Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday, February 1

This stained glass window is found in the Central Church of Christ (Disciples), Orlando, Florida. In addition to this striking windows inside, CCC also has the oldest drive-in worship service in the nation. It began on November 23, 1952.

The church's guide to the stained glass windows describes the Wisdom Window as follows:
Wisom, as understood in the scriptures as coming from God, is more an ethical than an intellectual word. In the state of sin, man confused wisdom with intellectual and philosophical knowledge. Thus, St. Paul derided the Greeks for their seeking after wisdom. The wisdom of God is beyond the comprehension of man. Divine wisdom is not something man reaches for through the mind, but rather it is what God reveals. It is the final knowledge of good and evil.

The window explodes in all directions with a radiance of golden light which penetrates and enlightens all. At the center is the primary symbol of the Christian faith, the cross. We are reminded of Paul's words, "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe...we preach Christ crucified" (I Corinthians 1:21-23).

Today's scripture continues Paul's discussion of "the wisdom of this age" and the deeper wisdom of God's Spirit. Read 1 Corinthians 2:6:-16.

Today's Prayer
Dear God, You are the All Wise Lord of All, seen and unseen.
I pray that you will reveal yourself to me in truth,
for too often I think of you in my terms
and build a concept of you out of cheap stuff.
Forgive the idolatry and vain pride of my efforts.
Enter my life, and fill me with your Holy Spirit.
Give me your blessing and show me your path,
that my life may honor you and bless others

Friday, January 29, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2009


I Baptize Thee, William Johnson, 1940
Smithsonian American Art Museum

When Jesus was baptized, as he was coming up out of the water, the Spirit descended on him like a dove. (Matthew 3:13-17) First baptism, then the Spirit.

In this passage from Acts, the Spirit fell on the listeners as Peter was preaching. The people began speaking in tongues and exalting God. Peter realized that he could not withhold the water of baptism from those who had received the Spirit, so he ordered that everyone be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. First, the preaching, then the Spirit and its manifestations, and then the water of baptism.

Both stories (and additional variations) hold a place in the New Testament. The administration of baptism and reception of the Holy Spirit are common to those stories; but the stories tell of differing experiences by different people.

I don't believe that there is a prescribed order by which these things must take place. After all, we are talking about gifts of God's grace. They cannot be reduced to a formula. God works in each of our lives differently.

The more important question is whether we are living out our experiences of baptism and of God's Spirit in a way that is consistent with our new identity and the expectations of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Monday, January 25

 The results for "love" in the Visual Thesaurus

Verse of the Day
So with yourselves; since you are eager for spiritual gifts, strive to excel in them for building up the church.  (1 Corinthians 14:12)

Voice of the Day
When love works in the community, the community is built up, not necessarily or primarily in numbers. . . . Love usually brings out the best in the ones loving and the ones being loved; love usually elicits love in response. 
J. Paul Sampley, The First Letter of Corinthians, The New Interpreters Bible.

Prayer of the Day
Lord, we rarely give the spiritual gifts much thought, and, when we do, we easily dismiss them as irrelevant to our lives and congregations. Stir in us a desire to discern our own giftedness for the sake of your church. And may all gifts be tested, motivated, and guided by the most excellent gift of love. Amen

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

The picture is of Thomas Merton's bed in his hermitage at Our Lady of Gethsemini Monastery in Kentucky.

Verse of the Day
The time is surely coming, says the Lord God, when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord, but they shall not find it. Amos 8: 11-12

Voice of the Day
Spirituality is not exhausted in the private prayer closet. We carry our experience of God into the places where we conduct our business, raise our families, enjoy our leisure, engage in social and political involvements, and refresh ourselves in friendships. John Indermark, The Prayer Paths of Jesus, p. 43

Prayer of the Day
Faithful God, we await the advent of your final glory when every tear shall be wiped away and hungry people shall have their fill. Grant us the Spirit of all hope that the darkness of war and oppression may give way to the fullness of the victory of Christ. We ask this through Christ our peace. Amen.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Verse of the Day
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water. Isaiah 35: 6-7

Voice of the Day
Since, for the Christian, God is always incarnate and present, there is no place on earth that is not a possible route to God. In nature's health and beauty, I see God; in nature's deterioration and destruction, I see that God is here also. In the first case a Yes and in the second a No. Sallie McFague

Prayer of the Day
Christ in all things
restore our senses
and give us again
that experience of joy
in all created things.

Christ in all things
in the waves breaking on the shore;
in the beauty of the sunset;
in the fragrant blossom of Spring;
in the music that makes our hearts dance;
in the kisses of embracing love;
in the cries of the innocent.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Verse of the Day
The Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians; and the Egyptians will know the Lord on that day, and will worship with sacrifice and burnt offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them.
Isaiah 19: 21
Voice of the Day
The oldest Christmas tree to be decorated standing in a parlor is described in a fragment of a 1605 travel diary left by an unidentified visitor to Strasbourg. The writer tells of fir trees set up and hung with paper roses of many different colors and with apples, flat wafers, gilded candies, and sugar. In early Christian art the rose was a symbol for the Virgin Mary, and the flat wavers are obviously related to the "host," the communion symbol for Christ. By the seventeenth century, then, the age-old, winter-defying evergreen was a common sight in Christian homes honoring the Christ Child.
Phillip Snyder
Prayer of the Day
We rejoice with joy and singing, for the coming of the Lord is near.
For all who walk in God's Holy Way, those in the pews and in the pulpits, those at home and on the streets, for all who ponder God's promise in their, and all who carry the good news into the world; For all who are nearest to you, O God - the lonely, the out-of-work, the sick, the fearful, the cold, and the hungry. For the one who is sorry, and the one who is ashamed. It is you, our God of hope, who sets all prisoners free.
We are waiting, O God, with all the patience we can muster. Beloved of angels and archangels, Lover of saints and sinners, God our Savior, to you alone we pray, Amen.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Art History Reading Challenge: The Challenge

The Art History Reading Challenge: The Challenge
I am participating in the 2010 Art History Reading Challenge. There are a variety of such reading challenges on the web. This one requires reading 6 fiction or nonfiction books dealing with art history during 2010. I will soon post the list of books I have chosen. Find a challenge which matches or stretches your current reading, and enjoy!