Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Valentine

For those whose hearts have ever been broken,
May God bless them with healing, renewal, and love born anew.

For those whose hearts are bound in love to others,
May God bless them with patience, purpose, and understanding.

For God who showed us love in Jesus, pure and true, vulnerable and selfless,
May God bless us all with hearts filled with praise and joy, and love for one another.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love,
Mark

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WOULD YOU RECOGNIZE JESUS IF HE STOOD UP IN WORSHIP, READ SCRIPTURE, AND PREACHED RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU? Well, guess what? Jesus did exactly that yet the people in his own hometown didn’t recognize him for who he truly was.

If you’re having a hard time spotting the truth these days, or feeling the presence of God in your life, or even experiencing the promised miracles of God, don’t despair.  (more…)

BY THE TIME MY BROTHERS AND I WERE TEENAGERS, my parents were able to take  short vacations and leave us in charge of the house. We didn’t always take care of the place very well but knowing when they were due home, we managed to get the place passably cleaned up before they returned. The problem for us happened on those occasions when Mom and Dad decided to come home early. Yikes!

In a sense, Jesus has left us to be faithful stewards of the world, to take care of the earth and all who dwell in it until his return. And he said, Keep awake, for you do not know when the master of the house will come.

Check out this inspiring first-week-of-Advent message, House Sitter. It asks the questions: Are we living in fear or in hope? What would life be like if we lived as if faith wasn’t a requirement to receive God’s grace, rather a hope-filled response to having already received it?

What happens when parents leave the kids in charge? Living in hope, not in fear.

 

 

 

For This Place and Time (Gathering Hymn of the City) With so many people on the planet living in cities these days, and those within cities moving downtown and to more urban areas, I’m surprised the church doesn’t offer more hymns that celebrate the work and theology of the church in the city. So I decided to contribute to the small body of urban hymns by composing one of my own (words below). We’ve sung twice now at the Old Stone Church (First Presbyterian Church of Cleveland), both times as a processional hymn. It makes a great Ascension Sunday hymn or hymn for any Sunday.

Work and pray for the well being of the city. Jeremiah 29:7
Wait here in the city until you are clothed with power from on high. Luke 24:49

If your congregation or choir would like to sing For This Place and Time (Gathering Hymn of the City), you will have my permission. Just send me a note and I will give you a little permission blurb to include in your bulletin. I wrote it to the tune of Hyfrydol (Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, Love Divine, etc.), which means “cheerful” with the hope that choirs and congregations would sing this new song with joy. Blessings!

For This Place and Time (Gathering Hymn of the City)
©2018 R. Mark Giuliano

Come, dear friends, and let us gather;
Be restored by God’s great hour.
In the city, yes, the Spirit,
Clothes us with a greater power.
Sent from heaven far beyond us,
To our hearts where love can reign.
Be renewed of God’s good labor
For the city once again.

Here we meet as one great city,
Friend and stranger, one in love.
Here we’ll find the great encounter
Where God’s word is spoken of.
Let us praise God, all together,
Let God’s people, here, rejoice!
Rich mosaic of all creation*
Let us lift to God our voice.

We give thanks to you, the Holy,
For this place and for this time.
Let us cherish where we live, now,
Let us make it wholly thine.
May the path each day we travel,
In the city that we all share
Be the place of divine blessing,
Of your presence everywhere.

Sung to HYFRYDOL (Come, Though Long-Expected Jesus) 8.7.8.7.D

*Special thanks to Dr. J. Barrie Shepherd, Minister Emeritus, First Presbyterian Church, New York City and fellow poet/hymn writer who made a wonderful suggestion on this particular line.

Overflow

RICK MORANIS, THE CANADIAN COMEDIAN SAID THAT HE TOOK A SABBATICAL FROM ACTING because shooting movies was stealing him away from his young children. “Keeping in touch with them from hotel rooms and airports wasn’t working for me. So I stopped.” Some take sabbaticals because they need to spend more time with their kids. Others, like myself, take sabbaticals because we need to spend more time with ourselves.

Too often pastors are very good at taking care of everyone but themselves. If you’ve been following my blog, you already know that this summer, I’m taking a long-overdue 12-week sabbatical from my ministry in downtown Cleveland – almost 16 weeks when I throw in a few weeks of vacation, to do something wonderfully countercultural: take care of myself. But “Where, O where is my pastor going?” you ask.

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In a world of bigotry, hate, and white nationalist marches, the story of David and Goliath has great impact. Not only did David defeat his nine and a half foot giant, Goliath, he disclosed Goliath’s weaknesses, and the foolishness of false powers.

I preached part one of Conquering Giants on August 20, 2017 after the tragedy of Charlottesville and the anti-hate marches of Boston and around the country the following week. I pray that you find some hope and empowerment in watching it, as we all pray for healing and peace in America today.

– RMG

LINK: Conquering Giants Part One – Video

“The Christian religion asks us to put our trust not in ideas, and certainly not in ideologies, but in a God Who was vulnerable enough to become human and die, and Who desires to be present to us in our ordinary circumstances.”

― Kathleen Norris