Sermons & Other Thoughts from Rev. Brian Chenowith

Month: December, 2016

Some Amazing Silent Prayer

Our reading this Sunday was, “A Poem on Hope,” by Wendell Berry.

When have you experienced light and darkness striking a balance?  Joy and sorrow?  Contentment and want?  I ask this knowing that for many religious and political progressives these days, there is a very real imbalance. And not just in the wider discourse our country is experiencing.  Perhaps that imbalance is in your personal life as well.

But I will ask again.  When have you experienced this balance?  Think long and hard on those moments.  Have you forgotten them?  Has the year been far too unkind to you that memories of days past are no longer as present to you?  Perhaps dig a little deeper and you will find an example.  Maybe you’ve never forgotten.

Today we pause to remember the winter solstice – a day that is all about taking note of the ebb and flow of light and dark, life and death, and the bittersweetness that is our being conscious of our mortality. Read the rest of this entry »

To Be Hopeless Would Seem So Strange

Our reading from this Sunday was the poem, “Try to Praise the Mutilated World” by the Polish poet, Adam Zagajewski.

Where were you when you found out?  Seems like an odd thing to be asking today.  I was sitting at home, well into the evening, watching a channel I’ve watched nearly every day since the primary season began – it was becoming a problem.

My partner and I were watching and suddenly one of the more unabashedly liberal anchors, Chris Matthews, looked at the camera and his face sunk.  Completely sunk.  And then the camera cut away and cut back and he was gone.
The other anchors filled in the space.  I asked my partner how he was doing and he said, “I’m getting scared.”  Me, too.  It was a fear that many people were feeling for their own reasons.  It was a fear that is still very real.

Where were you when you learned the news that a reality TV star – amongst many other things – would become our next president?  Were you watching TV as well, at an election party, or blissfully asleep with the news waiting for you the next day?

Wherever you were, this is indeed turning into one of those moments in our history – at least for progressives.  We will all know where we were years from now when it sunk in.  We will likely remember the week that followed, not for any additional shock to our system, but it’ll be remembered as a week of crying, anger, denial, or – if you were like me, walking around feeling empty. Read the rest of this entry »