Sunday, May 29, 2016

May 29, 2016 - Proper 4C

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
            “Choose this day whom you will serve.” Those words were spoken to the people of Israel by Joshua as they are entering the Promised Land. Will they serve the God of their ancestors who brought them out of Egypt and sustained them in the wilderness, or will they serve the local gods of the region? Will they serve the Lord who demands steadfast fidelity, working for justice, and a humble heart? Or will they serve gods who promise to give them pleasure without commitment and prosperity without justice? I know that most of us haven’t even had the chance to cast a ballot, but we’re already tired of making choices. But today’s readings urge us to choose whom we will serve. What choice will we make?

Sunday, May 22, 2016

May 22, 2016 - Trinity C

Lectionary Readings (1 John 4:7-21 substituted as epistle reading)

In the name of the holy and undivided Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            “All you need is love; love is all you need.” Those words that come from John really are a decent first draft of the essentials of Christian doctrine, they just happened to be written by John Lennon, not the author of today’s epistle from 1 John. There, the text proclaims that “God is love… if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.” I know that it seems overly simplistic, but love really is all we need.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

May 15, 2016 - Pentecost C

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire, and lighten us with thy celestial fire. Amen.
            Have you ever learned about the origin of something that had previously been unknown to you? Perhaps you learned that the cordless handheld vacuum was not invented to make household chores easier, but was made by NASA to extract samples from the moon’s surface. Or you learned that when Caesar used to conquer a people, he would announce his victory with a decree known as an euangelion, a word we today translate as “gospel.” And when we learn more about the origin of these things, they give us a deeper understanding of how they work and function. Pentecost is one of things that has a foundation that is often not known.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

May 8, 2016 - Easter 7C

In the name of the Risen Lord. Amen.
            As Americans, freedom is in our cultural DNA. While freedom is something that most nations value, in the US we place a greater emphasis on it, with mottos such as “live free or die” and “give me liberty or give me death;” and the First Amendment focuses on the freedom of speech, religion, petition, assembly, and the press. But there are really two kinds of freedom, and when we confuse them, we miss the true import of freedom.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

May 5, 2016 - Ascension Day

In the name of the Risen Lord. Amen.
            Ascension Day is an oft-forgotten day in the Church. I think it’s because the Ascension is a rather difficult event to grasp. For one, it’s essentially a day on which we celebrate being left behind. If your family and friends were waiting at the airport to board the plane on a fantastic vacation, and they boarded the plane while you were in the bathroom and left you behind, I don’t suppose that you’d want to celebrate the occasion. And, in a sense, that’s what Ascension Day is about – Jesus ascending to some sort of paradise where there is no pain or suffering, and we’d very much like accompany him there, but we’ve been left behind.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May 1, 2016 - Easter 6C

Lectionary Readings (John 14 option as gospel text)

In the name of the Risen Lord. Amen.
            What is peace? That’s a question that I asked on Facebook this week and I received a number of responses: quiet, being in nature, time with family, painting, music, reading, gardening, and, of course, ice cream. Peace is one of those words that we throw around without ever stopping to consider its meaning. I find it fascinating, and telling, that no one answered that peace is the cessation of hostility, nor did anyone respond with an understanding of peace that is rooted in possessions, prestige, or wealth. And yet, it seems that our lives are all built around the pursuit of material things, winning, and earning money. The things that we innately know are the most life-giving and important to us are the very things that we sacrifice to chase after the idols of money and materiality.