Sunday, November 25, 2018

November 25, 2018 - Proper 29B: Christ the King

Almighty God, guide us to seek your Truth: come whence it may, cost what it will, lead where it might. Amen.
            There’s a podcast that I listen to, and I’ve been told that’s the most Millennial way possible to introduce a topic, but this podcast asks it’s guest each week “What one trend in society worries you the most?” People respond with all sorts of answers, but as I’ve thought about that question, I’d have to say that the trend that worries me most in our society is the erosion of truth. As we heard in today’s reading from John, Pilate asks “What is truth?” For much of Western civilization, the quest for truth has been a driving force. We have built libraries, philosophies, laboratories, cathedrals, and universities as we have sought truth. Some have argued that what separates humans from other animals is that we are “meaning-making” creatures; that is, our desire for meaning and truth is what makes us unique. But as you all know, there is an overt crisis of truth in our society.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

November 22, 2018 - Thanksgiving

In the name of the One from whom all blessings flow. Amen.
            A recent Pew study found that 80% of all Americans report feeling thankful in the past week. 80%? If that seems a bit high to you, it seemed that way to author Diana Butler Bass, who has written a new book called Grateful. She says that she was confounded because other studies show that Americans are more anxious than ever and more pessimistic about the future. If you look at our economy or our political system, it certainly doesn’t seem like gratitude is a core principle in our society. She says that what we are experiencing is a “gratitude gap” between how we state that we feel and how our lives are actually lived out.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

November 18, 2018 - Proper 28B

In the name of the living and Triune God Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            Jesus warns his followers that things are falling apart. The magnificently large stones of the temple will be toppled. False teachers will come along and lead us astray. There will be wars and rumors of war. There will be conflict, there will be environmental disasters, there will be famines. In short, terrible times are ahead. The institutions that we count on will fail, human sin will run amok, and the earth itself will reveal the brokenness of human sin. Jesus warned us.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

November 4, 2018 - Proper 26B

In the name of God – who was, and is, and is to come. Amen.
            “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” What a world this would be if our actions were more aligned with those words. The reason why I preach about love so much is that the Beatles were right, “love is all you need.” Being rooted in the knowledge that God loves us, if we respond to that love with our whole being then we’d see more what we pray for each week – thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. But because of Sin, we aren’t the best at remembering that we are loved or showing love to others. And so love must remain at the center of the Church’s preaching. Once we get love right, then I’m happy to entertain a discussion about what the next priority ought to be. But until then, love remains at the center.

Friday, November 2, 2018

November 2, 2018 - All Souls

O eternal Lord God, who holdest all souls in life: Give, we beseech thee, to thy whole Church in paradise and on earth thy light and thy peace; and grant that we, following the good examples of those who have served thee here and are now at rest, may at the last enter with them into thine unending joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for everAmen.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

November 1, 2018 - All Saints

O Almighty God, who by thy Holy Spirit hast made us one with thy saints in heaven and on earth: Grant that in our earthly pilgrimage we may ever be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and may know ourselves to be surrounded by their witness to thy power and mercy. We ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, in whom all our intercessions are acceptable through the Spirit, and who liveth and reigneth for ever and ever. Amen.
            That Collect is one of the treasures of our Book of Common Prayer. It’s not often used, as it is the third option of the generic commons for a saint. Though it may not be one of the most often used prayers in our tradition, it is a splendid one to consider on the Feast of All Saints. This Feast of the Church is rooted in Baptism; in the fact that we are brought into the Body of Christ which transcends space and time. And as we can see in this prayer, which is found on page 7 of your bulletin, being the Baptized people of God sanctifies us, connects us, and gives us witnesses.