The Witness of Aaron

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Delivered at St. George’s Episcopal Church, La Canada, CA

Palm Sunday, 2010


I invite you all to imagine that this is the year 40 C.E., and you are sitting in a home somewhere in Jerusalem, where a visitor has been invited to speak; a  voice of prayer can be heard outside in the distance.

Ah, yes…the Shema…..the great prayer… Sh’ma Yis’ra’eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad. Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One. These are troubling times…Israel is not one, and the Lord our God is not one…at least with the people of the earth…and I am forbidden to join them in prayer at their synagogue.

My name is Aaron, from the tribe of Joseph, and I am a Samaritan….and amongst the Hebrew people, I am an abomination, I am not pure because my ancestors worshiped God on Mt. Gerizim and intermarried with foreigners, not out of disrespect to God, but to survive after the Assyrians destroyed and brutalized my nation, and my people. I have lived, and my people have lived with this memory for generations, and it has taken root in our souls. Living your life as an abomination is a tough thing, it seems each day I am reminded that I am nothing, I am not worth the dirt a person steps on. Read More

Lots of Newness Going Around

Journey 1 Comment »

asterisk.jpgThough not totally surprised, I was informed that the lease to the guest house where I have resided for almost three years had come to an end, and I must move by March 31. I, of course, had to scramble into action and within the first two weeks of the month saw a variety of places, most of which were totally uninhabitable.  I am not one who expects to live in the bosom of opulence,  but I expect to view a place devoid of filth.

My needs are relatively simple. A private place to relax, and prepare simple meals. A space comfortable enough to watch my PBS shows, or screen a movie. A space enough for my bed, and small flexible table for meals, a usable bathroom for grooming, and a place to hang my cloths.

For almost 900.00 I was offered a living spaces the size of some people’s walk in closets, a kitchenette consisting of a microwave, and a dorm refrigerator. Surprisingly, one place in Glendale was so dirty, it appeared to have been painted over 20 years ago with grit in the shower older than the the city itself. Read More

Exodus, I AM, Narcissus & National Health Care

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chains4blogBased on Exodus 3:1-15

Does anyone remember the story of Narcissus? In Greek Mythology, Narcissus was a beautiful youth who was arrogant, cruel and insensitive to the feelings of others. Hearing the prayer of a maiden in distress, an avenging goddess [Aphrodite] decided that Narcissus would come to feel what it was like to love and experience no return of affection. One day, he came upon a clear fountain where he saw his own image reflected upon the water. Fascinated with the image, he fell in love and came to cherish that which he could not possess or control. He became so absorbed in himself that he eventually drowned in his own reflection.

Myths are powerful because they reflect a truth greater than truth itself. Myths, with their vivid images, and extraordinary tales, expose a psychological reflection of our deepest fears, and our own worries about our self, and our place in the world. Myths, according to Joseph Campbell are, “the experience of meaning” the “clues to the potentialities of a spiritual life.” I would argue that we can’t experience the depth of a spiritual life unless we can find meaning found in the realities of the world around us, to see situations from an inward theological perspective, over and above taking in life’s rawness like the passive shutter of a camera lens. Jesus’ parables are forms of crystallized myths centering on a greater truth, exposing life in its rawness leading towards a deeper experience of meaning. Read More

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