Posts

Showing posts from May, 2010

1st Sunday after Pentecost Yr C, Trinity

We find ourselves at the time of our church year when it seems like we are completing one thing and embarking upon another. The Sundays of Easter have come to a conclusion, we have celebrated the Day of Pentecost, although we call these days the Days after Pentecost, and we alight for a moment on this, Trinity Sunday, before we come to rest in the ordinary days.

That all sounds so linear, like we can finish up one thing and then begin the next. But you all know that I am not a linear thinker, and therefore in my mind, seasons have a tendency to overlap, or to extend, or to be hurried, but never to happily move in a straight line. The challenge in my life is to be fully present to the now, yes, to look back and see where I’ve been, and to look forward to see what may be off on the horizon, but to let the anxiety of the past and the future be what it is in the present, no more, no less. If I don’t, I will miss incarnation, and I will miss resurrection. In other words, being fully presen…

7 Easter Yr C

Time, we never have enough, it goes too fast, it drags, it can be our enemy and sometimes our friend. I begin today with a quotation from my favorite author, Madeleine L’engle. She writes, We need to remember that the house of God is not limited to a building that we usually visit for only a few hours on Sunday. The house of God is not a safe place. It is a cross where time and eternity meet, and where we are—or should be – challenged to live more vulnerably, more interdependently. Where, even with the light streaming in rainbow colors through the windows, we can listen to the stars. Many of Madeleine’s stories deal with time, a wrinkle in time, an acceptable time, the irrational season, and yet she never sets out to tell stories about time. We are, or at least I am, fascinated by stories about time. I used to like to watch The Time Tunnel, and much more recently I’ve been fascinated by the story The Time Traveler’s Wife. John’s Revelation is also all about time, although he never set…

6 Easter Yr C

We’ve been listening to John’s visions in Revelation, and we’ve compared those visions to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Scrooge says as he is accompanied by the Phantom who shows him his grave, ‘Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead.’ But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me.’ One of the purposes of John’s Revelation is to effect transformation in us, to wake us up, to show us the results when nations continue to bow down to idols. Today’s passage from Revelation shows us what will be when lives are altered, when lives are transformed. It is a glorious vision.

The vision is of the holy city Jerusalem. Revelation sets the holy city Jerusalem over and against the whore city Babylon, the heart of empire, the heart of addiction to violence, greed, fear, and unjust lifestyle, the heart of whatever holds each of us most captive. The holy city, the new Jerusalem, is established right…

5 Easter Yr C

When we began reading from the Revelation to John, back on the first Sunday of Easter, I suggested that Revelation may be something like A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. At that time I said that A Christmas Carol is a morality play in which the miserly Scrooge is taken on a visionary tour of his life. As we all know, Scrooge gets a hair-raising visit from the ghost of his dead business partner, and he gives Scrooge the first warning of what his future may hold if he does not change his life.

I quote from A Christmas Carol again today. “The Spirit stood among the graves, and pointed down to one. He advanced toward it trembling. The Phantom was exactly as it had been, but he dreaded that he saw new meaning in its solemn shape. ‘Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point,’ said Scrooge, ‘answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that will be, or are they shadows of things that may be only?’ Still the Ghost pointed downward to the grave by which it stood…