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Showing posts from April, 2008

6 Easter Yr A

Around the church recently we’ve been spending some time and energy being agitated about church attendance, and about programming that meets the needs of all of you and of those who we have not yet reached. We have many conversations about these things, Dave and I talk in the office as we brainstorm new ideas, the education committee wonders about how to do Sunday school in creative ways, the worship committee plans worship that they believe is engaging and interesting, and yet stays true to our Prayer book heritage, people are interested in ways in which we can get the word out about what St. Andrew’s offers. I do believe that many of you talk of these things over your kitchen tables, over breakfast when you leave on Sunday morning, and when you gather at each other’s homes for a meal. Sometimes these are frustrating conversations, sometimes they are enlightening conversations. But today’s reading from Acts sheds some light on these conversations.

Paul is teaching in front of the Areo…

5 Easter Yr A

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe in me also. These are the words Jesus says to his friends as he prepares them for his departure from this world. And Thomas still responds with fear, How do we know where you are going? How do we know the way? And Jesus tries to explain again; I am the way, and the truth and the life. And yet, Jesus’ friends continue to be troubled, you and I continue to be troubled. We are always looking for the certainty that what we believe will relieve our trouble.

Many people look toward Jesus to relieve that trouble, many look toward this particular passage for certainty, for the answer, for the one way. In the culture of fear in which we live, we look to this passage for the explanation, the answer.

If this passage gives the answer, if this passage certifies the need for one and only one way, it also allows us to place blame and to assign responsibility to others because it’s more comfortable to make sure some people don’t make it into t…

4 Easter Yr A

Resurrection is a kind of miracle, a miracle of awareness, aliveness, an awakening. We have stories that help us roll away the stone of our tomb-life. We have stories that remind us that others have suffered as we do, and as those we love. We have stories that reassure us unexpectedly and unpredictably, that on the other side of suffering there is life. We have stories that help us to awaken and live. These are resurrection stories. These are the stories that will set us free.Recently a couple has come to me for marriage. In our time together I have heard the pain and seen the tears of suffering with divorce, I have witnessed the desperation in a broken relationship. And I have heard the joy and hope in this new relationship. In this same story I heard the pain and suffering experienced by the rejection and judgment of a church that could not accept the humanity of mistakes and brokenness, and instead only wants to shame and judge. I suggested to the young man that his is a story of r…

3 Easter Yr A

Risen Lord, be known to us in the breaking of the bread. From the moment I stepped into an Episcopal church this is the scripture, the prayer, the action, that made the presence of Jesus Christ real for me. There is nothing about church, about community, about family, about faith, about social justice, about baptismal promises, about a passion for the gospel of Jesus Christ, that is not contained in this little collection of words. Risen Lord, be known to us in the breaking of the bread.

As a child, I lived in a community of people. I am five of eight. There were most always people around, and the liveliest times of the day were our dinner meal. We would scrunch around our kitchen table, someone would have to sit on a stool at the counter in order to get us all in. I remember those times with all the commotion and chaos quite fondly.

When we would gather for holidays there were 23 of us grandchildren. We would enjoy a meal together, but not much quiet. Often many of us little one’s woul…