Liturgy is where we publicly explore the multi-faceted and creative faith expressions of worship within the PAAC community. Here, we will have everything from theological musings and visual/mixed-media artist reflections, to poetry and fiction stories to ponder, dream, and reimagine how we can communally respond to the world around us.
Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany. While we remember the visit of the Magi, I am struck by the very end of our Gospel reading: “And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.” The Magi have an encounter with God Incarnate—and then leave. I wonder what encountering the divine means for those of us who cannot leave our circumstances. I think of my family in Hong Kong who have been living in a state of heightened social unrest for the past seven months.
Christmas is the celebration of a birth. But a Christmas Jesus is a clean baby wrapped up in cloths, not a sticky one emerging from Mary’s body. Why is that? Is it our discomfort with our bodies, and in particular, women’s bodies (trans or cis)? The strangeness of the incarnation, this mixing of divine and human, that we don’t want to recognize? I’m not entirely sure. But I know that this Christmas, I want to see birth. I want to see a woman’s body intermingled with the divine. I want to see a record of the pain that comes before the joy.
Today's Reading: Isaiah 9:2-7 The meeting started with a video. A teenage girl dressed all in black, with a black mask covering her entire face, stood quietly waiting for questions. The interviewer, a woman with a gentle and reassuring voice, started asking...
“Dear God, just give me a sign!”
It’s a common cry, in the popular imagination: an exasperated plea for a clear indication of God’s presence, assurance, favor, and guidance. Who wouldn’t want a sign from the Divine? Particularly during the Christmas season!
Watercolor and pencil, 2019 1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock!You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth2 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.Stir up your...
I often wonder what a different Christmas might be like, what Christmas in Asia — in Persia, India, or China might have been like towards the end of the first millennium, when the early church in Asia had been active. How much of our understanding might be a relic of missionary and colonial history? How else have others understood the Incarnation in the past, and how might we broaden our horizons today?
A few weeks ago I returned to Malaysia to visit family, and – lo and behold! – discovered that my mom had planted three coconut trees in the front yard. The coconuts require lots of tender, loving care, demanding precise amounts of fertilizing for a few years before it can bear fruit, before we can enjoy cooling, sweet, fresh coconut!
Growing up in a Chinese evangelical-ish church, kneeling was taboo unless it was to God. At my grandma’s funeral, our family had even been excused from the traditional Buddhist prostrations before her casket. Yet here is my art history teacher, already getting on his knees before the painting of Mary inside Cavalletti Chapel.
"The Magnificat" by Lourdes Bernard “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said,...
When I was a kid, Advent was an exciting time. Mostly because it was leading up to the reason for the season: Santa Claus and presents. What? Don’t @ me. Now, as an adult, mostly I feel dread and annoyance. I hate presents. I hate shopping. I hate the cold. And apparently, I really hate joy and happiness.