Day1 Weekly Radio Broadcast - Day1 FeedsAuthor: Day1.org
20 Feb 2019

Day1 Weekly Radio Broadcast - Day1 Feeds

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Each week the Day1 program, hosted by Peter Wallace, presents an inspiring message from one of America's most compelling preachers representing the mainline Protestant churches. The interview segments inform you about the speaker and the sermon Scripture text, and share ways you can respond to the message personally in your faith and life.

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    Becca Stevens: Loving Our Enemies Is Our Saving Grace

      Walking through the woods in winter, it is easy to spot mistletoe. It sits in splendor on lofty branches high in an elm's canopy. After all the leaves have fallen and the woods have turned to grey, the mistletoe offers white berries and shiny green leaves like a Siren's song to those wandering beneath her. It is no wonder that all kinds of myths and legends have been written about mistletoe. Mysterious and vulnerable, she hovers above in glory offering plenty of room for those of us below her to judge her - both for her beauty and her poison. People have shot mistletoe down with BB guns and climbed dangerously high just to capture her twigs. Bound in ribbon and tied under a doorway, she emboldens those who stand beneath her to await a kiss. One legend declares that the dangerous fruit of mistletoe was used to poison the arrow of an enemy of the goddess of love in order to kill her son. Weeping tears on the deadly arrow, the goddess cast a spell over mistletoe promising all who passed beneath her to be given a kiss. Mistletoe is a good symbol for the absorption that we give an enemy. We build enemies into mythical proportions, then lose sight of the path. Maybe, we think, if we could control our enemies similar to the way we treat mistletoe - cut them down, bind them, or use them for our own purpose - maybe, just maybe, we will gain control of our lives and have the power we think we deserve. Enemies draw us in, and we create myths about them to warrant our contempt. By giving so much power to an enemy, we create legends, give them space in our minds, and allow them to even step into our sacred dream world. When our enemies become our focus, they can obscure our path so we can't see the tree for the proverbial mistletoe and surely lose site of the forest. Walking through the woods, we can always find mistletoe atop oaks, pines, and elms. By viewing and loving mistletoe as part of creation, we can honor it for what it is. We can turn our eyes back to the path in front of us and not be blind to all the amazing gifts of the woods. Mistletoe reminds us that by loving each and every part of creation, both the good and the bad, we are able to keep walking down a sacred path. Loving our enemies is our saving grace.

  • Posted on 19 Feb 2019

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    Mark Larson: We Deserve to Weep

      "I deserve to weep." My father and I were standing in a parking lot on a Thursday afternoon, after a funeral. The previous Monday, I'd received a phone call from the pastor of the church where my father had served for over twenty years, the church where I grew up. She had thoughtfully called to let us know about the death of one the members of that congregation. Calling him a "member" was an understatement. "Pillar" would be a more appropriate description. You know, the kind of person you always think will be there, whose fingerprints are on every square inch of that building and that ministry. I thought to myself that this would be a perfect opportunity. Ever since we moved my mother into an Alzheimer's care unit, my dad had been going to visit her once, twice, even three times a day. He really hadn't "transitioned" yet. He had not taken a chance to get away, to break out of the daily routine of caring for my mom that had become the center of his life, to find a "new normal." I thought that this might be opportunity to help him make that transition. I called him up and I said, "Dad, if you want to go to this funeral, I'll go with you." I told him that I thought it would be good for him. He agreed. And so, we met at church on Thursday morning, the day of the funeral. The experience was everything that I hoped that it would be. The service was a wonderful, tender tribute to this faithful servant of the Gospel, this saint of the Church. There was sadness, of course, but also a beautiful celebration of his life.

  • Posted on 12 Feb 2019

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    Sarah Shelton: A Big Fish Tale: Worthy or Willing?

      My brother, Jim, is five years my senior, and growing up, he was really cool. I guess I should say that he is still really cool, as our youngest son wants Jim to chaperone his fraternity brothers on a spring break trip to Florida! So, I should probably be thankful for his "coolness," but growing up, it did tend to get in the way. For instance, when he was in high school, I was only in junior high. He could drive. I could not. He had clothes with logos on them. My mother made my clothes. While he enjoyed being out on Friday and Saturday nights, I was babysitting or watching TV with my parents. While I had one or two close friends, Jim had a whole posse of friends. Johnny Davis lived right next door but there were others: Bobby, Prairie Dog (whose real name I still don't know), Edward, Robert and Bill. They were well-behaved guests at our dinner table, but they were also the same crew my brother met up with when he snuck out of the house by climbing out of his second story bedroom window. All of these boys had brothers except for Jim. Jim lived in a house full of over-achieving, over-functioning, bossy, but sweet, sisters. So, whenever he and his friends had to take or pick me up at school, they would roll their eyes as I spilled my books climbing into the back seat of a two-door car. I spilled them because I took too many home and because I was also toting a band instrument. Please note, I did not play the piccolo that is easily carried. No, I played the bassoon, and its case is the equivalent of a suitcase. So besides being "Baby Sister," being a member of the band is probably the thing that made me the most uncool in their eyes. Perhaps they were being playful when they nicknamed me "The Little Bandsman," but I heard it as a damning statement of judgment. It made me feel like I was not even worthy to be in their presence.

  • Posted on 05 Feb 2019

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    Susan Baller-Shepard: Now I Know

      In 2008, after losing her parliamentary seat, Wangari Maathai urged tribal elders to help stop ethnic killings, following a disputed presidential election. This was a precarious season. The text messages to her read like this: "Because of your opposing the government at all times ... we have decided to look for your head very soon."  Wangari Maathai was the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, and the Nobel Committee said of her, that she was "a strong voice speaking for the best forces in Africa to promote peace and good living conditions on that continent ... her unique forms of action have contributed to drawing attention to political oppression." The push for peace, for justice, made her dangerous. She'd already changed vast numbers of women's lives, pushed for civil rights, as she founded the Green Belt Movement in Kenya, and worked to get over 30 million trees planted in that country. 30 million trees! Of course, there was the fact that she'd faced house arrest, been beaten to unconsciousness, jailed, and received death threats. But we know this, right? To work for peace, to work for justice, to work for civil rights is dangerous work. I got to meet Wangari Maathai in 2007, a year before these death threats, when a friend of mine interviewed her in Chicago, got to hear her sing "Amazing Grace" in Kikuyu. Four years later she died of ovarian cancer.

  • Posted on 29 Jan 2019

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    Tony Sundermeier: Are All Ushers?

      Several years ago, while serving a congregation in Pennsylvania, I received an email from a pastor friend who detailed his plan for an upcoming sabbatical.  Part of the plan included worshipping one Sunday in the congregation I was serving.  That day eventually came and I told my friend (his name is John) that I would be on the lookout for him. After I wrapped up a Sunday school class, I walked toward the sanctuary, and to my surprise I saw John standing by one of the doors, bulletins in hand, welcoming people who were coming to worship. I approached my pastor friend and curiously asked, "Are you ushering?"  John smiled and quipped, "At least I don't have to preach."  He then explained how it came to be that he was ushering as a first-time visitor to our congregation. He came into the sanctuary, found a seat, when all of a sudden a member of the church who possessed great ambition and moxie - she approached him and said, "Hey, our usher team is short-handed today.  Would you pass out these bulletins by that door and greet people as they come in? Thank you, so much."  John read her cue and clearly understood that he was being volun-told to serve. And, being a gracious person, he politely agreed and took his post as an usher for the morning. While John and I have enjoyed some laughs over the years about his experience, I have come to think about this story in an illustrative way.  Here is what I mean: so many in congregational leadership have been burdened by trying to fill gaps within their church's ministries.  With dwindling membership rolls, aging congregations, and cultural changes that require new ways of bearing witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it seems that many churches are short-handed.  The refrains go something like this: "We can't get any new Sunday school teachers.  We can't find anyone to volunteer for our Habitat build.  We don't have anyone to run our Advent festival.  We don't have any new recruits for Stephen Ministry. We don't have any ushers lined up for today to hand out bulletins and greet people."

  • Posted on 22 Jan 2019

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