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Showing posts from May, 2008

The Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year A (Proper 9)

Quarter by QuarterReadings: Genesis 6:9-22, 7:24, 8:14-19; Psalm 46; Romans 1:16-17, 3:22b-31; Matthew 7:21-29Fred Craddock, a renowned homiletics professor was addressing a group of clergy."To give my life for Christ appears glorious," he said. "To pour myself out for others, to pay the ultimate price of martyrdom, I'll do it. I'm ready, Lord, to go out in a blaze of glory. We think giving our all to the Lord is like taking a thousand dollar bill and laying it on the table.'Here's my life, Lord. I'm giving it all.' But the reality for most of us is that he sends us to the bank and has us cash in the thousand for quarters. We go through life putting out a quarter here and fifty cents there. Listen to the neighbor kid's troubles instead of saying, 'Get lost.' Go to a committee meeting. Give a cup of water to a shaky old man in a nursing home. Usually giving our life to Christ isn't glorious. It's done in all those little acts o…

The Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year A

FaithWorks Sunday

I am not preaching this Sunday. We have a speaker from the Primates World Relief and Development Fund, one of our FaithWorks partners. The Gospel is especially poignant as it tells us not to worry about what we will wear, or about what we will eat or drink. There are people who worry because they genuinely do not know where their next meal is coming from. We worry in spite of the fact that we have so much. May we know how blessed we are by God's grace.

The Feast of the Trinity, Year A

Knowing GodReadings: Genesis 1-2:4a; Psalm 8; 2 Corinthians 13:11-13; Matthew 28:16-20A woman is out in her front yard.She watches the little boy from the house next door walking past her house heading for home.He stops every few steps to take a look at something or other – a dandelion that he blows on, a wiggly worm, a bird singing at the top of a tree, the clouds up in the sky.She asks him, “Tommy, where have you been?”“I’ve been to Sunday School, learning about God,” he tells her.“I’ll give you a dime if you tell me where God is,” she says to him.“I’ll give you a dollar if you tell me where he isn’t,” the child replies.Seeing God is about looking on life with eyes of faith.When we look with eyes of faith we see what is there before us.We see it with our own two eyes.We see exactly what is there, but we view it in a different way.We see through a different lens.Yet unlike Tommy we so often simply miss it.I am going to read you a poem that I found.I do not know its origins.But it spe…

The Feast of Pentecost, Year A

God’s Power to TransformReadings: Acts 2:1-21; Psalm 104:24-34; 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13; John 20: 19-23
When I was in my curacy my supervisor, Harold Roberts, came into my office just before Pentecost with a picture of the outpouring of the Spirit.“What’s wrong with this picture?” he asked me.
I took a good look at it.It was a picture of the upper room, filled with people, men and women, and over each one of them was a tongue of fire.It seemed to me to be a pretty reasonable and accurate depiction of Pentecost, so I said to him, “Not a thing! Looks good to me?
“But there are women in the picture,” he said to me.“Was he bating me?” I thought to myself.
“Indeed there are!” I remarked.“I have always understood that the whole community was gathered together.”
And so we began to read the passage of Scripture from the Acts of the Apostles.Harold decided at that point that it was just the inclusive nature of the New Revised Standard Version of Scripture from which we were reading.So I got out my G…

The Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year A

An Air of Expectancy

Readings: Acts 1:6-14; Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35; 1 Peter 4:12-14, 5:5-11; John 17:1-11The Feast of the Ascension coming as it does mid week on a Thursday passes without much notice.If there is a service it is usually a quiet one attended by the faithful few.I grew up in a tradition where it was marked with great solemnity.Children from the congregation were encouraged to attend a morning service.We were given a holy card to take to school to explain our lateness, so of course, we attended in droves.
I remember the service well.The paschal candle, lit for the first time at the Easter Vigil and then for each service during Easter tide was extinguished.It was removed from the centre aisle of the church and placed by the font.In a very tangible way it caused us to reflect on the meaning of the Ascension of Christ, that the risen Christ was no longer present in physical form.It resonated in us the question the disciples were asked as they continued to gaze toward Heaven.“Why…