Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 22, 2015 - Lent 5B

In the name of God, who creates, redeems, and sustains. Amen.
            Here we are, at the homestretch of Lent 2015. Over the five Sundays of Lent, we’ve been exploring the theme of covenant and how it impacts our lives and our faith. The thing to remember is that though the covenant is presented in different ways, there is still one God and one covenant. Each time the covenant comes up in Scripture, it is being described by different people, at different times, in different circumstances. So through the ages, the covenant is reconsidered, reframed, repurposed, but it remains intact.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

March 15, 2015 - Lent 4B

Note: The substitute first reading was 2 Samuel 7:1-14 and the Gospel text was expanded to John 3:1-21.

In the name of God, who creates, redeems, and sustains. Amen.
            When you study a foreign language, one of the exercises that you often do is conjugating verbs- I run, you run, she runs. But when you do this, sometimes you’ll run into verb forms that you can’t really think of a situation in which you’d need to use it, such as the first person perfect tense of “to die”- I have died. Another conjugation that you’ll probably never hear is the first person future of “to be born”- I will be born. And yet, Jesus says “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” So that we’re all on the same page, the Greek of that sentence can be translated either as “being born from above” or “being born again.” But either way, it seems that Jesus might indeed have a use for that verbal form- I will be born.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

March 8, 2015 - Lent 3B

In the name of God, who creates, redeems, and sustains. Amen.
            “The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” So says St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthian church. The British writer and theologian GK Chesterton put it this way- “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” The way of the cross is absolute foolishness and extremely demanding. Thus, many have instead adopted a tamer version of Christianity. As we continue our Lenten exploration of covenant, we will consider the way in which living as members of the covenant is both foolish and challenging.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March 1, 2015 - Lent 2B

In the name of God, who creates, redeems, and sustains. Amen.
            What if I told you there is something more meaningful than the grind of daily life, that we are prisoners to a false reality which surrounds us on every side? That is the premise of one of my favorite movies, The Matrix. Part of what led to its popularity was the philosophical depths that the movie presented: what is real, and how do you know that it is real? The main character in the movie is invited to be blissfully ignorant of the true nature of the world, or to go deeper into that truth. This is the same invitation with which we are presented in our readings from Genesis and Mark this morning.