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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. Year A - Season after Pentecost - 2020 - September to November When we Christians pray, "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven," we are praying for an end to the violent injustice that elites use in the name of "government" to enrich themselves. And instead for life on earth to be like it is in heaven: just and joyful. And when we Christians listen, learn, and follow Jesus we prepare for the tumult that our prayer is asking for; and practice for living together as joyful and just communities here on earth - just as it already in heaven. This is the promise that Jesus makes to us as we walk with him these remaining Sundays to his upside down "enthronement" on a cross. Doesn't the whole wide earth long for rulers who understand that the highest and best life is one given for the good of all? Welcome to Holy Textures as we journey together on the way to the Reign of Christ. If another sins against you Pentecost 14 September 6, 2020 Matthew 18:15-20 "Real churches have - or should have - real conflicts. The only real harm that will... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2020 at Holy Textures
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Holy Textures I'm honoured that you have chosen to receive email updates from my blog, Holy Textures. I use Feed Blitz to provide this service. Your contact information is safe with me. I do not sell, share, or trade your data. Ever. I'll only email new posts from Holy Textures. No spam. Ever. These promises are also made by Feed Blitz. You can easily and safely unsubscribe at any time by using the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of each email. I update Holy Textures regularly. But I do not send out weekly updates. Instead, you will receive an email from me shortly before the beginning of each new Season: Advent and Christmas, Epiphany, Lent and Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost. Because Pentecost is so long, I send two updates. The first covers from Pentecost Sunday through to the first Sunday in September. The second covers from September to the last Sunday of Pentecost. So you can expect to receive 6 emails from Holy Textures in a year. I send out help for all the Sundays in a Season to help with long-term worship planning. But if your inbox is anything like mine, email from Holy Textures will quickly sink out of sight. But if you visit https://www.holytextures.com, you will immediately see links to all the posts for each Sunday. It has been a passion and a blessing for me to prepare these writings. The experience of seeking to hear... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 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 faith-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Year A - Season after Pentecost - 2020 - Up to the End of August 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 enter into continuing uncertainty as to how the COVID-19 infection will impact our ways of being gathered communities. The chaotic upending of life as we knew it is not new to the Biblical story. No one expected Jesus' resurrection. And just like the first disciples, we too must now ask one one another, "What shall we do now?" And like them, perhaps we too will glean some comfort and some guidance by remembering what Jesus said and did while he lived amongst us. Having left off reading through Matthew three months ago, we pick up at the end of Chapter 9. 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... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2020 at Holy Textures
Hi Everyone, Turns out, that in my case at least, you are never too old to learn from mistakes - or if not "mistakes," then "learning from things not working out as anticipated." I am going to start re-using Feedblitz to email new posts from Holy Textures. This post will be the first. It may be that some of you will receive this post even though you have unsubscribed from Holy Textures. I apologize for this. Please use the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of this email to do so again. I pray that this email about such a small thing finds you safe and well in the midst of these difficult times. As the Public Health Officer where I live daily reminds us, "Stay safe. And be kind." David Ewart holytextures.com Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2020 at Holy Textures
I’m not sure that being 75 entitles me to sobriquet of “wise elder,” but having been invited to offer Commencement thoughts to the graduating classes of 2020 here they are. The Class of 2020! What a great year to be graduating. You will be the class with 20-20 vision; 20-20 hindsight. But. And this is the most important thing I will say to you. You will never be the class of 20-20 nostalgia. You will never be the class to put on rosy coloured, false memories, of “Those were the days!” Nostalgia is the enemy of the better. It is the enemy of clarity. It is the enemy of wisdom. And right now, the planet desperately needs an entire cohort of wisdom, clarity, and discernment of the “better.” But. And this is the other most important thing I will say to you. You are the cohort who are embedding in your minds, hearts, flesh, and bones the blessings and banes of “novelty.” Novelty is the engine of creativity; of transformation; of healing and reconciliation. It is the never-before-this-new-possibility. It is the engine of evolution. It is why we are all here in this beautiful, wonderfully diverse world. Never wish that novelty would cease. Embrace it. But. And this is one more most important thing I will say to you. Recognize that novelty requires learning how to learn as you go. And that means novelty will always be messy. Will always... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2020 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 thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Year A - Season of Easter - 2020 This year, Easter will arrive in the midst of the experience of a global pandemic and all of its consequences. One of the strengths of living within an ancient practice is being able to draw on the experiences and learned-from-experience wisdoms of those who have gone before. We are not the first generation to live with the stress and anxiety of a deadly present and unimaginable future. Nor are we the first generation to discover that our "faith" was actually based on taken-for-granted assumptions that we were unaware of - because those assumptions just happened every day - never needed to be thought about. Whatever your context may be, I pray that Holy Textures will guide you in responding to these times with insights / wisdoms / faith that is adequate for these days. I have been blessed with time to give a close reading to the Holy Week biblical texts and background information about life at the time of Jesus. 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... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 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. Year A - Season of Lent and Holy Week - 2020 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. A close reading of the Holy Week texts and background information leaves me 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 - "this cup" - for him: To proclaim the Kingdom 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 pools of his repetitive,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 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. 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 Epiphany - 2020 This year, the Season of Epiphany is 7 Sundays, which makes it almost as long as it can be. This is two pieces of good news for working preachers. The first is that we can get our breath before launching into the intense work of Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. The second is that we get a chance to do a sermon series and/or Bible study on the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew, Chapters 5, 6, and 7. Matthew's collection of these teachings of Jesus provide an excellent map of the Christian life: the attitudes, values, and behaviours we should cultivate. But covering all of the Sermon on the Mount, means adjusting the Epiphany readings so that 6 of the 7 Sundays in Epiphany are used for the Sermon on the Mount, and that would mean opting out of using either the Baptism reading at the start, or the Transfiguration reading at the end. Or. Not using all 6 of the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2019 at Holy Textures
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The 2019 Canada Federal election is over, and it is time to once more rant on social media about how unfair the current election system is. If you have a system with more than two parties, then a system where the candidate who gets the most votes is the winner often results in candidates winning with less than 50% of the votes cast - and too often with less than a third of the votes cast (which means the person elected is actually opposed by two-thirds of voters). No wonder there is so much dissatisfaction and dis-trust of politics and politicians. And nationally, the number of candidates each party elects often bears no relationship to the total number of votes for that party. On first glance, this is patently unfair. And the 2019 election is no exception. Take a look at this screen grab from the CBC News election results. CBC News The Conservatives had more votes but fewer seats than the Liberals! Unfair! And look at the New Democrat who had double the votes of the Bloc Quebecois but fewer seats! Unfair! And the Green had almost as many votes as the Bloc, but only 3 seats compared with the Bloc's 32! Unfair! If the 338 federal parliament seats had been distributed by Proportional Representation (where seats are proportional to total votes received for each party), then the seat count would have been: Liberal - 112 (and not 157)... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2019 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. Below you will find links for the various Lectionary readings for Advent and Christmas, but I have stopped using the Lectionary during Advent (and Lent as well). Why? It seems to me that in this day and age you can never tell the story of the first Christmas (or Easter) early enough or often enough. It is far better to begin with the story we are trying to tell - Christmas - and then provide the historical context along the way. Starting with the historical / theological / history of salvation has the unintentional effect of making the story we are wanting to tell seem like nothing more than a foretold, logical conclusion - a prepared script for actors on a stage - and not the flesh and blood seizing - or passing up - actual in-the-moment opportunities for God's will to be on earth as it is in heaven. Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2019 at Holy Textures
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Holy Textures is my attempt to provide 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. How does our Christian story help us to respond to the various crisis - personal, political, 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. When you give a banquet, invite the poor Pentecost 12 September 1, 2019 Luke 14:1, 7-14 "This is what Jesus is teaching / proclaiming here. What does it look like for those with higher status / honour / privilege to live the year of the Lord's favour?" Sermon: "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?" Sit down first and consider the cost Pentecost 13 September 8, 2019 Luke 14:25-33 "So at a minimum these sayings of Jesus ought to draw us up short. Cause us to reflect how much the choices we have already made are costing us - and our planet; and to consider whether the costs of following Jesus might be a better investment." Sermon: "Passion." (c) Cortney L.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2019 at Holy Textures
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Holy Textures is my attempt to provide 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. 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. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit Pentecost Sunday June 9, 2019 Acts 2:1-21 "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?" Sermon: "All We Need Is Love." The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name John 14:8-17, (25-27) "Those who are bonded into Jesus will know a Truthful Spirit who will (Verse 26): 'Teach you everything; and remind you of all that I have said to you.' We, who like Philip, have been with Jesus all this time, and still do not know him, should... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2019 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. 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 could be more refreshing than that? At dawn, the women came to the tomb Easter Vigil April 20, 2019 Luke 24:1-12 "This lesson contains no resurrection. But this lesson also contains trusting the amazing void." Sermon: "To be added." But Mary stayed weeping outside the tomb Easter Day April 21, 2019 John 20:1-18, Alternate Reading A "As the Word descended from the Father and became flesh at the start of John's Gospel, Mary is experiencing the reverse process - of the flesh becoming Word." Sermon: "The Rising." At dawn, the women came to the tomb Luke 24:1-12, Alternate Reading B "This lesson contains no resurrection. But this lesson also contains trusting the amazing void." Sermon: "To be added." Jesus himself came near and went with them Easter Evening April 21, 2019 Luke 24:13-49 "The details reported in Luke... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2019 at Holy Textures
I recently had a wonderful time auditing a two week intensive on John. It was great to be part of such an excellent class of fellow students and teacher. Here are my personal top take-aways: 1. When John refers to "the Jews" (as he does over and over again), ask yourself: Is John referring to the 8,000,000 people living throughout the Roman Empire who identified as belonging to the people of Israel? Or to put it another way: Is John wanting us to include as one of "the Jews" Lazarus - whom the text says Jesus loved; and Mary - who anointed him before his arrest? And when John actually includes "Jews" in the story, who are they? (Answer: about 90% of the time they are Judean elites who were collaborating with the Roman Empire as local rulers.) (The Greek text uses the word for Judean, i.e. people from the geographic region called Judah - which historically was in the process of becoming the generic word Romans used to refer to the entire people of Israel. English translators have continued this practice even though it is often debatable as to whether this is the correct meaning.) 2. The pascal lamb that is sacrificed on Passover is NOT a sin offering. Identifying Jesus as a sin offering is not Johannine. Jesus' death (at most) is an offering for protection, community formation, and escape from bondage. John is placing Jesus in the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2019 at Holy Textures
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The Transfiguration is an apt Preface to Lent and Jesus' journey to Jerusalem, because what lies ahead is both a confrontation between the non-violent justice of the Kingdom of God and the violent injustice of the Roman Empire; as well as the non-violent way of the Beloved versus the hoped-for victory by the Messiah. The crowds at Jerusalem will be cheering for "the one who is bringing the Kingdom of our ancestor David." This is not the same as welcoming God's Beloved. I wonder how much in our hearts, we are still cheering for Jesus as the triumphant Victor? (c) Armando Alemdar Ara, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence 3.0 Year C Transfiguration Sunday March 3, 2019 Sunday before Ash Wednesday May be as early as February 1 or as late as March 7 inclusive OR Year C Lent 2, Alternate Reading B March 17, 2019 Read the passage at the bottom of this post: Luke 9:28-36, (37-43), The Message or Luke 9:28-36, (37-43), The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). Sermon by the Rev. Dr. George Hermanson, "Fresh Visions." This passage requires reading the First Testament passages about the prophet Elijah, 2 Kings 2:1-12: The Message or The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). "About 8 days after" could be a foreshadowing of a later 8th day - what we now call Easter Sunday. On the 7th day, Saturday, the Sabbath, God rested; on a Sunday, the next day, the 8th day, Jesus... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2019 at Holy Textures
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We may be a United Church, but we are definitely not a uniform church. In 2011, there were about 3,000 congregations: 1,500 were single-point pastoral charges, and 1,500 were part of 659 multiple-point pastoral charges. If the United Church were uniform, one would expect to find that the people and financial resources of single-point pastoral charges would equal multiple-point pastoral charges. In the chart, the two blue bars are the single-point pastoral charges. The light blue bar shows the 300 congregations with the highest average worship attendance, while the dark blue bar represents the remaining 1,200 single-point charges. The orange bar represents all 1,500 multiple-point congregations. The total money raised by the light blue group is 65 percent higher than the total for all multiple-point pastoral charges combined. In fact, in almost every Year Book measurement, the top 300 congregations exceed the total of the multiple-point pastoral charges. Make no mistake: a congregation in the top 300 is not better than a multiple-point congregation. Each will have its own strengths and challenges — but very different strengths and very different challenges. Given the magnitude of the differences, I wonder if we don’t need to imagine ourselves, not as a United Church, but as a Trinitarian Church — one in three and three in one: (1) large single-point pastoral charges; (2) medium and small single-point pastoral charges; and (3) multiple-point pastoral charges. I wonder if we have the capacity to imagine... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2019 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. 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 is at hand - knowing that doing so was treason in the eyes of the Roman Empire. 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... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2019 at Holy Textures
Note: The opening paragraphs have been updated, December 3, 2018, to include quotations from the article to which this letter is responding. I have also deleted some of my more ill-tempered comments. The open letter below is published in response to an article which appeared in the November 25, 2018 issue of The Vancouver Sun: https://vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/jason-byassee-ignoring-atheist-united-church-pastor-greta-vosper-is-the-best-policy. Dear Jason, I was surprised and somewhat puzzled by your opinion piece published in The Vancouver Sun in response to Gretta Vosper. I found the internal logic of your argument somewhat difficult to follow, and your assumptions about the history and ethos of the United Church misinformed. For example, your linking of Gretta Vosper's atheism with The United Church's support for LGBTQ2S+ is false and misleading. "Some of their Baby Boomer forebears in mainline denominations in Canada may have thought that to be more inclusive to the historically excluded gay or lesbian person, First Nations person or other excluded minority, they should tear down historic Christian doctrine." It is true that you can find both trickles of "tearing down historic Christian doctrine" and mighty streams of justice "to be more inclusive" within The United Church. But it is false to imply that affirming "inclusion" is based on anything other than our call as a Christian church to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. And The United Church has not been more decisive in dealing with Vosper's atheism not because of "anxiety," but because... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2018 at David Ewart
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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. It can be daunting to start planning for Epiphany while still in the midst of Advent Christmas, so I hope this post will find a space for sowing seeds for the season yet to come. This year Epiphany falls on Sunday, January 6, which 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. Easter is later this year, which gives the opportunity for a stretch or "ordinary" Sundays to catch one's breath before launching into getting ready for Lent. This means there are 8 Sundays following Epiphany before Ash Wednesday, March 6. 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 last two sections of Luke's version of the Sermon the Mount - texts that every Christian needs to hear every year in my not-so-humble opinion. So if I can be presumptious, I recommend playing Epiphany in "Shuffle" mode, and at least every other year, work back from Transfiguration Sunday and include Epiphany 6, 7,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2018 at Holy Textures
Eternal damnation in the fiery pits of Hell. From its earliest days the Christian church has had a pretty compelling reason for everyone to go to church: damnation and hellfire. Not baptized? Off to hell you go. Haven't accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour? Say "Hello" to Satan. The mission of the church is personal salvation. And personal salvation is a pretty compelling reason for the church to do everything it can to reach you. And for you to say, "Yes." But in more recent years, some churches have discovered other missions. One was to end the embarrassment of so many different Christian denominations. After all, isn't a direct quote from the Bible the prayer of Jesus that "all might be one." It is: John 17:21. So here and there, a few like the United Church of Canada set church union as a prime mission. Coming to church so that all might be one has a nice Canadian feeling to it. But it's not quite as compelling a reason as avoiding eternal damnation. And that "oneness" feeling can be found in quite a few other locations. And at more convenient times. No need to go to church for that reason. A second mission that some churches have discovered is "the Social Gospel." The Social Gospel is based on simply noticing that Jesus spends most of his time with and for the poor, the outcasts, the ill, the socially despised.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2018 at David Ewart
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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. This year, Christmas Eve is on Monday, so it'll be a busy few days for Advent 4, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Be prepared! (Don't you love it when the Gospel proclamation has a direct application to those who proclaim the Gospel?) Blessings to all those who prepare and host gatherings where worship encounters anew the presence of the Holy One / Holy Three. Year C - Seasons of Advent & Christmas - 2018 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 Elizabeth, the Shepherds, and the Magi. I have stopped using the Lectionary during Advent. Why? It seems to me that in this day and age you can never tell the story of the first Christmas early enough or often enough. It is far better to begin with the story we are trying to tell - Christmas - and then provide the historical context along the way. Starting with the historical / theological / history of salvation has the unintentional effect of making the story we are wanting to tell seem like nothing more than a foretold, logical conclusion... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2018 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 - 2018, 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 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, so do the number of Sundays that follow Pentecost. Eating with unclean hands Pentecost 15 September 2, 2018 Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 "The struggle that every community in every age - including our own - faces is how can the 'tradition of the elders,' which has... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2018 at Holy Textures
Luke 13: 1-9 Am I the only one here who talks to themselves? Isn’t it interesting that our human brain has evolved so that it is constantly talking to itself? Our brain is constantly telling itself a story about what it is experiencing. A few years ago I read an interesting article on resilience. Researchers are interested in how different people experience trauma differently from one another. Two people have the same traumatic experience. One then has life-long PTSD. The other changes, learns, grows, recovers. One is traumatized. The other is resilient. One way of describing this difference is that one person constantly RE-LIVES the experience; while the other person learns how to RE-CALL the experience without reliving it. Their response to a trigger is, “Oh, that reminds me …” They have quite literally RE-MINDED themselves by developing a whole new set of neural pathways in their brains that mute RE-LIVING and switch on RE-CALLING. When we talk to ourselves, we tell ourselves stories. What we call “TRAUMA” is when something bad happens that doesn’t fit into any of the stories we have been telling ourselves. Our daily news is full of these events. A child is shot and killed while enjoying a warm summer evening. A truck smashes into a hockey team’s bus. A heat wave kills 70 people. The Bible is also full of such events. And then, as now, people ask, “WHY?” Why did this happen? This... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2018 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. Year B - Season after Pentecost - 2018, Part 1 Trinity Sunday to Last Sunday of August 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? 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 July! 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, so do the number of Sundays that follow Pentecost. In the listing below, a lesson is shown as Not Used This Year if its date... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2018 at Holy Textures
On May 25, 2018 new privacy regulations - referred to their initials, GDPR - will become effective for the European Union. These regulations meet or exceed all other nations' requirements, and are therefore used as the default for Holy Textures. Your email subscription to Holy Textures already complies with those regulations. So no further action is required if you wish to continue to receive the Seasonal email update 5 times per year. Holy Textures uses FeedBlitz for its email subscription service. You can read the FeedBlitz Privacy Policy statement here: https://www.feedblitz.com/privacy. If you want your name and email address removed from the Holy Textures email subscription list, just follow the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of this email. Thank you for your interest in Holy Textures. I trust it has been, and will continue to be, a source of inspiration for your worship and Bible study. David Ewart. Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2018 at Holy Textures