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Showing posts from February, 2012

1 Lent Yr B

Lent begins and ends with baptism. Today we hear the story of Jesus' baptism. And with this story the gospel writer shows us, the readers, the true identity of Jesus. Jesus is the beloved son of God. Lent ends with our own reaffirmation and baptism at the Easter vigil. What we see in this is that Jesus is who God says he is, so also we are who God says we are, in Christ we are beloved sons and daughters of God. All the rest of the gospel of Mark shows what that means and what that looks like.

For me, encountering water has always been a very powerful experience. I have lived my life in and around water. When I was a little girl I would spend my summer days at the neighborhood pool, we swam and sunned and played. I learned to swim there, and eventually I taught others to swim there. I lifeguarded there and I coached swimming there. And I swam on the synchronized swimming team in high school. Eventually I moved on to lifeguard at a Minneapolis lake, and I was waterfront director at …

Ash Wednesday Feb 22 2012

Today we begin our pilgrimage, pitch our tent, quiet our spirits, listen. We begin by remembering. We remember who we are and whose we are. We remember that we are marked as Christ's own forever at baptism, and that same marking, that same cross, is retraced on our foreheads this day with ashes. Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Why do we do this Ash Wednesday, Lent, Holy Week thing year after year? Why isn't just once enough? We do it again because we so quickly forget. We forget who we are and to whom we belong. We forget that we are created in God's image, we forget that we are loved abundantly, we forget that we are the delight of God's life. And as we forget, we have a tendency to place ourselves front and center, and we forget that God is God and we are not.

This season of Lent beginning with Ash Wednesday is brilliant really. In it we have the opportunity to do nothing. That's really all we have to do. We are invited to spent some tim…

Transfiguration

When our kids were younger, Rick and I, and Tom and Willie, would travel by camping. We'd pile all our camping equipment in the back of the van, and take off for sites unknown. We love staying at National and State Parks, setting up our tent and campsite, and experiencing where we were in the out of doors. One of the most interesting places was Dinosaur State Park near Glen Allen Texas. We went there specifically to see the Tyrannosaurus Rex footprint in the creek bed. It was really cool. We saw the amazing starlit sky on the 4th of July from the shore of Truman Lake in the Army Corp of Engineers park in Missouri. We took the tour of the dam at Ft. Peck, Montana, and learned about all the mammoths unearthed there. And we drove the circle tour around Lake Superior and camped at the wonderful provincial parks in Canada, they had the best facilities anywhere. It was a great way to see the United States.

Many, many years before that, my next door neighbor and best friend growing up, wo…

6 Epiphany Yr B

If you choose, you can make me clean, the leper says to Jesus. Again, the writer of this gospel doesn't mince words, he gets right to the point. Jesus instructs the man to go to his priest, and make his offering. What Jesus is doing in this healing, as he did when he healed Simon's mother-in-law, and as he did when he cast the unclean spirit out of the man in the synagogue, is to restore this person to wholeness, essentially to give them new life. These stories of healing in which Mark does not mince words, are to show all who are in hearing, that Jesus, the Son of God, is bringing about God's kingdom right here, and right now.

The people who populate these healing stories are all out on the margins, because of their disease, they essentially have been cast away, they have no life, they are in effect dead. Jesus gives them their lives back. They are healed, and they get their lives back.

What do you need to be healed of to get your life back? What demon needs to be tossed …