Sunday, January 27, 2019

January 27, 2019 - Epiphany 3C

In name of God Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            Whether it’s a politician’s stump speech, a lawyer’s opening argument, a movie’s opening scene, or a teacher’s introductory lecture, we know the importance of setting the stage. This morning’s passage from Luke is doing just that – it is Luke’s summary of the Gospel. In this liturgical year, which began in Advent and will run through November, Luke’s Gospel is the one we’ll have read on most Sundays, so having a firm grasp on this passage will be a keystone in our understanding.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

January 20, 2019 - Epiphany 2C

Be with us, O God, for if you are with us nothing else matters; and if you are not with us, nothing else matters. Amen.
            Is Scripture about God or is it about us? That simple question greatly influences how you read the Bible and what conclusions you draw from the text. Of course, Scripture offers us insights about both God and all of Creation. But the question is about first impressions. Is the first thing we look for in a Biblical text a revelation into the character of God, or do we primarily read Scripture to find out what we are supposed to do?

Sunday, January 13, 2019

January 13, 2019 - Epiphany 1C

In the name of the God who makes the common holy and the holy common. Amen.
            “When Jesus had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove.” Doves are beautiful creatures, aren’t they? Pristine white, graceful, peaceful, calm. Nothing like those nasty pigeons. We all know that pigeons are dirty, stupid, and they leave droppings everywhere, not to mention that there are too many of them. It’s no wonder that pigeons are often called “sky rats.” But doves, what a wonderful way to think about the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

January 6, 2019 - Epiphany

In the name of Christ who shines the light of grace upon the darkness of our lives. Amen.
            How do you handle conflict? There’s a conflict style assessment that scores you on your preferences for avoidance, accommodation, forcefulness, compromise, and collaboration. And, if you like, you can find a summary of your type that corresponds with an animal – a turtle, teddy bear, shark, fox, or owl. I’m an owl, and rarely ever a turtle. It’s not that any of these conflict styles are right or wrong, rather these sorts of assessments just name your default response to conflict. So how do you handle conflict? Do you run from it or right into it? Are you willing to compromise, or is winning all that matters to you? While it can be difficult and unhelpful to try to name someone else’s personality, it’s pretty safe to say that King Herod was a shark.