Sunday, May 28, 2017

May 28, 2017 - Easter 7A

In the name of the Crucified and Risen Lord. Amen.
            As the reading from Acts began: “When the apostles had come together, they asked Jesus, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’” I’ll admit that I struggle in my discipleship, in putting my full trust in God, in acting as if Jesus really is the Lord of all Creation. And it gives me such solace to have this passage from Acts that shows us that Jesus’ very own disciples are with me in those struggles. They had been with Jesus for three years of teaching and ministry, they were there during Holy Week, they saw the Risen Lord for 40 days. The Bible tells us that during these days with the Resurrected Lord that Jesus opened the Scriptures to them. They didn’t learn about Jesus, they learned from him. And at the culmination of Jesus’ ministry on earth they say “This has all been fantastic, Lord, just one more question – is now the time when you’re going to get to the whole business of being the Messiah that we were hoping for?”

Thursday, May 25, 2017

May 25, 2017 - Feast of the Ascension

In the name of the Crucified and Risen Lord. Amen.
            Ascension Day is the forgotten feast of the Church. Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost get plenty of fanfare. Epiphany, in many cultures, is associated with gift giving and is an important holiday. All Saints is remembered, if for no other reason than explaining that Halloween is linked to All Hallow’s Eve. Trinity Sunday, even if lesser known, falls on a Sunday, so it’s never forgotten. But that leaves us with Ascension Day – always a Thursday as it’s always 40 days after Easter. But to forget the Ascension is to forget an important part of the Good News of God in Christ.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

May 21, 2017 - Easter 6A

In the name of the Crucified and Risen Lord. Amen.
            In today’s reading from 1 Peter, we read “Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you.” Well, if I’m asked to give an accounting of my hope I’ll be sure to mention the remarkable and faithful children and youth of this parish. What wonderful testimonies of faith we just heard from our graduating high school seniors – their witness ought to bolster our hope for what God is doing in and through their lives and this community of faith which we call St. Luke’s. So, thank you, Nellie, Ruth, and Jason for giving us hope, and know that St. Luke’s is always home to you and that this, your family, is always proud of you.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

May 14, 2017 - Easter 5A

In the name of the Crucified and Risen Lord. Amen.
            What does your faith cost you? Have you ever thought about that?  The title of a very well-known book by Dietrich Bonhoeffer is The Cost of Discipleship. In it, Bonhoeffer writes about cheap grace and costly grace. Cheap grace is forgiveness with repentance, membership without commitment, baptism without discipline. Costly grace though is much harder. Costly grace is what we see on display in our reading from Acts, where Stephen gives up his life. In light of that sacrifice made by Stephen, the question before us this morning is: what is the cost of our discipleship?

Sunday, May 7, 2017

May 7, 2017 - Easter 4A

Lectionary Readings

In the name of the Crucified and Risen Lord. Amen.
            Context always matters. When you only know part of a story, it can be easy to overlook its significance. There’s a story from the great Sufi master, Mullah Nasrudin. One evening he was out in the street on his hands and knees searching for something. A man comes along and asks “What are you looking for?” The Mullah responds “I lost my house key.” So the man joins him in search for it, but with no luck. The man asks “Are you sure you lost it around here?” And Mullah Nasrudin replies “Oh, no, I lost it a few streets over.” “Then why are you wasting my time by searching for it here?” the man wants to know. Nasrudin replies, “Oh, well, the light is so much better over here.”