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Showing posts from July, 2008

11 Pentecost Yr A

In a culture where bigger seems always to be better, this little collection of parables just don’t fit. When the life of the spirit is ignored, and people are fed with the only nourishment available, the consumptive acquisition of material goods, these stories just seem silly. But these stories show us the Kingdom of God, and the Kingdom of God is surprising, even shocking, amazing and wonderful. Each of these stories is about the ordinary, the mundane. They are not about anything really valuable, except the pearl, possibly. A mustard seed, leaven and dough, a treasure hidden in an ordinary field, shopping, and fish. The smallness of the mustard seed is inappropriate for the greatness of the Kingdom of God. The amount of leavening dough will expand far beyond its original container. These kingdom of God parables serve to show us that the kingdom of God is nothing like the ordinary, nothing like the known, nothing like the empire, nothing like social relationships, nothing like family …

10 Pentecost Yr A

The two biggest Minnesota Viking fans of all time, Sven and Ole were up to no good again. They went to Wisconsin to try to sabotage the Packer’s locker room, so the Packer’s would get trapped in there and wouldn’t be able to make it to the big game on Sunday. Well, as it turned out, Sven and Ole’s plan failed, and they were both suffocated to death themselves, while trying to crawl through the ductwork.

Sven and Ole went up to the pearly gates where St. Peter was waiting for them. St. Peter just looked at them and said, “Don’t even think about it. I’ve been hearing about your shenanigans for years now, and quite frankly, I’ve been waiting for this moment.” Sven and Ole were puzzled by St. Peter’s outburst, but they soon found themselves in a very unpleasant place called hell. The devil approached them and told them to shovel 15 tons of coal into the blast furnace in 8 hours, or they would be in big trouble. They did it, 8 hours later Sven and Ole were relaxing on the pile of coal, and…

9 Pentecost Yr A

The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who sows seeds, some fall on the path and the birds eat them up, some fall on the rocky soil and they spring up and wither quickly, some fall among thorns and are choked, others fall on fertile ground and bring forth grain. The Kingdom of God is like… always precedes a story like this one, whether or not the words are actually there. Jesus teaches his hearers about the Kingdom of God when he tells these stories that at times seem so difficult to enter into. But remember, you are always a character in these stories; you can find yourself there somewhere.

These Kingdom of God stories, these parables, are all about you and me and our role in God’s kingdom. We are agents of new creation; the new creation is the Kingdom of God. God began something absolutely new with Jesus. Just as God created the heavens and the earth and all the creatures in the beginning, God recreates the heavens and the earth with this new thing he does in Jesus. In the incarnation, …

8 Pentecost Yr A

Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all who truly turn to him. Come unto me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. Some may recognize these as the “comfortable words” from the 1928 prayer book. These words connect us in a timeless way to all those before us who held in their hands their beloved prayer books, and they connect us in some mystical way to all those who will come after us, probably reading the prayers projected on a flat screen. These “comfortable” words are from the gospel of Matthew as we have just heard. In the 1928 prayer book, they are accompanied by the words from the gospel of John, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that all who believe in him will have eternal life. In the 1928 prayer book, these comfortable words follow the words of absolution, they remind us just as they have reminded all those faithful people that came before us, that in the midst of our humanity, in the midst of our fa…