Saturday, January 31, 2009

4 Pentecost Yr B

Mark’s gospel begins with the statement “the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” It then goes on to show us what this Son of God looks like. The Son of God is baptized in the Jordan, and a voice came from heaven and says, “You are my son, the Beloved, with you I am well pleased.” The Son of God is cast out into the wilderness and battles Satan. The Son of God calls Simon and Andrew, James and John, who left everything to follow him. The Son of God was in the habit of going to the synagogue on the Sabbath. He was also in the habit of breaking many of the rules of the Sabbath. The Son of God taught with authority. All of this is what the Son of God looks like.

Robert Browning, the English poet, once said, “If the most powerful people in the world came into this room, the King, the President, we would stand up. But if Jesus came in, we would kneel down, and that’s the difference.” We could add to Robert Browning’s list of powerful people, the kind of people today that are lifted up as powerful sports stars, movie, television or music stars. Maybe even today’s billionaires would make this list, people like Warren Buffet or Bill Gates. Well, today’s gospel is about is what the Son of God looks like, and the Son of God looks like authority, and authority that looks nothing like those who think they have authority today, and an authority that brings us to our knees.

In this gospel story, Jesus’ authority creates something that no one had ever experienced previously, and I would venture that Jesus’ authority creates something that no one in our culture experiences today. Today I think we experience authority as power, and that gets transferred to the power to buy and consume and have. The scribes, who were the educated and literate people, had never before experienced the kind of authority that is described in this lesson; we only encounter this kind of authority when we encounter Jesus.

What kind of authority is this? What does this authority look like? It is Jesus’ being. Authority is who Jesus is, authority is Jesus’ being, it is not something that Jesus’ possesses, or something that Jesus owns. True authority, authentic authority is not derived from power but from trust and respect. True authority does not control, it authors. Authority comes from the same word as author. It is a word that indicates something that creates, something that causes an increase, something that causes growth.

This authority is quite different from power. Power, in the Mediterranean world, as well as in our own world I would suggest, is often viewed as a limited quantity. If one person has more power, then the other has less. In the Mediterranean world, honor was also a limited quantity. The honoring of one resulted in the shaming of another. Power and honor are linked in the Mediterranean world of Jesus’ time, and I do believe they are linked in our culture as well.

What the scribes noticed immediately in this story is that Jesus speaks with an as-yet-unheard-of level of authority. Suddenly the years of compounded knowledge, confined logic and entrenched tradition offered by the scribes begins to pale in comparison to the message that Jesus brings. When Jesus was around, something was created, something was increased, growth was happening, the story was being rewritten. Scribes were “because it has always been that way” theologians, that is to say the kind of theology that is built on its past and nothing new really comes about. But things were definitely not the same any more.

It is in this new reality that people began to see that this must be God’s work, because it is only God who can author this new story. There is only one God, one Lord, and neither you nor I are it. What this passage says to us is that nothing is really settled except for the always present love of God and the ministry that Jesus calls each one of us to participate in. The unclean spirit was no match for Jesus; the unclean spirit was standing in Jesus’ way. By following Jesus we are called to clear away all of those things that stand between us and truly experiencing anew how the life and ministry of Jesus calls us to live.

We are called to be authored anew if you will. We are called to put aside all that stands in the way of truly being that new creation that God wants us to be. We must look at ourselves, name our own demons, and let Jesus call them out of our being, so that Jesus can take over and create us anew so that we may be transformed.

What are the things, ideas, prejudices and excuses that you’ve got to get out of the way so that Jesus can really work in your life? Only you can name these things, no one can do this for you. And once you do, the work begins. This Christian journey is a lifetime project. None of us are transformed in an instant, we come face to face with our demons at every bend in the road, we stumble over them, we carry them with us.

The good news is that the new creation that Jesus calls us to be is already forgiven. It’s not that our demons will never rise up again, it’s not that we don’t continue to miss the mark, the truth is that when that happens, the relationship that we are in with Jesus and this company of faithful in which we belong, calls us to see the goodness and the life that our lives can bear.

You and I know that submitting to Jesus’ authority, naming our demons, becoming the new creations that God wants us to be, and embracing the ministry that grows out of that is a lifetime project. But when we do, our story begins to be rewritten and the fruit of transformation is ministry and discipleship.

We know this is a life time project because we know that today we can decide that this is the day that we begin anew, that this is the day that we decide to let nothing get in the way of being a better person, this is the day that we name our demons, and we drive out of this driveway and go to the Safeway to pick up one thing, and get downright annoyed at the person in the line in front of us for taking so long.

We know this is a life time project because we know that today we can decide that it’s time to learn more about the bible, and we decide to attend the Tuesday night bible study, and Tuesday night comes and we decide we’d rather stay home because it is just so much easier than getting out.

We know this is a life time project because we know that today we can decide that this is the day that we do something about people going hungry, and we bring food for the food shelf, and we go home and on our way we see someone with a sign that says “will work for food,” and we wonder why they don’t just go get a job.

Today is the day to get started on the lifetime project of submitting to Jesus’ authority knowing full well that tomorrow we may just have to begin again. God’s love is ever present, God’s love is abundant, God’s love will always call us back.

The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come let us adore him.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

3 Epiphany Yr B

Sven and Ole go fishing. It’s such a great day, they rent a boat so they can fish from the middle of the lake. They row out, drop their lines, and before you know it, they're catching fish, one after another after another. They can’t believe what a great fishing spot they found. Sven says, “This is the best fishing spot in the county. It’s just too bad we didn’t bring some paint.” Ole asks, “Paint? Why should you want paint, to go fishing?” “Well Ole, don’t you see, so we can paint an “X” in the bottom of the boat, so we can find this spot next time.” Ole laughs at him. “Sven, don’t be such a dummy! Next time, what if they give us a different boat?”

Fishin’ stories often are about the one that got away, or as Sven and Ole show us, the one’s who aren’t all there. The fishin’ stories we have before us today are about the ones that do the fishin’. These are stories about how individuals and communities are transformed and changed. They continue our series of stories about saying yes to God’s call to ministry. Jonah himself is transformed from a reluctant prophet to a messenger of God, and the story of Jonah is about a whole community that was transformed. In Mark, Simon and his brother Andrew, and James and John, heard Jesus’ call, and were transformed; they left what they were doing and followed Jesus. These stories are about change, and these stories are deeply hopeful, they are all about not being stuck in the old patterns, but about the willingness to respond to the call of transformation and change.

Jonah is a reluctant prophet. Going where he is told to go is the last thing he wants to do. The story opens with Jonah fleeing to Tarshish. He hides on a ship from God, and when a mighty storm came up the crew threw Jonah into the sea to stop it. Jonah didn’t die in the sea because of the fish. In the belly of that fish Jonah remembered who he was, he remembered that God was God, he remembered his relationship with God, and Jonah was saved. Remembering who you are in the belly of a fish seems like a fishy story to me, but the truth lies in the reality of that experience. When have you been in the belly of a fish? When have you had an experience that would either kill you or transform you? That experience may well be the essence of your call. In the belly of that fish Jonah came to realize that he no longer could say no to God, he could no longer run away from who he was called to be.

So the people of Nineveh are about their evil ways. God knows that evil ways beget negative consequences. The job of a prophet, albeit a reluctant one, is to call the people to turn back to God, to turn away from greed, to turn away from idol worship, to repent. That is what God is asking of Jonah, God calls him to tell the people of Nineveh to change. The consequences for Nineveh on the path they are in are dire. But they hear God’s call to repent, and they believe God and change their ways. A whole city is willing to believe God and be transformed. Jonah is a whole book about people who weren’t supposed to get it. And yet they got it. The people believed God, and a whole community changed. I think it’s important to hear that they believed God, they didn’t believe in God. They believed God, they believed what God had to say through Jonah, and they believed in God’s abundant love for them.

I much more easily identify with Jonah, the reluctant prophet, the one who had to spend some time in the belly of a fish, than I do with Simon and Andrew, and James and John, to whom Jesus said, follow me, and immediately they left their nets and their kin and followed him. I wonder if fishing was really that bad, or if maybe they had heard about this Jesus, who Mark tells us in the first line of his story, is the Son of God. I wonder if they, like the people of Nineveh, believed God. Earlier in Mark’s story, Jesus is baptized in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, the heavens were torn apart, and the Spirit descended like a dove on him, and a voice came from heaven, You are my Son, the Beloved, with you I am well pleased. I think this is what Simon and Andrew, James and John knew was true, and because they believed God, because they knew that the truth was in incarnation, the truth was contained in the reality of God with us, God in our midst, they were willing to leave their livelihood and their kin, to follow this One.

When we meet God we are changed. When we meet God in our midst, God with us, we are no longer the same. That is the reality of what Simon and Peter, and James and John did. This story Mark tells is a story that illustrates how Jesus changes everything. That change is described in these stories that show us that everything is turned around, topsy-turvy, the first shall be last and the last shall be first, the social order of the day is changed. So Mark is saying that Jesus changes the social order. Who you are is no longer defined by your family; it is no longer defined by the privilege, or lack of privilege into which you are born. They left their homes, they left their kin, they were changed in a very real way, and it is that very real way that points us to the transformation that results by our meeting God, whether in the belly of a fish, or while we are fishing. Therein lies the hope. Who we are is defined by God’s abundant love for us and God’s delight in us. Not by what our culture counts as value.

But meeting God in our midst changes us in ways that call for a response. Jonah responds, Simon and Andrew, James and John respond. Follow me, Jesus says. What is your response? God is up to something in each of our lives, God is up to something in our community, God is up to something in our country, Follow me, Jesus says. The call is to follow; the response is up to you.

Here at St. Andrew’s we have committed ourselves to God’s mission in the world. We have committed ourselves to helping those in our community who are hurting, those who have been hurt by the church, those who cannot believe in a God who requires them only to follow rules, to experience God whose love can transform them. We have committed ourselves to showing God who is in our midst, God who requires us to love one another as we have first been loved, God who enables us to bear fruit.

As we gather together this day for our annual meeting, we will celebrate what God is up to in our lives, and in the live of our church, We will look ahead to the next year, giving thanks that God’s abundance enables us to go about the work we believe God calls us to do. We will recommit ourselves to responding to God’s call. Each of you has a role in that response. Jesus says, follow me. How will you respond?

The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come let us adore him.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

2 Epiphany Yr B

We certainly have an interesting set of readings in today's lectionary. A story from the Old Testament about the boy, Samuel, who kept hearing someone calling him in the night. It took Eli to figure out that the Lord was calling Samuel, and Eli told Samuel what to say in response. Samuel didn't even know God, but God knew Samuel. In the Psalm we hear that God knows us intimately, maybe even more intimately than we want. The reading from Corinthians seems harsh and judging, to some. The Gospel from John seems hard to break open. Is it a story about Philip, to whom Jesus said, follow me. It is a story about Nathanael, who seems to know whom Jesus is, the Son of God.

Our Epiphany stories have all been stories that show and tell us what incarnation looks like, they are stories that show and tell us about how incarnation changes everything, and how then we must go home by another way. I think the collection of stories we hear today follow the same theme, they are all stories that illustrate how different the story of God is from the story that the world in which we live tells us, whether that world is hundreds of years before Christ, whether that world is first century Israel, or whether that world is 2009 years after Christ. Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the Lord. The job of a prophet was to tell people what they least wanted to hear. That they need to shape up, change their ways, and turn to God.

What we hear in these stories is the invitation to live another way, not the way of the world. The story in Corinthians is not a story about judgment so much as it is a story about belonging. We belong to God. The author of Corinthians wonders, don't you know that you are not your own. You belong to God. And in John, we hear clearly the invitation to live by a different way, to be a part of the story of God, who is here in our midst.

What is so powerful in this set of stories today is that we hear about God's activity in the lives of God’s people in and through history. And at the same time, we are invited to be part of God’s mission. Today, we are invited to be a part of what God is up to now. Unfortunately, sometimes we are like Samuel, who couldn't figure out it was God calling, and sometimes we are like Philip and Nathanael, wondering how and where Jesus gets to know us so intimately, although we know God knows us intimately because of Psalm 139. Each one of us is invited to step into the unknown, and live this radical life in relationship with God, without knowing really what to expect, except that we are called to be faithful.

When we say yes to God’s call we don’t know what that will bring. Like Samuel with the mentoring of Eli before us, it is our turn to respond to God with here I am, here we are. It is our turn to respond to Jesus who says, follow me. What does our response look like, our response as a church? We must imagine that, we must begin to see the possibilities. Come and see, Philip says. Maybe we need to picture the people populating these pews. Who will they be? Maybe they are young families. Maybe they are Episcopalians, but probably they are not. Maybe they are people disaffected from other denominations for various reasons, maybe they are just people looking for love and acceptance in a house of God. Maybe they are people seeking Christ; maybe they are people seeking meaning. I’m hoping they are people finding Christ and finding meaning here, finding love and acceptance at this table, and in this body. Maybe they are people who want to understand who they are and who they are called to be, they are people who want to seek and serve Christ in all persons, here behind these walls, and out there, in the community. Maybe they are people who will challenge you to grow and develop in your own spiritual journey, because you will accompany them on their journeys and be changed by them.

But on some level they are people who want to be a part of the story, and not bystanders. The story we tell about how God created humanity, how God blesses the creation, how God promises to always be God. This is the story about how we turned away from God, about how we worship so many things other than God, and it is the story about how God calls us back, calls us back, about how God will not let us go. It is the story about how God loves us so much, that God came as one of us, as Jesus, and lived and died as one of us, and brought us back into relationship. We can belong to God, because we know God is right here, right know, in the midst of us, in ways that are evident, and in ways we can only imagine and dream about. This is our story; this is the story that makes us a people.

What does your response to Jesus’ call, follow me, look like? It is timely that we hear this call of Samuel, and of Andrew and Peter, Philip and Nathanael, on this day, so close to the anniversary of the birth of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. A man who answered a call, and risked everything to respond to Jesus’ call of equality in the new covenant. Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking that responding to Jesus’ call has to be to the ministry, but that is not true. Responding to Jesus’ call is to live out loving God and loving your neighbor in every aspect of your life. Responding to Jesus’ call, follow me, is to live out your baptismal promises in your work, in your school, in your play, in your family, and in your business dealings.

We receive the church newsletter from St. Luke’s, the church we came from in Minneapolis. In the latest issue was a letter written by a young woman, Emily, who just graduated from college. Emily was in the Sunday school classes that Rick and I taught at St. Luke’s. Emily is currently living in Lima, Peru. Emily writes, "Perched precariously atop a sandy hill, La Encantada peers down on the sprawling slums of Lima. Most outsiders see only La Encantada’s grinding poverty: no running water, poor sanitation, and shanty homes, But look closer and you will discover a spirit of camaraderie and a commitment to social justice that battle back poverty with inspiring intensity. So it is here in La Encantada that I am helping to build the Center for Development with Dignity, an innovative resource center that houses grassroots development projects and community education." Emily finishes her letter, "While I’m far from St. Luke’s; I’ve kept the St. Luke’s community close. Without the seminal influence of the church and its lessons of compassion, justice, and service, I would never have found that path that leads me up the dusty hill to La Encantada every morning." Emily is living out her response to Jesus’ invitation, follow me.

A challenge to you today to live out Jesus’ invitation to follow. Some of you have read or heard me talk about an effort by a group of pastors to build fund and build one Habitat for Humanity house each year, beginning this Lent. We are calling the effort, Faith Builds. As congregations of faith we want to respond to Jesus’ call. Come and see. I would like for St. Andrew’s to participate in Faith Builds,
beginning with a donation from our outreach budget followed up matching that donation with our Lenten offering, and volunteer building hours. Follow me.

The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come let us adore him.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Feast of the Epiphany Yr B

We finished our story on Christmas Eve like this. Three camels will plod up the road to Bethlehem. They will come from the East, far beyond the Arabian Desert, perhaps from as far as the Caspian Sea. The camels will carry three kings, the wise ones, the Magi. They will follow the wild star, the destiny they had never seen before, and they will follow it, wherever it goes, to find the Kings its shining will show them.

The kings’ journey will end in a new kind of king. Their restlessness will rest at last. They will fall to their knees and give him bright gold, sweet-smelling frankincense and bitter myrrh, brought so far with so much love.

So here we are tonight, following the love, to find God-with-us. We come, as people have come all through the ages, to bring our own gifts to this Child, God’s gift to us.

And now we find ourselves here today. These Sundays after Christmas have been all out of order, I have felt discombobulated. This time in our church year serves to remind me that God’s time is different from our time. Chronos, counting time in an orderly fashion, is not how the church year does it. We live in Kairos, God’s time. Here we have the Magi arriving on the scene as if the birth of this baby just happened. But the feast of the Epiphany is this conglomeration of things happening in chronos as well as kairos. In Isaiah we hear Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. And in Matthew’s gospel we hear there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. They were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

All of these stories we have read recently show us who Jesus is, how Jesus is related to God and to us, they show us how God works in our lives, in the lives of those who came before us and in the lives of those who will come after us, they show us what incarnation is, and they show us who Jesus’ family is, these stories all serve to show us that things are different now. With the birth of Jesus, everything is changed. The light has come into the world. God has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. God has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. God has filled the hungry with good things, and has sent the rich away empty. God has come to the help of God’s servant Israel, God has remembered the promise of mercy made to Abraham and his children forever. And because Jesus changes everything, we, like the magi, must go home by another road.

Incarnation is dangerous, the birth of this child totally disrupts this family and the world in which they live, this child even causes his parents to have to be refugees, they flee to Egypt to hide from Herod who would have the child killed. The birth of this child in our lives totally disrupts us as well. The birth of this child calls us out of our complacency, the birth of this child calls us to this new thing that God is doing in our lives. The birth of this child was dangerous, the birth of this child is dangerous in our lives, because we cannot be the same ever again.

When we baptized Mary Ellen and Syra on the Sunday after Christmas two things happened. One is that Syra screamed. Harold Oberlander suggested to me that if we really were aware of what was happening in baptism, that we were dying with Christ to be raised to a new and absolutely different kind of life, we would all be screaming too. And, Mary Ellen danced. I don’t know if any of you could see her, but she was up here at the altar dancing. Being baptized in Christ should also make all of us dance for joy. Screaming and dancing, that is what the birth of this child makes us do, and we must go home by another way.

Our lives are changed by incarnation, our lives our changed by this Light coming into the world, our lives our changed by baptism; God has God’s way with us and we can never be the same. We will spend our lives saying yes to the new creation God intends for us, or we will spend our lives saying no to who God calls us to be. Saying yes is dangerous, saying yes to God is to enter a relationship that brings us outside of ourselves and causes us to confront our fears and our prejudices, saying yes to God moves us from narcissism to selflessness. Saying no to God means that we can be secure in the way things are, we can live a life untouched by injustice, untouched by prejudice, untouched by the pursuit of greed.

So, what does it look like to bring our own gifts to this Child, God’s gift to us. And what does it look like to go home by another way? What does it look like to live a life of incarnation, what does it look like to carry the light into a world of darkness? On this route home we are called to be Light bearers. We are called to be Love bearers. We are called to bring God’s Love to dark corners, to mountaintops, to raging waters. We are called to bring God’s Love to a fragmented society, to a culture that is pulled apart by greed and by consumption. We are called to bring God’s Love to a culture that values contingency and impermanence over commitment, fidelity and covenant.

God’s Love, God’s Power, is the most powerful integrating force in creation. God’s Love moves us from brokenness, from fragmentation, to wholeness, to healing. You and I bear the scars of that brokenness, we bear the scars that fragments cut us with, and we bear the healing Love of God. It is that Love, that Light that we carry into the world. The work that our baptism equips us for is out there, and it is about bringing the Light into the world.

How do you bring God’s Love and God’s Light into the world, how do you bring God’s wholeness into your work or your school? It is our call, to bring God’s transforming love to those who have not yet seen or felt or known that love. Be the light-bearer, just like those wise ones of so long ago,
and you will go home by another way.

The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come let us adore him.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2 Christmas Yr B

One of the funny things about our liturgical year is that it isn’t necessarily chronological. So today we find ourselves with this strange collection of readings from the prophet Jeremiah, and the teenage Jesus and his family at the Temple. Next week we will celebrate the feast of the Epiphany, the arrival of the Magi. So today the question I brought to these texts was what does the prophet Jeremiah have to say to us, and what does Joseph, who we hear so little from or about, have to say to us today. The first thing I remembered was that prophets were not predictors of the future. They talked a lot about the future, but their task was not to predict the historical future. It was much later Christian tradition that made this a central feature of Old Testament prophecy.

And secondly, the prophets’ primary task was to call the people as a community to accountability and responsibility in their relationship with God. If we use the metaphor of covenant to describe that relationship between the people of Israel and God, then the prophets were mediators of the covenant. They helped the people understand what was expected of them in that relationship. In doing so, they often interpreted history, the flow of events, in light of relationship with God. They tried to understand how God was at work in certain historical events, and how the people should respond to those events. That meant that frequently the prophets were very much concerned about the present, and how the people should live in the present as God’s people. Even when they spoke about the future, it was for the purpose of calling people to be responsible before God in the present. Specifically, Jeremiah saw the destruction of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple and his mission was to bring courage and hope to the Israelites, and to keep them from returning to idolatry.

How is God at work? What is God up to? How are we being called to be responsible before God today? These are questions appropriately asked as we continue to wonder about incarnation. The incarnation, God bursting into our lives as a baby, shows us that God continues to be up to something. The gospel story today is a fascinating one. It’s about the only story we get of Joseph, and of Joseph and Mary parenting Jesus. The fascinating part for me is that at the same time it is a story about Jesus teaching his elders, it’s also a story about an ordinary father and mother worried about an ordinary teenage son. How many of you have been in that place? Where is he? He’s late, and your first thought is that he’s dead in ditch somewhere. You say that to him as soon as he comes through the door in the midst of your worry and your anger, and the response is, you don’t have to worry about me, I’m just fine, all I was doing was solving the problems of the world with my friends.

What is God up to? What is God up to in our lives? How are we being called to be responsible before God today? How does God with us possibly assuage our worry? These are questions to be asked on the global level, as well as the personal level. I have no definitive answers, but I have spent some time wondering….

We are living through the greatest financial meltdown experienced since the depression. There are so many forces happening all at the same time, I don’t understand it all, but I know that some of it seems like a natural swing of the pendulum, some of it seems like human made mismanagement. It seems to me, if Jeremiah were observing these happenings today, he would speak to us about greed. He would point to investments that seem too good to be true and suggest that maybe they are. Jeremiah would remind us that greed is another manifestation of idolatry; it is greed that values money or possessions more than God. Another way to understand the relationship between greed and idolatry is that greed serves to bring as many things that the greedy person considers valuables to that person, making him the center of his efforts, the one he aims to please, converting him into his own god. Greed cuts us off from God and from one another. Greed puts the accumulation of more at the center of our existence, and more is never enough. Whenever what we want to get drives our decisions and the way we treat people, we succumb to the seduction of greed.

The insidious nature of greed is that we begin to believe that our value can be determined by what and how much we have. People begin to believe that they’re important because of their ability to acquire more; they begin to believe they have power because of their ability to get.
What they forget is that they are held prisoner by that very same greed, and that loss becomes devastating, rather than the natural part of life that loss really is. They forget that even what looks like death leads to new life, and following God’s way leads to new life.

What is God up to? How are we being called to be responsible before God today? What does incarnation have to do with any of it? I return now to Joseph and Mary. The parents who just like you and me worry about their teenage son, how different are Joseph and Mary from you, or from me? Don’t we want more than anything for our children to be happy, to be safe, to be normal, to be successful, to have more than us. And yet Jesus turns out by all measurements of the world to be unhappy, surely not safe or normal, and success seems like it is not death on a Roman cross.

The prophets call us to witness to God’s activity in our individual lives, as well as our lives as a people. Joseph and Mary call us to experience Jesus’ full humanity with all the struggles and all the pain and all the joy. And therein lies the incarnation. Our value is not based on who we are, it is not based on what we have, as individuals or as a church or even as a country. Our value is not based on being normal, or being successful. It is based on being created in the image of God, and it is based on the love of the creator who is fully human and fully divine.

Incarnation is the reality of our creator showing us the way. Incarnation points us to the collective memory of the prophets, who call us to be responsible before God in the present, incarnation points us to the future to show us what life, death and resurrection are all about. Incarnation calls us to live in the present, where at every moment we live with the possibility that God is with us, God is in our midst. Incarnation calls us to live in relationship, relationships that show every person is created in God’s image and every person is worthy of respect and dignity.

Alleluia! To us a child is born; come let us adore him. Alleluia!

9 Pentecost Yr B Proper 11 July 22 2018

Jesus said, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” And so they went. I had the great...