Rivendell Fellowship

Jesus’ Baptism by reflectionsofchrist
January 5, 2007, 2:43 am
Filed under: Bible, Ecclesia, Jesus, New Testament

(I’m double posting this on my blog as well)

All four gospels mention Jesus’ baptism. However, they each handle it differently. I’ve got a link to all four at Bible Gateway. Read each. What strikes you about each account? Where do see similarities and distinctions?


John the Baptist by reflectionsofchrist
December 7, 2006, 3:47 pm
Filed under: Ecclesia

Hey, I love the idea of posting what we’re going to read and talk about on Sundays. I’ve tried a couple times to post things about our gatherings and some of my thoughts. Of course, sometimes, these posts are on my original blog and sometimes they end up in other places accidentally. Oh well.

Sunday, we’re in the second week of Advent and we’re looking at a text from Luke 3.

What grabs your attention in this selection? What images stand out? What word choices in the various translations seem interesting? Comments? Questions?

Newbigin on the Resurrection by pilgrimramblings
September 21, 2006, 4:46 am
Filed under: Ecclesia

“The first commentary on the death of Jesus was the suicide of Judas. If the cross were the last word in God’s self-revelation then this first commentary would be the only possible one. If all humankind- even in its best representatives- is exposed here as one murderous treason against its Creator, what future is there but death? What is the point of continuing this futile saga of sin, even with all the adornments of civilization? If the cross is the end, then there is no future.

But it is not. The resurrection is the revelation to chosen witnesses of the fact that Jesus who died on the cross is indeed king- conqueror of death and sin, Lord and Savior of all. The resurrection is not the reversal of a defeat but the proclamation of a victory. The King reigns from the tree. The reign of God has indeed come upon us, and its sign is not a golden throne but a wooden cross.”

– Lesslie Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks, pg. 127

Finding Home by pilgrimramblings
September 18, 2006, 9:22 pm
Filed under: Journey

Last night at Purple Glaze during Lectio Divina, I found a word that grabbed me and refused to let me go. It was a simple word, one that we probably use everyday without giving much thought to its implications of what it really means to us. It was the word “home”. Eugene Peterson’s translation of John 15:9 says it like this: “I’ve loved you the way the Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love.” When I read and heard aloud the word, I paused to reflect on what home is for me, and I realized that simulaneously I had feelings of both comfort and uneasiness. I think home is a place I feel safe and at peace, and yet it is also a place I feel I have lost in many ways and struggle to get back to. My childhood involved many memories of swimming in the neighbor’s pool, driving my toy lawnmower as my father did yardwork, playing “red light, green light” in the street with friends, and riding my bicycle in the neighborhood. It also makes me think of my mother making orange julius and homemade vanilla ice cream, and my sister and I watching The Sound of Music. Those are my memories, those are my comforting thoughts and with that the feelings of warmth, serenity, and simplicity. As I aged, things got so much more complicated, and the matrix of relationships, struggles, sin, and joy all got more tangled and weaved into something that was not easily explained nor regulated. I’ve sowed my prodigal seeds, and I have attempted to mend them each day with little progress. It was not until I read Henri Nouwen that I got a sense of perspective on what I was attempting to do with my life. In Return of the Prodigal Son, Nouwen states, “Only when I have the courage to explore in depth what it means to leave home, can I come to a true understanding of the return” (pg. 33). I had left home, and my journey for that peace and simplicity was in a sense to return to Eden. My childhood was not perfect, and my hope for return is not exactly to a place as much as it is a return to shalom, to a place of security and friendship. The insecurities, failures, and the struggles of this life can be put at rest when there is a return to home. And I think home is what we all search for our entire lives. Some of us have no conceived notion of what home has been because we have not felt it, and yet still we believe in a place that should have those things that make a home.

In the same passage in John 15, Jesus makes a distinction between servants and friends. Jesus calls us to friendship, not to slavery or to a sense of duty, but to friendship. And I think it is in friendship that we find home. The place where we don’t feel performance anxiety or feel compelled to say the right things at the right times. And  I think Peterson quotes Jesus correctlywhen he says, “Make yourselves at home in my love”. Make yourselves at home in Christ. Christ is home. Simple, and yet profound. How does this happen? How can Christ be my home? True friendship involves knowing, not so much as our factual knowledge of that person but how we relate to them relationally. Knowing Christ knowing us. The truest friendships I have are messy, usually because they know all my mishaps and shames, but also they know my joy and what my desires are. But I also get to know them too, and the beauty that they have given me and others. I don’t perform for them nor do they for me. We can rest in relationship. We can be ourselves and also become better people. This is home as well, and what Jesus later commands when he states: “Love one another”. In a sense, create home for each other. And yet, in my relationship to Christ and to my friends, I still haven’t found home completely. The journey for home is still present, and most days I find myself being both the prodigal who leaves and the son who returns to the Father. Frederick Buechner says it best, ” I cannot claim that I have found the home I long for every day of my life, not by a long shot, but I believe that in my heart I have found, and have maybe always known, the way that leads to it” (Secrets in the Dark, pg. 237).

God, be with us during our pilgrimage towards home.


Sally is Here by reflectionsofchrist
September 12, 2006, 2:51 pm
Filed under: Ecclesia

Sally Morgenthaler is here in Tulsa. Sally is an influential author and thinker and she’s leading a workshop at Phillps Theological Seminary September 12-13. [Here’s a post about the event] She’s also going to be at McNellie’s pub downtown tonight (Tuesday, September 12th) at 8:00 conversing with the Tulsa Emergent Cohort. You are invited. Come down, have a brew and enjoy the discussion.

And hey, remember to bring a photo of a friend with you to Rivendell Sunday morning. Grab a picture of someone who was a friend to you in an important time in your life; someone who helped, challenged, cared, nurtured, understood, played alongside or who somehow bore the face of God to you.

Lectio Divina by pilgrimramblings
September 9, 2006, 3:59 am
Filed under: Ecclesia

We are starting Lectio Divina at Purple Glaze this Sunday night @ 7pm. We will have translations of the text available on paper and in book form, but if you would still like to bring your own bible, please bring either the Message or the NIV.

 Also, look forward to new posts from myself (Daniel), and hopefully other contributors as well. If you would like to become a contributor to this blog, email me at dlsharples@gmail.com

Volleyball by pilgrimramblings
July 16, 2006, 8:37 pm
Filed under: Ecclesia



July 17th, Monday night at 7pm

Volleyball, all are invited. We’ll be playing @ 71st and Riverside

 Hope to see you there…