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Showing posts from January, 2012

4 Epiphany Yr B Jan 29 2012

Remember last week I described the gospel of Mark like a roller coaster ride, and here we go again. No time to process any of this. Jesus is already teaching in the temple and casting out unclean spirits and we're only in chapter one verse twenty one. Mark doesn't mince words. We want Jesus to teach with words, the other gospels are full of words. They try to explain the parables, the healings, the miracles. But not Mark. Mark shows us who Jesus is through healings, through presence, through action. In Mark, Jesus teaches by what he does.

We know that Mark's gospel begins with “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 everythi…

3 Epiphany Yr B Jan 22 2012

In the gospel of Mark, there is no pussy-footing around. There is no nativity story as there is in Luke, there are no begats like in Matthew, and no metaphorical language like in John. No, Mark gets right to the point. In the first sentences the writer says, this is about the Good News, who is Jesus the Messiah. John announced Jesus, Jesus is baptized, and the next thing you know Jesus is calling disciples. Not even enough time to get strapped in before we hit the first 200 foot climb followed by a one second drop. Mark gets down to business.

It's not much different for these fisher people. Just imagine this. Just imagine being in that fishing boat with Simon and Andrew, with James and John, having fished all night. You're exhausted, and you must fix the holes in your nets before you can call it a day. You just want to get the work finished, take your haul home, and go to bed. And Jesus passes by. He yells from the shore, "Follow me and I will make you fish for people.&quo…

2 Epiphany Yr B

It had been raining for days and days, and a terrible flood had come over the land. The waters rose so high that one man was forced to climb onto the roof of his house. As the waters rose higher and higher, a man in a rowboat appeared, and told him to get in. "No," replied the man on the roof. "I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me." So the man in the rowboat went away. The man on the roof prayed for God to save him. The waters rose higher and higher, and suddenly a speedboat appeared. "Climb in!" shouted a man in the boat. "No," replied the man on the roof. "I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me." So the man in the speedboat went away. The man on the roof prayed for God to save him. The waters continued to rise. A helicopter appeared and over the loudspeaker, the pilot announced he would lower a rope to the man on the roof. "No," replied the man on the roof. "I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will s…

Feast of the Epiphany 2012

The poet Isaiah envisions the light, new light, come in a way that had not happened previously. The Lord’s light rising upon us. And we hear in the Gospel of Matthew the wise men from the East observed the star in it’s rising and led them to the place where the child was. They bowed down before the child. The Light that shone forth for these wise men from the East is of God, it is the Light that overcomes darkness, it is the Light that will not be put out, it is the Light that we call upon now in what sometimes seems like a world out of control, a world in chaos.

We are called to go out into the world in mission and ministry. We are called to be Light bearers. You and I are called to be light shining in the darkness. The Light we are to bear is the Light that shines revealing the love of God made real in Jesus Christ. And this is the love that bears all hurt, it is the Love that comes into the midst of pain, into the midst of isolation, into the midst of separation, and this Love pull…

Holy Name, Jan 1 2012

"What's in a name?" asked Juliet.  Everything, my dear, everything. "That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." In the beginning was the word, lest we forget.  And the word was made God, and God was the word. What's in a name? Who is this little child, born in a barn, to upset the accepted order of things. Jesus, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Jesus, name above all names. Emmanuel, God with us.

The story we have before us today from Luke is the Hebrew naming ritual, and a marking ritual. It is the thing that makes a Hebrew boy, a Hebrew boy. Christians have a similar ritual, we call it Baptism. The first thing we do at Holy Baptism is to name the child. And then our children are marked as Christ's own forever. Naming is very important. Many cultures understand a name as that which a child will become. It must be chosen carefully, it may even be prophetic. Some of us are named for our ancestor…