The Tumblr blog of The Rev'd Curtis Farr, including sermons, articles, and other interesting things related to living in and engaging the world in which mystery lies everywhere.




Maundy Thursday

The Rev’d Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told his supporters once that he had “seen the Promised Land.” He told them that though he may not get there with them, he wanted those in the crowd that night to know that they, as a people, would get to the Promised Land. “We mean business now,” King said, “and we are determined to gain our rightful place in God’s world.”

The very next day,…

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Call climate change what it is: violence

If you’re poor, the only way you’re likely to injure someone is the old traditional way: artisanal violence, we could call it – by hands, by knife, by club, or maybe modern hands-on violence, by gun or by car.

But if you’re tremendously wealthy, you can practice industrial-scale violence without any manual labor on your own part. You can, say, build a sweatshop factory that will collapse in Bangladesh and kill more people than any hands-on mass murderer ever did, or you can calculate risk and benefit about putting poisons or unsafe machines into the world, as manufacturers do every day. If you’re the leader of a country, you can declare war and kill by the hundreds of thousands or millions. And the nuclear superpowers – the US and Russia – still hold the option of destroying quite a lot of life on Earth.

Read more by clicking the link above.

Fix it, and you can forget it | Stephen Crippen's Blog

Several years ago we had a few people over for dinner, and one of our guests said something I’ll probably never entirely forget. Typically, guests in our home sing the praises of my spouse, who is a great cook. For the most part, I enjoy this dynamic: I love my spouse, I love his cooking, and I love how, as an introvert, he shines in a way that is subtle and generous and delicious. And when he cooks dinner, I do what I do best—iron the napkins, set a nice table, talk to our guests, and brew some decaf.

But at this particular dinner, one of the guests praised my spouse and the fruits of his hard work, then turned to me, and in a tone that seemed at least a little unkind, gave me this wisecrack: “So what if anything do you do around here??”

Mission Accomplished?

We always do this thing in Episcopal churches (lots of others do too) when on Palm Sunday we gather outside of the church building before the service. Someone deals palms and miniature crosses to everybody, and we wave them all around as we sing something joyful and triumphant like “All glory, laud, and honor,” marching into the church as if we’ve had a major victory.
Following our magnificent entrance into the church, our party is quickly squashed by dramatic lectors who act as “Debbie Downers,” reading the Passion (this year from Matthew).
This always confused me as a child; why would we celebrate just before hearing about Jesus being betrayed by his friends, unfairly tried, and wrongfully murdered? Seems like a pretty obvious case of Bait & Switch—and an overly dramatic one at that. But then again, this is sort of the flow of events of the Palm Sunday story, isn’t it?
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Lenten Meditations on the Creed

I believe
Not I know. Not I think. Not I feel. Not I understand. But I believe. When I am in darkness, when I do not know the way, when every step is uncertain, I walk. I live not by what I know or feel but by a trust that proves itself only after each new step is safely taken. 

In God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth

Not in magic or manipulation. Not in divine powers that I can wield for my own purposes. Not in heavenly voodoo. But in God, source of a light that is still hidden to me, source of a life towards which I grope with death hard at my heels, source of a joy that lies in waiting somewhere beneath or beyond or within this darkness.

And in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord
Not in an idea. Not in a philosophy. Not in a system of knowledge. Not in a doctrine (not even a true doctrine). But in one terrific Someone. In a person who inhabits not the world of books and ideas but the world of raw body and raw fact. Whom human eyes have seen and human hands have handled. Whose human face is living icon of a Life whose face is hidden and whose mind is oceans deep. 

Continue reading this post by click the title above.

How Friendship Saves the World: Sacramental Friendships and the Strength of Weak Ties

…I can be a sacrament. I can be sign of love, a sign of life. I can be a friend. In a cruel and inhumane world I can be a location of kindness.

Before various church audiences I’ve described this as “sacramental friendship,” calling them to form friendships across the socioeconomic spectrum. The focus of this call is upon relationality—walking alongside others in friendship—rather than starting up “a program” to “address” poverty…

Read the whole article by clicking the title above.

On The Table: Archbishop Welby, Dietrich Bonhoeffer & 21st Century Spirituality

What is 21st Century Spirituality? Justin Welby’s recent controversial comments (and the context in which they were given) may have some insight. Read the excerpt below, or click the title for the entire post.

Announcer: A Gay Christian listening to you there, may have heard the message that he or she can’t marry their partner in their church because of the conniptions it would give to some African, dare we say, less enlightened people in Africa. 

Archbishop Welby: Well, I don’t think we dare say less enlightened, actually. I think that’s a neo-colonial approach and it’s one I really object to. I think it’s not about them having conniptions and getting irate, that’s nothing to do with it.

It’s about the fact that I’ve stood by a graveside in Africa of a group of Christians who’d been attacked because of something that had happened far far away in America, and they were attacked by other people – because of that a lot of them had been killed. I was in the South Sudan a few weeks ago and the church leaders there were saying please don’t change what you’re doing, because then we couldn’t accept your help and we need your help desperately. We have to listen carefully to that, we also have to listen incredibly carefully to gay people here who want to get married and also to recognise that any homophobic behaviour here causes enormous suffering, particularly to gay teenagers, something I’m particularly conscious of at the moment. And we have to listen to that very carefully and work out what we do.

6 Things The Church Can Learn From Jimmy Fallon  - #OrdainJimmyFallon

The Church could learn a few things from Jimmy Fallon, the new host of the “Tonight Show.” And it’s no surprise, really. Jimmy has said in interviews he once wanted to be a priest in the Roman Catholic Church and was influenced early in life by his experiences as an altar boy. But he never felt he could really be a priest because he couldn’t keep a straight face. As a priest myself, it’s always good to be reminded that our image in culture is often a dour one when it should be a joyful one…

…remember though that these 6 things do not fully encompass the role of we the church in the world. 

On the topic of “Christian seders” | father christopher

An Episcopal priest shares his particular perspective on Christians hosting their own seders. His conclusion: don’t. Instead, politely ask to join one already in progress and approach it as a learning opportunity.

Good advice, and I’ll add: do seek to join with our Jewish brothers and sisters in a seder at some point in your life.

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