Sunday, February 22, 2015

February 22, 2015 - Lent 1B

In the name of God, who creates, redeems, and sustains. Amen.
            The story of Noah’s ark may be one of the most well-known stories from Genesis, or even the entire Bible. But after the two-by-two, the flood, and the dove, comes a very important part of the story. At the conclusion, God says to Noah “As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants… that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood.” Then the covenant is enacted through the sign of a rainbow. This is the first covenant between God and Creation that is found in Scripture, but the idea of covenant will be reintroduced with Abraham and David, the prophet Jeremiah will write about the covenant, and at the Last Supper, Jesus will allude to the covenant. Over the next five Sundays of Lent, the idea of covenant will be present in our readings, so my Lenten preaching will focus on the idea of covenant and what it means for our life and faith.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February 18, 2015 - Ash Wednesday

In the name of God, who creates, redeems, and sustains. Amen.
       “Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself? Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?” What is the purpose of Lent? Though the Judean prophet Isaiah was not writing about the Christian season of Lent, for thousands of years the faithful have asked the question – what would God have us to do?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

February 15, 2015 - Last Sunday of Epiphany

In the name of God- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            Have you ever had an experience of the Divine? A moment where you were aware of God’s presence as certain as you were of your own existence? Today’s Gospel passage from Mark records one such Divine encounter, known as the Transfiguration, though, I’ve yet to meet anyone whose experience has been quite that robust. Perhaps you’ve had such an experience through prayer. Though, in full disclosure, prayer has not yet led to such a Divine rendezvous for me. It’s important to notice that these encounters with God in Scripture never come about as the result of any incantation or as the result of human action. Abraham wasn’t expecting a child in his old age, Moses did not expect to find a burning bush, Mary did not plan her pregnancy, and Paul did not deserve to meet the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February 1, 2015 - Epiphany 4B

In the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            “By this everyone will know you are my disciples, that you have love for one another.” Those are Jesus’ words in John, noting that love is our highest calling. Faith and discipleship boil down to that very simple practice- love one another. In the letter to the Corinthian church that we heard this morning, St. Paul writes to encourage the community of the faithful there to focus more on love and less on the competition of who is right. It was good advice 2,000 years ago, and it is good advice today.