Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 31, 2016 - Epiphany 4C

In the name of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            Love is perhaps one of the most central messages in our Christian faith. We say things like “God is love” and hear commandments such as “love your neighbor as yourself.” But what is love? We get a new phone or sweater and say that we “love it.” Does using the same word to describe our feelings about a disposable object somehow diminish the power of the love to which we are called? I think it does. “Love” is an overused word; and so if we are going to properly read and understand these famous words from 1 Corinthians, we need to understand what love is.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

January 24, 2016 - Dedication Evensong

In the name of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            Welcome to each and every one of you. It is a joy to gather together in God’s name to celebrate this community. Later in the service we’ll have the opportunity to recognize, honor, and thank various people for their role in this project, but this really is a celebration of what God is doing in and through St. Luke’s.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

January 10, 2016 - First Sunday after Epiphany & Baptism of Our Lord

In the name of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            Have you ever wondered what Baptism is all about? I mean, why do we do it? I think that many of us would say that God loves every single person in the world, and that we are all children of God the moment we are born, if not sooner. Our two-month old daughter hasn’t yet been baptized, but I don’t doubt God’s love for her for one second. We belong to God before we are baptized, so why Baptism? Some might say that in Baptism we receive the Holy Spirit. But do we really want to say that the Holy Spirit can only come through a human action – that somehow by denying someone Baptism that we could deny them the gift of God’s Spirit? I’m not comfortable with that one. Of course, some will say that Baptism is required for personal salvation from Hell, and as pervasive as that point of view is, that conclusion doesn’t really have any solid Biblical or theological basis. So why do we Baptize people?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

January 6, 2016 - The Epiphany

O God, you led the magi by a star to encounter your presence, may you also bring us to see your light through our worship this night. Amen.
            We are all searching for something: meaning, purpose, redemption, a fresh start, love, value, healing, justice, answers, the Divine. If you are looking for an answering, searching for a truth, or seeking facts, what do you do? To whom do you turn? Google. One of the largest, most profitable, and pervasive companies in the world, and yet, for the most part, they don’t sell any products. In fact, the vast majority of what Google offers to consumers is free – you don’t pay to use Gmail or any of their other services. And yet, Google had revenues of over $60 billion last year. So where does Google make all of that money? Search. Google’s fortunes are earned by learning about their consumers, and delivering advertisement opportunities to companies when you are searching for something. Whoever knew that search could be such a valuable industry?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

January 3, 2016 - Christmas 2C

In the name of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            “Oh God! Where is God?” That’s probably not what Mary and Joseph said when they realized that their twelve year old son was missing, but this interesting story from Luke poses that question to us – Where is God? This story is found only in Luke, and everyone can find something that they relate to. Parents know that gut wrenching horror of worrying about your child, and then the joy of knowing they are okay. Children appreciate seeing a child hold his own against the expert adults. And teenagers love to have an image of Jesus that is all about resisting authority. But more than resonating with our life experiences, this story of a twelve year old Jesus has something to say about what it means to follow him.