Sunday, May 22, 2016

I've Consolidated My Creativity, Again

Several years ago I shifted "Holy Ink," this blog of spiritual writing, to its successor, "This or Something Better." Now, that too, has moved to my new website There, I also have photo haikus, a list of my publications, information about my writing services, as well as my life as a home renovator and real estate broker. Blogspot has been a wonderful host for years, and I plan to leave these archives online.

Friday, April 18, 2014

That First Easter

I wrote this midrash as an Easter sermon ten years ago. Wanted to share it again:

I’m not surprised the mourners didn’t leap at the news of Jesus’ Resurrection with shouts of joy.  I’d join the Disciples in disbelief, if I hadn’t been there at the tomb.  What a cruel joke, this idle tale they thought we’d invented.  And if we had been men, instead of women, if those Disciples had been willing to disregard their disdain for women’s work, and their fear of becoming unclean, and their utter grief at the very thought of touching the dead body of our master, if they had come to the tomb instead of us, or with us, then would they have believed?  Would the others have believed our fantastic story if men had told it?

Somehow, I don’t think so.  How can you believe without seeing, the stone rolled away, the body gone?  There were those who left the group, searching the city high and low for the missing body of our Lord.  Surely the Romans had no interest in it, and really would our priests come in the middle of the night to roll away the stone and remove his body at the risk being unclean, at the risk of violating God’s laws?  How could our teacher’s dead body be of any threat or concern to them?  They had silenced Jesus, had accomplished what they set out to do.  How could they possibly think he would continue to shake up the world from the grave?

How can anyone believe or imagine something what has never before happened in the realm of human history?  Yet, I stood with the other women, more out of obligation and curiosity, than with any true faith as a real follower.  A skeptic, a questioner in the crowd; that’s what I ‘d been, and Jesus had welcomed and accepted me, had nodded and explained himself and this kingdom he said was coming, patient with our inability to see things his way.

He had predicted his death and this rising, but I hadn’t known what he meant, not when he was alive, and not in the tomb when these glowing strangers appeared.  But their authority and assurance was overwhelming in that space, so much so that I believed something amazing had happened.

That was the essence of the news we reported that morning: Something unbelievable had happened, something incomprehensible.  This was the news that leapt from our tongues like wildfire, even as we searched for the body, just in case.

He had risen.  But what did that mean?  All we knew was that he had vanished.  We didn’t yet know that we would encounter his risen persona again and again, entering upper rooms, walking the road to Emmaus, blinding Paul, empowering others.  It was an end to his physical existence, not even a body to embalm, yet the beginning of a new life and a ministry that has no end.

Monday, January 28, 2013

I have an essay about learning to pray: "Praying for Words" posted at The Other Journal.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Let Us Sing To the Lord

I wrote this poem back in 2004 to honor the many wonderful musicians in my church, and read it again today to honor one of our accompanists who blessed us with her amazing skills for the past six and a half years.  It was a joy to work with Char.  She thought so carefully about the theme of the service and chose appropriate and beautiful music to offer to us.

This poem was published several years back in Alive Now.  You are welcome to use it worship services to honor the musicians in your midst, just please give me credit as the author.

Let us Sing to the Lord

To honor the musicians of Boulder Creek UMC, Feb. 1, 2004

In the ancient quiet of this world
one raised her voice and carried a note
she was joined by another
and melody began
harmony followed
spanning the distance between souls.

Song was born
and the drum followed
the rhythm of our hearts
beating outside our bodies
inviting our ancestors to dance

Arms were raised to the firmament
bodies began to sway
feet to jump

our first worship
our earliest praise

so it continues today
rising above our chaotic world
teeming with sound

Music draws us beyond the noise
carries us out of isolation, beyond confusion
satisfies the insistent cry of spirit

The instruments
of voice
of piano
of guitar, drum and flute

They are the instruments of God’s peace
Their notes restore our joy
Their prayers bind us together

We give thanks to you and for you
the ones who offer your voices in song
and make music with your hands
fingering melodies, drumming life
strumming praise, and piping divinity

A testimony that slides in our ears
and sets our spirits singing in return

©Cathy Warner 2004