Monday, December 5, 2011

Star Sermon: Longing/Birth/Spacetime Experience, Death/Resurrection

An Adaptation of the Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the difficult things which I cannot change;
courage to change those which I can;
and wisdom to know the difference~
living one day at a time;
breathing through one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as a pathway to peace,

both in offering them to Divine Power
and practicing the cooperative work 
of transformation;
taking, as Christ did, this beautiful, broken world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that God will make all things right

through the workings of redemption;
and that the impossible things will be made whole,
in forms better imagined by the Creator than by us.
 And so may we be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy in the next.

Reinhold Niebuhr
Adapted  by Alla Bozarth

I've made only a few changes. Where Niebuhr writes "enjoying" I write "breathing through," for there are countless moments one cannot enjoy but can best endure by focusing on the miraculous act of breathing in and out, a major and entirely unconscious accomplishment for survival.
To see Niebuhr's original text, go here:  

Images are of my road, car, mimosa tree (with snowbear),
and Shauna, the horse across Coalman Road who teaches
coping with the reality of What Is with Grace. 
Below is an Advent through Epiphany Meditation.


Star Sermon   

. . . and the silent receptivity
between each sound
made by astonished tears
and mind's opening—
revelations of why we exist—
for nothing less than to discover
empathic resonance among all beings  

Walking on a quiet country road this winter night beneath the stars,
all clear except for fog puffs of warm breath entering cold air,
my human eyes are compelled to look up at dots of bright lights,
shining out from their thick, velvety black cold sky.

A curled feather moon has ripened into a crescent boat,
floating the infinite seas of space and night.

The singing happens spontaneously, 
the words now in English, and I hear them as for the first time, 
as if reading them from lyrics written in the heavens, not the first 
line or the impossibly soaring chorus, just 

“Long lay the world in sin and error pining, 
‘Till he appeared and the soul
felt its worth—”  

Striking into sense after a lifetime of hearing 
only the beauty and not the meaning!

So simply this homely event happens—
Humanity pines in sin and error until
a crowded-out child is born in a barn,
a light appears, and suddenly the human
soul feels its own worth!

The Child is the Light.
The miracle of birth breaks into space and time
during Earth Time’s unlikely period of friendliness to Life,
and in the far out Cosmos, an infant galaxy is born.

The Virgin Mary had a baby boy,
The Virgin Mary had a baby boy,
The Virgin Mary had a baby boy,
and they say that his name is Jesus.

But this Jewish Palestinian couple, this new mother and father, 
gave their baby a Hebrew name that sounds like a long deep sigh— 

The prophet Isaiah centuries before said that a luminous child 
would be named Emmanuel, which means, God [is] with us, 
but the angel Gabriel told mother Miriam to name her child this, 
and while she kept “God with us” in her heart for courage, 
she listened to the angel—

Imagine the sound of an angel’s sigh in your ear and the feel
of an angel’s sigh on your skin . . .    So after giving her baby life,
she gave him the name of Yeshua.

Call for him later when he becomes a growing boy or a man,
a rabbi or Messiah, and it sounds like “Yesh-Waaah!”—
the sound of shouting to God when in need of help.

The Living Flame of Love we call by our million names
for the Divine breathed forth the spark of mortal life
into a helpless infant one chilly, eternal spring night,
and the holiness of every fragile newborn being
in all Creation became clear to all, very and simply clear.

And everyone without exception, every self-loathing
criminal or insecure orphan, every homeless person and every
rich man or woman, every common working class woman or man
and every child and every weed and every wonder remembered her or
his or its own origin: fragile, small, of no particular significance,
hungry for existence and clueless about its or his or her own nature,
and deeply, deeply holy, and deeply, deeply lovable to the Divine Mind
that dreamed each soul into matter, into Being, and loved it into Here.

And still today the miracle of Christmas Eve or Morning or Night
at any time of the year happens when the soul looks up, 
sees a small light, and feels Divine Love and its own 
infinite worth in a humbling star.

May all beings born in Creation grow up and thrive,
grow old and die, still able to hear
God’s murmuring stars.

                     Alla Renée Bozarth

          The Frequencies of Sound
           Copyright 2011.

Listen to 5 minutes of pure bliss, music by Morten Lauridsen, words by James Agee, Sure On this Shining Night

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