Monthly Archives: December 2016

Be Refreshed by the Word Made Flesh

Readings for Christmas Day: Isaiah 52:7-10 Psalm 98 John 1:1-14 This sermon was preached at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in San Rafael CA on December 25, 2016. Merry Christmas! Not only is today the first day of the twelve days of … Continue reading

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Advent with Black Elk: Jesus (and) the Wanekia

Chapters 21 and 22: The Messiah and Visions of the Other World In these chapters, Black Elk describes the Messiah or Wanekia whom he heard about among the Paiute. The Paiute are indigenous peoples of California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah … Continue reading

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Advent and Christmas with Black Elk: Remembering Holy Innocents at Wounded Knee

Chapters 23, 24 and 25: Bad Trouble Coming, the Butchering at Wounded Knee and the End of the Dream In these final chapters, Black Elk describes the Battle at Wounded Knee, which was really more of a massacre and “butchering” … Continue reading

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Advent with Black Elk: Making Room for Others in the Mansion of Our Hearts

Chapters 19 and 20: Across the Big Water and the Spirit Journey In these two chapters, Black Elk talks about his experience travelling to Chicago, New York and London with Buffalo’s Wild West show. My reflections on this confluence of … Continue reading

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Advent with Black Elk: Baptism as Ritual for Activating the Power of the Wanekia

Chapter 18: The Powers of the Bison and the Elk “I think I have told you, but if I have not, you must have understood, that a man who has a vision is not able to use the power of … Continue reading

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Advent with Black Elk: Tapping (in)to the Healing Power of the Earth’s Heartbeat

Chapter 17 and 18: The First Cure and the Powers of the Bison and the Elk “You have noticed,” Black Elk says, “everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always … Continue reading

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Advent with Black Elk: Drowning in Puddles

Chapter 16: Heyoka Ceremony In this chapter, Black Elk describes the role of the heyoka (the sacred fool) in more detail. He says, “Only those who have had visions of the thunder beings of the west can act as heyokas” … Continue reading

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Advent with Black Elk: Sacred Voice and Sacred Fools

Chapter 15: The Dog Vision In this chapter, Black Elk mentions the town of Fort Yates. Upon my first reading of this chapter, I wrote in the margins: “was just there yesterday – 11/4/16.” While at Fort Yates, I visited … Continue reading

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Advent with Black Elk: The Powers Endowed to Us in Dreams

Chapter 14: The Horse Dance In the Gospel of John, the author recounts a “voice from heaven” which is interpreted by some listeners as thunder and by others as an angel (12:28-29). Previously, I have discussed this heavenly voice as … Continue reading

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Advent with Black Elk: The Animals Talk at Midnight

Chapters 12 and 13: “Grandmother’s Land” and “The Compelling Fear” “While I was lying there in a bison robe, a coyote began to howl not far off, and suddenly I knew it was saying something. It was not making words, … Continue reading

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