Sunday, July 29, 2018

July 29, 2018 - Proper 12B

Be with us, O Lord, for if you are with us, nothing else matters; and if you are not with us, nothing else matters. Amen.
            Have you ever considered your faith in terms of dimensions? This morning in Ephesians we heard that St. Paul prays that we might know the breadth, length, height, and depth of Christ’s love. How far into your soul do you perceive this love? How far are you willing to go in faith? How widely is this love manifest in your life? How deeply do you feel God’s love for you? This beautiful passage from Ephesians invites us to consider the dimensions of God’s love for us.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

July 22, 2018 - Proper 11B

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit one God and mother of us all. Amen.
            You’ve probably heard the cliché “Good fences make good neighbors.” Maybe that’s true for some neighbors, but it simply doesn’t work when it comes to our faith. Good fences make terrible Christians. In the letter to the Ephesians, we heard this morning that “For Jesus is our peace; in his flesh he has made both Israel and Gentiles into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.” The Greek actually says that Jesus “destroys the dividing portion of the fence.” You might know that the saying about good fences comes from a Robert Frost poem called “Mending Wall,” in which he makes the point that good fences do not actually make good neighbors. Frost writes “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” As we read in Ephesians, that something that doesn’t love a wall is called the Gospel.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

July 15, 2018 - Proper 10B

In the name of the Holy Trinity. Amen.
            Beginning today, the lectionary gives us seven weeks in a row in which we’ll read from Ephesians. Though we don’t pay as much attention to the Epistles of the New Testament as we might, they are wonderful letters that still contain much truth, wisdom, instruction, and inspiration for us today.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

July 8, 2018 - Proper 9B

In the name of the holy, glorious, and undivided Trinity. Amen.
            I remember when I was going through the discernment process to be ordained as a priest and was serving as an intern at a church in Winston-Salem. I was asked to lead a program around questions related to end of life issues. One of my duties was to help people in preparing a document about their intentions so that their families wouldn’t have to be making so many important decisions as they were in the grieving process. Naturally, part of the discussion involved questions about cremations, caskets, and funeral homes. So I asked a local funeral home to come and do a presentation at this parish.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

July 1, 2018 - Proper 8B

In the name of the God Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            In 1868, as the state of Illinois went from being frontier country to one of the great states in the Union, they built a State House to mark this rise in stature. And as you often do when you begin to build such an auspicious building, you first lay the cornerstone. In the case of this Illinois State House, the state newspaper noted that it was a “handsome specimen of limestone” and was eight feet, by four feet, by three feet. Quite an impressive stone. The newspaper even records the words that were etched onto this foundational stone.