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Showing posts from March, 2011

2 Lent Yr A

What is this being Christian really about? Why do we bother, every Sunday, every Wednesday, coming here, to this place to worship a God we cannot see. It would be so much easier to be out with the others, drinking good coffee at Starbucks, or some other coffee establishment, reading our newspaper, eating a wonderful confection for breakfast. Or sleeping in late, or reading a good book, or hanging out with kids and partner after a long and grueling week. And yet we are here. I don’t think it’s because I compel you to be here, I have thought about preaching hell and damnation if you don’t come, hoping to increase our numbers, but I don’t, I can’t. I can’t honestly do that, because I don’t think it’s right or true. Coming here on Sunday mornings, being together, participating in good music, prayers, bread and wine, body and blood, is not about hell and damnation, it’s not about life after death, it’s all about life in the here and now. It is about the eternal life that Jesus talks about…

1 Lent Yr A

We enter the season of Lent with this story that takes place just after Jesus is baptized by John in the Jordan, and just before Jesus calls his disciples and begins teaching on the hillside. I have said before to you that I think this story is much more about seduction than it is temptation, and I’ll tell you why. I’m reminded of Edmund, in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, one of the books in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. Edmund is the third child in a family of four children. He is overshadowed by his older brother Peter, and Edmund suffers from a lack of confidence that contributes to a rather unfortunate series of decisions. When the children enter the land of Narnia through the wardrobe, they encounter eternal winter, brought on by the despicable Queen. The Queen approaches Edmund and tempts him with the sugary concoction, Turkish delight, and some warm and wonderful hot cocoa as well. Thus begins Edmund’s turn toward the despicable Queen, and away from the Lion Aslan, hi…

Ash Wednesday 2011

Almighty, forgiving God, help me to accept your healing love today and to practice forgiveness in my daily walk with you and others. In this, the church’s holy spring, we ask you, O God, to renew us. With a gentle breath, blow from our lives the dust of sin, and make us your people again. Lift us from guilt, and shame, and regret, to repair all we’ve broken, and give us the gift of repentance. With the lengthening days, stretch our hearts, too, to be ready for your risen life; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Just as Advent is the beginning of the New Year, Ash Wednesday and Lent are the beginning of our new life. I think we have a deep desire to start over, to begin again, to turn to God and take a deep, refreshing breath of new life, and to say, here I am Lord, I have heard you calling in the night.

This is our opportunity. This is our call. We present ourselves to God, just as we are, confident in the promise of starting over. Ash Wednesday, and all of Lent are an opportunity. An opp…

Last Epiphany Yr A, The Transfiguration

This story of the transfiguration is always the last story we read as we approach Lent. We are presented with the mighty characters of the past, in the present of the story, and in the present of our own time. Moses and Elijah. Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. Moses, who led the people out of Israel, and walked with them through the wilderness constantly encouraging them, constantly pointing them toward God, especially when they got whiny and impatient. Forty years they spent in that wilderness, a whole new generation of Israelites was born before they got close to the land that was promised. Moses guided them the whole way, Moses saw God, but Moses didn’t live to see the fulfillment of that journey, Moses saw the promised land, but died before they got there.

Elijah was a prophet in the Kingdom of Israel during the reign of Ahab, the 9th century before Jesus lived, according to the Book of Kings. Elijah defended the worship of Yahweh over that of the more popular Baal, he raised the dead, b…