Christ, the Light of the World

May you experience the presence of Christ, the Light of the World, everywhere, in everyone, so that hope will abound in your life and the world you live in. There is no corner of the planet where Christ is not. And may you share the light of Christ that is within you with everyone you meet, wherever you are, everyday.

Wilfredo Juan Baez

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Tabernacle, a poem

The Tabernacle

Rev. Dr. Wilfredo Baez

September 20, 2014

I am entering into the Tabernacle
Right in Binghamton New York,
Into the Holy of Holies
Where I celebrate the Presence of God.
The people of Tabernacle
Have opened the Tabernacle to me
And invited me to enter.
The light is shining brightly inside.

I am not the person I was 
When I first went inside the Tabernacle.
I have lost many pounds of darkness.
I have peeled off layers of ego.
I am naked now and not ashamed
In a church where many have lost their fig leaves
Without embarrassment nor apology
For having human bodies and minds.

I am shedding shades of darkness,
My own Self unafraid to shine
And light up a room with my interest
In what makes the people of Tabernacle smile.
And what I am finding reflected in me
Is the passion of every face I see,
The compassion of every heart that beats
And a commitment to God's world order.

I am becoming accustomed to the Tabernacle
And been transfigured myself,
Raised up to Heaven before the Throne.
The King places the sword on my shoulder
And dubs we a Knight of the court of light
Rendering me a servant of an army of love
Committed to rescuing the dragon
From its eternal infernal lair.

The Tabernacle has become my home
And the people of Tabernacle my family
Although I arrived such a short while ago.
My heart has been set free of worry and fear
And I can share in Self with everyone here.
And I can delight in discovering Self with them
And the search for Self in every person
That lives in close proximity to us.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Today is a good day.   I am at a retreat center learning about launching new church projects.  I arrived in time to meet with some colleagues and attend a session about a new church start.  I visited in the hallway with three other Hispanic Pastors and had a wonderful discussion about the Holy Spirit and Prayer and releasing God's power in the church.  Earlier today I was received as a clergy member of the Order of Universal Interfaith Spirituality.  It is great to celebrate what we, as Christians, have in common with other religious faiths.  We talk about breaking down barriers in worshiping with members of other Christian faiths.  What about worshiping the one true God with members of all religious faiths and no religious faith?

I feel great excitement as a Pastor at Tabernacle United Methodist Church.  I have not ever felt as a much excitement, as a Pastor, or as a Christian, as I do now.  I truly feel love and commitment to this wonderful group of people and appreciate their passion for everything that is right and good. A vision is coming to me for Tabernacle that I think builds upon what Tabernacle already is about - a progressive, inclusive, welcoming, spiritual and socially committed church.  I see Tabernacle as an active center of spiritual and community empowerment for the people in the Binghamton and Tri-city area, especially but limited to the West-side of Binghamton.  I see us a place of  deep spirituality, social justice orientation, racial and ethnic integration, Christian and inter-faith spirituality and inclusion of persons of all sexual-orientations and gender identities.  I see us as working cooperatively, even integrally with other United Methodist Churches in the Binghamton area to address issues of spiritual development, justice and poverty.  I see us as offering training in how to be a diverse, equitable and just church.  I see us partnering with faith and secular entities in order to improve the lives of people and make our community  and world a better place.

I've posted my sermons from July 6th, 2014 on, when I arrived at Tabernacle and other thoughts and ideas on my personal and Tabernacle.  Please follow Tabernacle and me on Facebook.  I/we want to be your friend!