow is the second Sunday after Easter. The Gospel is John. Christ's appearance to the disciples and to Thomas. Peace be to you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe. --- You are the Lord of the living and of the dead. Are you also the Lord of this manner of dying? ("We prayed that he would go. He cried all the time. They gave him morphine every few hours to kill the pain. But he only screamed louder whenever he saw them coming. We prayed that he would go. The last day was the hardest. I'll never forget the last day.") You say that we are blessed to believe without seeing. That is not the problem. The... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2020 at David Ewart
6 Meditations for Communion When we pray for bread1 … we pray for what is concrete. Jesus did not invite us to pray for food. Food is abstract, general, removed. Bread is concrete, specific, particular. So do not be vague or obscure in our prayers. To pray for bread is to pray for what is real and substantial. Pray that we will be as real as bread is real. When we pray for bread … we pray for what is basic. Jesus did not invite us to pray for cake. Cake is superfluous, peripheral, unnecessary. Bread is fundamental, central; essential. So do not be elaborate or excessive in our prayers. To pray for bread is to pray for the heart of the matter. To pray for bread is to pray that we will be as nourishing of life as bread is. When we pray for bread … we pray for what is common. Jesus did not invite us to pray for caviar. Caviar is costly and privileged. Bread is affordable and available. So do not be arrogant or proud in our prayers. To pray for bread is to pray to share in the fate of common people. To pray for bread is to pray that we will be as ordinary as bread is. When we pray for bread … we pray for what is manufactured. Jesus did not invite us to pray for manna. Manna falls down heaven, whole and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2020 at David Ewart
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For most of my ministry I avoided the Gospel of John. There are no punchy one-liners. No quick feel-good, "look at Jesus being wise and doing good" stories. Instead, there are speeches of Jesus that go on, and on, and on - for chapters and chapters. There are repetitions, and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2020 at Written So That You Might Believe