1 Chronicles, Chapter 22, Verse 11-13
11 “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, and may you succeed in building the house of the Lord your God, as he has said you shall. 12 But may the Lord give you prudence and discernment when he gives you command over Israel, so that you keep the law of the Lord, your God. 13 Only then shall you succeed, if you are careful to observe the statutes and ordinances which the Lord commanded Moses for Israel. Be strong and steadfast; do not FEAR or be dismayed.
This is David’s farewell blessing to his son soon to be King Solomon. It is the wish of David that Solomon finishes the Temple of the Lord. Yet, what David may not understand is that eventually the physical temple of God, where the Holy Spirit of God actually dwells moves from the physical temple to a new eve and recreates man in His own image-in spirit and truth. Mary becomes the Ark of the Covenant and gives birth to Christ. Christ gives us His flesh and we are in fact the new temples of God.
The Temple of God
· David starts getting plans together for a Temple.
· He finds builders and workers. He sets aside stones, iron, bronze, and cedar for the building.
· Of course, David knows he won't be the one to actually oversee the building of the Temple. His son, Solomon, is. But Solomon is "young and inexperienced" so he'll need some help in order to make this the greatest temple the world has ever seen. God deserves nothing less.
· David goes to his son and lays out his plans for the Temple. He tells Solomon that he would really like to be the one to do the work, but that God told him not to chance it. It seems that David has killed too many people (what with all those wars he was always fighting in). God can't have his house tainted by all that blood.
· But Solomon will be a peaceful king and Israel will be a peaceful place while he's in charge. That's a way better time to build a temple.
· David finishes by telling Solomon that he'll be successful if he always listens to God and stays faithful.
Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration Falling
of The Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of
to Priests, Deacons, Religious and the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Phoenix
on the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist
My beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
104. If God were to offer to do an amazing work to foster faith in the Church and in the world today, what would we ask? We may like to ask for signs and wonders, lightnings and fire, like the pillars of cloud and fire as in the Exodus with Moses. Or we may ask for Eucharistic miracles like bleeding or levitating hosts to deepen our faith in the Eucharist. Perhaps we would simply ask for cultural circumstances to be more favorable to religion.
105. None of this would do any good with respect to faith. Saint John Henry Newman in a sermon entitled “Miracles No Remedy for Unbelief” recalls the Lord’s words that the Israelites “refused to believe in me, despite all the signs I have performed among them” (Numbers 14:11); and that chief priests and pharisees called a council to put Christ to death because he “is performing many signs” (Jn 11:47). Newman’s sobering conclusion is that “nothing is gained by miracles, nothing comes of miracles, as regards our religious views, principles, and habits”. He knows that too often we find our ourselves having gone “year after year with the vain dream of turning to God some future day”. What should we ask from God, then, to strengthen faith?
106. The answer is not in looking for outward miracles or improved circumstances. No, look elsewhere. Newman points to the way forward by saying, “instead of looking for outward events to change our course of life, be sure of this, that if our course of life is to be changed, if must be from within. God’s grace moves us from within, so does our own will”. His point is that if we do not love God, it is because we have not wanted to love Him, tried to love Him, or prayed to love Him.
To be continued…
Midsummer is the period of time centered upon the summer solstice, and more specifically the northern European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice or take place on a day between June 19 and June 25 and the preceding evening. The exact dates vary between different cultures. The undivided Christian Church designated June 24 as the feast day of the early Christian martyr St John the Baptist, and the observance of St John's Day begins the evening before, known as St John's Eve.
Midsummer celebrations held throughout the United States are largely derived from the cultures of immigrants who arrived from various European nations since the 19th century. With the rise of earth-centered spirituality, many, including Unitarian Universalists, celebrate the summer solstice as a religious holiday.
· Alaska-As the state of Alaska, northernmost state in the nation, straddles the Arctic Circle, midsummer is a time when most of the state is in daylight or civil twilight the entire day. The Midnight Sun Game is an annual tradition in the city of Fairbanks, in which a regulation game of baseball is played at 10:30 p.m. local time, through the midnight hour, with no artificial lighting.
· Arizona-Tucson has announced its inaugural Earthwalk Solstice celebration, with sister events in San Francisco, Jerusalem, and other communities around the world. The event features a walk through a giant labyrinth, musicians, healers, ceremony, etc.
· California-Since 1974, Santa Barbara has hosted an annual Summer Solstice celebration, typically on the weekend of or the weekend after the actual solstice. It includes a festival and parade. In Santa Clara County, the Swedish American Patriotic League has held a Midsummer celebration at Sveadal for more than 120 years. It includes a parade, decorating and raising a Maypole, dancing and other activities.
· Illinois-Geneva hosts a Swedish Day (Swedish: Svenskarnas Dag) festival on the third Sunday of June. The event, featuring maypole-raising, dancing, and presentation of an authentic Viking ship, dates back to 1911.
· Michigan-In Kaleva, Juhannus is celebrated annually on or near the Summer Solstice by Gathering at the Village Roadside Park. Traditionally Pannukakku (Finnish Oven Baked Pancake) and strawberry shortcake is enjoyed followed by a bonfire or kokko. Kaleva was founded in 1900 by Finnish immigrants.
· Oregon-The Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival has been a tradition on the North Coast of Oregon for over forty years. The Festival takes place typically on the 3rd full weekend of June. The festival embodies the rich cultural heritage that was transplanted to the Astoria, Oregon region by emigrating Scandinavians. In the Pacific Northwest they found the same bounteous seas and forests as in their native lands and the demand for their skills at managing them.
· New York-The NYC Swedish Midsummer celebrations in Battery Park, New York City, attracts some 3,000–5,000 people annually, which makes it one of the largest celebrations after the ones held in Leksand and at the Skansen Park in Stockholm. Sweden Day, a Midsummer celebration which also honors Swedish heritage and history, has been held annually on the sound in Throgs Neck in New York City since 1941. Swedish Midsummer is also celebrated in other places with large Swedish and Scandinavian populations, such as Rockford, Illinois, Chicago, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Lindsborg, Kansas. The Swedish "language village" (summer camp) Sjölunden, run by Concordia College in Minnesota, also celebrates Midsummer.
· Washington-The Seattle neighborhood of Fremont puts on a large Summer Solstice Parade and Pageant, which for many years has controversially included painted naked cyclists. In St. Edwards Park in Kenmore, the Skandia Folkdance Society hosts Midsommarfest, which includes a Scandinavian solstice pole.
· Wyoming-A solstitial celebration is held on Casper Mountain at Crimson Dawn park. Crimson Dawn is known in the area for the great stories of mythical creatures and people that live on Casper Mountain. The celebration is attended by many people from the community, and from around the country. A large bonfire is held, and all are invited to throw a handful of red soil into the fire in hopes that they get their wish granted.
Juneteenth, also called Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, celebrates the abolition of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Texas to deliver news that President Lincoln has issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the enslaved. Although Lincoln's Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, it took nearly two and half years for word to travel from Washington to Texas. By then, Texas had amassed more than 250,000 slaves.
Since 1865, Juneteenth has been informally celebrated throughout the country however in 1980, Texas became the first state to recognize it as an official holiday. Shortly thereafter, other states also proclaimed the holiday. Today, Juneteenth is a celebration of African American freedom, heritage and culture observed through songs, communal cookouts and parades.
Juneteenth Facts & Quotes
· According to the International Labor Organization, almost 21 million people are victims of forced labor today, 11+ million women and girls and 9+ million men and boys.
· Juneteenth is a combination of the words June and Nineteenth about the date that slaves were freed in Texas.
· The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere. - General Gordon Granger, Major General of the United States Army, Issued June 19, 1865.
· ...I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons. - President Abraham Lincoln, The Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863
Juneteenth Top Events and Things to Do
· Read the Emancipation Proclamation. The proclamation, issued by President Lincoln, declared all persons held as slaves within any State... shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free
· Visit the Whitney Plantation, America's first slavery museum, to learn about impact of slavery in Southern America. The museum contains exhibits, artwork, restored buildings and first-person slave narratives about the lives of those enslaved in Louisiana.
· Sing traditional Juneteenth songs. These include Swing low, Swing Chariot, and Lift Every Voice and Sing.
· Attend the annual Juneteenth Emancipation Celebration at Emancipation Park, Houston Texas.
· Attend a Juneteenth Musical Festival. These are held across the United States; great ones can be found in Denver, Berkeley and Atlanta
“I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits unless I spend four hours a day at least – and it is commonly more than that – sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.”
~ Henry David Thoreau
· The world around us is moving at such a hectic pace, that we often forget to slow down and smell the proverbial roses. Even our walk is at high speed, pushing every inch of speed we can out of what is otherwise the most leisurely of modes of locomotion. It isn’t just an opportunity for us to remember to walk it is, more importantly, an opportunity for us to take a truly relaxed tack to the day and choose to saunter.
History of Sauntering Day
Saunter: v, a walk in a slow, relaxed manner, without hurry or effort.
· This holiday was formed by W.T. Rabe in 1979 as a response to the sworn enemy of the Saunter, jogging. Jogging is a grueling attack on movement, with rapidity and effort being the purpose at hand, and all joy being drained from getting around by making each step as painful as possible. Perhaps we’re biased, but we believe the saunter to be the unquestionably superior alternative. Sauntering doesn’t just mean walking; it means walking as though the weight of the world has been lifted from your shoulders. It means being free from stress and strain, and instead focusing on the pure joy of walking. In fact, sauntering specifically implies that you will be moving in a joyful manner.
· Sauntering Day is your opportunity to head out into the world and approach it with a deeply relaxed air, a moment of pure clarity and joy, all while enjoying the beautiful world around you and everything it has to offer.
How to Celebrate Sauntering Day
· Give yourself plenty of time today and do so with the intent of relaxing and truly enjoying your journey to wherever it is you have to go. Saunter casually with pure relaxation and take in the scents and sights. Greet others, and don’t let their urge to move quickly infect yours. In fact, see if you can get them to slow down and join you on your happy little saunter. The world will be better for it, and you’ll be happier for it. Sauntering Day is your opportunity to leave all the rush behind and just… Saunter… through your day.
· When boredom and discouragement beat against your heart, run away from yourself and hide in My heart.