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Living Black

The color of Passion time is black. We see the black frontal on the altar, the black robes and collars of the servers, the black stole and belt of the priest, and the black chasuble the priest wears in celebrating the Sacrament. We see this black because of the light filling the sanctuary.

But where do we see a black from which light is streaming out, out of the darkness, out of the black? A light that is unseen, truly invisible, supersensible, for it does not transform the darkness; the black remains black, but it is filled with light, light streaming out of the blackness.

There is one place on Earth where this happens.

That is when two human beings truly meet one another and look into each other’s eyes. We see; it is a supersensible perception, a genuine clairvoyant experience, we see the light shining out of the center of the eyes of the other as they are seeing the light shining out of our eyes. It is in the meeting that it happens. It is tangible. It is self-evident. But it is too powerful to endure for very long–either to so see in the holy of holies of another or to be so seen in the sacred center of ourselves.

With ourselves and others that is so in this earth existence.

But we can have another experience, another truly supersensible experience. We can come to experience, to sense, to feel, to know, to truly trust–there is One who does see into my center all the time, even when I am not aware of that center myself. There is One who knows me in my darkness, who knows me in my light, who knows me in my sickness, who knows me in my health, who knows me in my weakness, who knows me in my strength–One in whose presence I am always standing even when I fall, even when I am lying on the ground.

It is to this One that we turn in Passion, that we open up our darkness to, that we seek to see, to meet, in His darkness, in His Passion, in His Light shining, streaming out of that darkness into our hearts.

This post was written for the Washington D.C. community in 2016. Rev. Richard Dancey crossed the threshold on February 14, 2017.

For more information on how Passiontide is celebrated in the Christian Community, go to our Festival page. You can also find a children’s story for this time of year here.

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A Pale Blue Dot

“Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”

These are words spoken by astrophysicist Carl Sagan in early 1990 – when for the first time in our history human beings were able to look at a picture of Earth taken from the boundaries of the Solar system. From that perspective – from the perspective of Voyager space probe, which at the time when the picture was taken was just passing Pluto, some 3.7 billion miles away from here – the Earth seems like a tiny blue-whitish dot.

Sagan’s words are testimony of a true spiritual-religious experience of a modern human being – a genuine materialist, who nevertheless was able to perceive something magnificent, something precious, something divine in this grey speck of cosmic dust.

And it is perhaps only out of such grandiose cosmic perspective, away from Earth – away from Ourselves that we can begin to grasp the true dimension, the true meaning of Christmas.

Christ – the Creative Word of God – the Logos, the archetype of the entire creation, through whom everything that is came into being, has chosen the Earthly Body in which he would dwell – here among us; saints and sinners, heroes and cowards, kings and peasants, creators and destroyers – on this mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

So that we can become who we truly are.

So that we can be free from ourselves.

 

 

Editor’s Note: For reflections on the Christmas season as it is celebrated in the Christian Community, please go here. If you are looking for a children’s story for this time of year, you can find one here.

 

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A Michaelmas Sermon

A sermon given after the gospel reading from Matthew 22: The Parable of the Wedding Feast.

We often speak of Knighthood in the time of Michaelmas, as in the song: “Let me of God a fighter be, in the knighthood of the Grail!” And in a festival for children, we may bring to the children the ideal of the knight: to ever serve the Good;  and test them with challenges of aim, balance and courage which can help them serve and develop knighthood in themselves.

The highest ideal of the knight however is something called Minne, what often is simply translated as LOVE. But this love is something different than the often sentimentalized “chivalric love” of the age of knights—it is far more than anything personal. This love that the knight aims to develop is not merely a protective love for the “damsel in distress”, but rather, a far-reaching love of humanity which longs to serve the divine in each human being. It is a love seeking the essential being of the other, that which is most important and true. The knight seeks and serves that which is becoming in the other as a highest ideal and a life task.

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