Sunday, August 26, 2018

August 26, 2018 - Proper 16B

In the name of God Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            I don’t know about you all, but it had been a really long time since I sang the hymn “Onward, Christian soldiers;” it’s been a least a decade. If you pay attention to the text, it’s actually a great hymn that speaks of Christ leading us in our struggles against evil, which crumble in the face of the power of God’s love. It includes the wonderful line “we are treading where the saints have trod; we are not divided, all one body we, one in hope and doctrine, one in charity.” Not only does the hymn portray a triumphant and glorious vision of the Body of Christ, it also has a great tune for singing. Of course, the reason why we don’t sing this hymn very often, or at all, is because of the militaristic metaphors. After all, it’s not “onward, Christian peacemakers,” it’s “onward, Christian soldiers.”

Sunday, August 12, 2018

August 12, 2018 - Proper 14B

Loving and generous God, guide us to seek your Truth: come whence it may, cost what it will, lead where it might. Amen.
            As you’ll recall from the past several Sundays, we are in the midst of a seven week run of readings from the New Testament epistle of Ephesians. The book is six chapters long, and so to fit it into seven nuggets that are short enough for the context of Sunday worship, the lectionary has to leave out parts of the letter.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

August 5, 2018 - Proper 13B

In the name of the holy and blessed Trinity Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            I don’t watch much television, but the bit that I do see happens to be the worst kind. When I’m running on a treadmill at the gym, there’s a row of televisions in front of me, and most are tuned to a few cable news networks. Even though I’m not really watching them, I do notice. And what I notice is nearly always appalling – the partisan weaponization of journalism, intentional misleading of the public, and prioritization of ratings over content are all disturbing. Sadly, this sort of manipulation isn’t only present on cable news networks. Our economy, legal system, and even churches have all succumb to the idea of a zero-sum world – a world in which there are winners and losers, and we’ll pay nearly any price to be on the winning side. The influence of money and our insatiable appetite for power have corrupted the institutions on which our society is built. We’ll tell and believe half-truths if they serve our needs and desires. We’ll overlook facts when they don’t. Being inconsistent in our morals is a daily practice, as we can hear the phrase “Well, the situation is different” on a nearly daily basis. In short, our culture is rigged, unstable, and turbulent.