2008 UUCF Christmas Message from Ron
RevRonRobinson at aol.com
RevRonRobinson at aol.com
Tue Dec 23 13:17:49 EST 2008
Hi all. What a blessing it has been to walk with you, in our many and
diverse ways, this past year. Your hopes and dreams have been such gifts to me and
During Advent we, like Mary, experience, wait for, and ponder in our hearts
the Incarnation, the Word made flesh, the coming of Jesus into the world in a
way that changed and turned the world upside down, when the Spirit of God is
made known not in power but vulnerability, not in the people and places of
Empire but in the forgotten people and abandoned places. The mission of the
church, and of our lives that give life to it, is simple: to keep incarnating
such a Spirit, to be a body of the people of God making Jesus visible in the
world. Doing that has always, and will always, turn the world, lives and
communities, upside down. The Magnificat of Mary in the Gospel of Luke testifies
to that. The radical geneaology of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, full of
"scandalous" women, testifies to that. The taking away from Caeser the titles of
power and giving them to the one born as a refugee in an occupied land
testifies to that promise of how God is truly with us. Of course, many different
people and traditions seek to make Jesus visible in the world, and often the
result is a Jesus "in name only." I am honored and humbled by our historic
witness to a much different Jesus,and, equally radical, by our witness and work
for the way of Jesus made with those who follow other paths.
I sit surrounded by a mighty cloud of witnesses at this time of the year. I
sit surrounded by the archives past and still growing of testimonials and
thoughts of UU Christians of the ages. I sit surrounded by one of Christianity's
richest gifts, and, unfortunately, one of Christianity's best-kept secrets.
Row upon row of shelves near me contain issues of the UU Christian Journal, of
the Good News periodical, of pamphlets and curriculums, occasional papers
and reprints of sermons, books on Christology in American Unitarianism and
books of prayer. A few samples of such unconventional spiritual wisdom I include
below. I am surrounded, mostly, by the wonderful knowledge that thanks to
you these same precious gifts are surrounding many others, and that many are
finding out about them for the first time, through their church, through their
friends in a UUCF small group, through our new and ever evolving webministry
at _www.uuchristian.org_ (http://www.uuchristian.org/) .
Please check often to our website as we update material on the Revival 2009
in Tulsa with Bishop Carlton Pearson and the new experiments in worship and
community at All Souls Church, as we continue to present meditation and prayers
from one another at our Virtual Monastery site, and as we make it more
interactive (go to the page and light a candle and leave a prayer) and with more
videos, podcasts, and contemporary sermon links. We also have posted the
latest Good News periodicals on the website, and we will be doing so with the
Jan./Feb. and July/August 2009 issues, to be read online or printed for use--let
us know if you wish to receive a hard copy in your postal mail.
Right now online you can go read the UUCF President's Christmas Message. You
can easily make gifts to the UUCF, and you can renew your membership or
start again with us, all in the spirit of the One whose starting over and
reconciliation with the world we celebrate in this season.
You can go and simply rest in the lives coming through to us in all the
witness made by those "freely following Jesus."
This email is also a first of a new and developing way we will stay in touch
with our UUCF members and friends and seekers. We are building a new and
updated email address book and we have much work to do to get it revised and
current with everyone's email preferences. Our website will help with this
eventually but for now we are doing it the old-fashioned way: trial and error and
updating. Many of you may get this at an email address you prefer not to use
and may get duplicates. Pardon us as we pull this together. And Please send
changes to our Administrator Lisa Franklin at _UUCFoffice at aol.com_
(mailto:UUCFoffice at aol.com) . We will be converging various lists to make this happen.
Also feel free to forward this on to others in your UUCF small groups, or to
those in your church who may find it meaningful and who might be interested in
>From a small sample of such gifts as have been shared with us over the
years, I share with you now below as my Christmas gift for your reflections and
prayers and inspiration to service in the coming year. Remember, as we live in
two worlds all the time, just as Jesus said the realm of God is here now among
and around and within us, and still coming, that Christmas begins, not ends,
on Dec. 25. So I pray will our spirit and service.
December Prayers by Carl Scovel: Christ my morning, Christ my evening,
Christ my noon, and Christ my rest...Transcendent truth, transform me...O God,
teach me my insufficiency, then my power...Holy God, Holy River, Holy Reservoir
to which my waters flow, Holy Spring from which they come, Holy Moving, Holy
Mystery, Holy More than my mere words, Holy Void into which I pour my pitcher,
Holy Flowing in which I love and move and am--and all this does not say yet.
(after reading Psalm 46:3-4).
Christmas is about the coming of the Messiah. It is about the breaking
through into time--our time, not just a time two thousand years ago--Christmas is
about the breaking through into time of God's grace...The Christmas faith is
not a faith in something which happened two thousand years ago, and it was
done and over with then. We do not wend our way to the manger at Christmas to
worship past history but to worship him who was called Emmanuel--God with
And as we sing our lessons and carols, this from James Luther Adams: The
Christian, in singing, does more than express emotion. Like the singers of other
traditions, there are songs of praise, confession, recollection, dedication,
and fellowship. Hymns become forms of communion between people and God,
providing a bridge that leads to the victory of the creative and recreative powers
of the divine, thereby enabling us to find a new flute and a new melody such
as the song the stars sang together on the morning of creation. Why do we
sing? Carlyle has told us: "All Deep things are song. It seems somehow the very
central essence of us is Song; as if all the rest were but wrappings and
hulls. The primal element of us and of all things, the heart of creation, is
We are surrounded by a mighty cloud of witnesses, those who have left us the
legacy of their lives and those who are with us today, supporting us and
reminding us to look up where the Star of Bethlehem shines for all to see. For
all, no matter what.
Happy Advent, Merry Christmas, Blessed Epiphany
Rev. Ron Robinson
Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship, _www.uuchristian.org_
(http://www.uuchristian.org/) , founded 1945
"freely following Jesus"
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