Via Transformativa: Practical Magic — The Magic of Community

By: JUBILEE! Minister Candace Chellew-Hodge

By all rights, Bill Harris, our associate pastor at Jubilee! Circle, and I should not be friends … and not for the reasons some may think such as our difference in age, our difference in gender or our difference in sexual orientation. None of these things really matter all that much to the friendship that he and I have forged.

Instead, I believe the relationship Bill and I have developed comes solely from a very deep understanding of our two Christian scripture readings this morning.

“Beloved, let us love one another …” begins 1 John 4:7-13.

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Via Transformativa: Practical Magic — The Magic of Creation

By: JUBILEE! Minister Candace Chellew-Hodge

The author of this morning’s psalm (Psalm 8:3-8) hasn’t yet forgotten the wonder of creation … and our place in it.

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established,” wrote that desert dwelling poet thousands of years ago, “what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?”

I think that’s an important question we may actually need to examine closer, especially in our day and age.

The psalmist was looking out over some pristine pieces of the earth in his time — there were no factories belching chemicals, oil companies drilling down into the earth in lush forests and no companies fracking the earth with thousands of gallons of water to eke out the last bit of profitable natural gas.

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Via Transformativa: Practical Magic — Shadow Magic

By: JUBILEE! Minister Candace Chellew-Hodge

In our Jesus story (John 20:19-25), we find ourselves at the tail end of one of the greatest hero stories of all — the story of a superhero with special powers such as healing the sick and feeding thousand with just a few loaves of bread and some fish who comes to save the world.

Only, his method seems a little odd, letting himself get killed by the very evil he seemingly came to defeat. But, this story, as Jesus appears to his disciples in the upper room after the resurrection, is a different kind of heroic tale — the kind that teaches us how to renounce the false magic of ego that wants to fix the world out there.

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Via Transformativa: Practical Magic — Magic of Resurrection

By: JUBILEE! Minister Candace Chellew-Hodge

In our Jesus story, we find three women — Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome out for an early morning visit to Jesus’ tomb where they intend to anoint his body with oil and spices.  As they make their trek, they ask a question that holds the key to help us arise from our own tomb of ego.

“Who will roll away the stone?” This is not an idle question when taken literally. The stones used to cover the tombs in Jesus’ time were huge and would take anywhere from sixteen to twenty men to muscle it out of the way. How were three women supposed to get in to visit Jesus?

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Via Transformativa: Practical Magic — Practicing Practical Magic

By: JUBILEE! Minister Candace Chellew-Hodge

We all have movies we could watch over and over again. One that I always stop and watch whenever I find it on is the 1998 movie Practical Magic starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. In the film, Bullock and Kidman are sisters named Sally and Gillian Owen. They are, not so secretly, witches who have been raised by their aunts in a big old scary house in New England after their parents die.

The aunts teach the girls the truth about themselves and how to use their practical magic, but it comes with a price. There has been a curse placed on the girls — the men they fall in love with will face an early death.

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Via Creativa: Like Starting Over — Changing the Game

By: JUBILEE! Minister Bill Harris 

We create suffering for ourselves and others by playing the game of ego.  Ego is energized by fear which is the result of a misperception of reality — what the universe is really about.  All the great spiritual teachers and guides, including Jesus, tells us all is one and is energized by love.  Therefore, our existence, and the universe, operates by a set of universal principles designed to manifest or actualize love.

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Via Creativa: Like Starting Over — The Math of Forgiveness

By: JUBILEE! Minister Candace Chellew-Hodge

Come, Come whoever you are,
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving,
It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a thousand times.
Come, yet again, come, come.  — Rumi

The apostle Paul, writing to the church in Rome (Romans 14:1-12), has the same message to his charges that Rumi has for all of us. When we judge others and withhold our forgiveness for whatever reason, we are driving that caravan of despair.

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Via Creativa: Like Starting Over – Simple Spirituality

By: JUBILEE! Minister Bill Harris

Religion is an attempt to give expression to spiritual experiences. So there are many religions that express in different ways a core spiritual experience and awareness. When we move from focusing on the outer language and images to the inner meaning, we discover an underlying consistency.

So when the enlightened, the mystics, the spiritual pioneers—those who have focused on the inner meaning rather than the external dogma and doctrine of their religious traditions—get together, they all understand each other. When we read the writings of the Christian mystic, Meister Eckhart and the writings of the Sufi mystic, Rumi; we find them saying the same thing. When the Catholic Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, went to Asia and India he was recognized as a Buddha, an enlightened being.

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Via Creativa: Like Starting Over – Everyday Enlightenment

By: JUBILEE! Minister Candace Chellew-Hodge

In our Jesus story (Mark 9:2-9), we find our guy on top of a mountain with three of his disciples – Peter, John and James. During this trip, all four of them each have a mystical, mountain-top transformation.

For Jesus, this trip was a pow-wow with two other great prophets, Elijah and Moses. But, while they stand around having a conversation, the three disciples have their own spiritual awakening while watching Jesus with his dazzling white clothes talk with the two biggest rock stars of their Jewish heritage.

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Via Creativa: Like Starting Over — How to Train Your Ego

By: JUBILEE! Minister Candace Chellew-Hodge

“Have you not known? Have you not heard?” begins the ancient prophet Isaiah in today’s Hebrew scripture reading (Isaiah 40:21-31). “Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers …”

Ah, grasshoppers, that’s what we humans here on earth are to God. If you want to know what ego is all about — especially collective ego — Isaiah invites us to consider those tiny dragon-like creatures, the grasshopper.

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