Tuesday, July 29, 2008

There's no Place Like Home

I have been thinking a great deal lately about the "Wizard of Oz." The 1939 movie, starring Judy Garland was a seminal part of my growing up and we would gather around the TV set (or go to a neighbor's who had a color TV) and watch it when it came on once a year. I did not see it on the big screen until our oldest daughter was four and we took Emily to see it at the Walters Art Gallery. The special effects were amazing for their time and on the big screen the flying monkeys and the melting witch scared us all. I have been thinking of that story a lot because it is the tale of a girl going on what starts as an accidental journey where she learns many lessons about love, life and home. In the process, she finds friends and helps them discover their gifts, she finds her own gifts and power and lets go of some pretty unreal expectations for her life. Growing up and moving on means letting go of old presumptions, letting them die and discovering new gifts and powers that have been hiding inside all along. It is the release of the old expectations that makes room for new possibilities. "There's no place like home" only becomes possible when we have new eyes for our home.

When ever I think about the Wizard of Oz, I realize it is triggering in me the need to let go, let some presumptions die and make room for new possibilities. It is time to let go of the things that are broken and old, that no longer can contain who and what I am becoming. It is the same for institutions like our Church. Our Anglican Communion as it was presumed to be, is no longer what it used to be, no longer what was possible then. We can't learn what it can become until we are able to let go of the presumptions and broken vessels and let God reveal the new power and gifts in our midst. I ask God's strength this day to be able to let go of all that is clogging and congesting the move forward for me personally, for all of us and especially for the Bishops as they gather in Lambeth. We are not what we were before, we don't fit in the mold anymore, but it was a presumptive mold, and must be broken open for the spirit of God to remake it. May we all have the strength to delight in God's stretching us in new ways, and our willingness to put down what is not longer functioning, whether myth, icon or structure. May our emptiness be filled with God's gifts. May our brokenness be a sign of God's healing.

Morning Prayer
Gracious Creator,
you put the sun in the sky and shielded us with trees and vines. You have brought us to a new day, with new possibilities and new challenges. Help us to let go of our rigid expectations. Help us to inhabit new dreams in new languages. Help us to be fearless in our pursuit of your love in our midst. We ask this all in Christ's name, Amen.

Evening Prayer
Wondrous God,
your dazzling stars remind us of your constancy. Your brilliant moon reminds us of your willingness to encircle our lives and be with us in our darkest hours. Be with all who pray this night for new vision, new revelation. May your love be revealed in the people around us. May your encircling promises be incarnate in our lives. May we be agents of your love in this world which so needs your presence and tenderness. In the name of Christ, the tender shepherd of all wandering flocks, Amen.


pietzsche2 said...

We should discuss how weird it is that on Sunday I was prancing around singing "can I even dye my eyes to match my gown? Jolly ole town!" and then I turned on the TV and Dorthy was telling Scarecrow that she would miss him most of all. I think Judy Garland is trying to tell us something.

Love you more.
the oldest daughter

Jane R said...

Coincidentally, that is the title of my essay in today's Episcopal Café.

Let me take this opportunity to thank you for your blog. Your daily reflections are like cool refreshing water on a hot day, and they are often paths to prayer for me. I posted a link to your blog several days ago on my own blog. I know several folks have stopped over here and deeply appreciate your writings. Thank you for your ministry -- and continued prayers for healing.

mamabishop said...

To Emily
yes, as always, I think you're right! Transitions are hard, growing up is harder and we all need to see the Wizard now and then. Love you more Your Mommy

To Jane R,
Thank you, sometimes I know I am encouraging myself as much as others. Thanks for helping me know we all need each other in this journey. Blessings,


the Webmaster said...

Dear Bishop and Friend,

Thank you for your comments about what is happening in our church and perhaps it is time for the Episcopal Church in the United States should consider our participation in the Anglican Communion. From what I have read on a listserv that I watch, the God that we pray to is not stuck in the words in the King James version of the Bible, but lives in our hearts and minds today.

The fact that several voices, your being one of them, are not at the table so that others can listen.

Thank you for reminding us daily of how awesome our God is. From Blackberries to the Wizard of Oz, sun rises, sun sets, and your wonderful family and your stories. They lift me up daily.

Blessings from Southwestern Virginia (Grace House).

mamabishop said...

Dear Webmaster,
all I know how to do is share what God puts on my heart. Here's hoping it gives us all courage to continue this journey together! With many blessings,