“Suspension of disbelief.” That’s what movie makers strive for. That state of mind where you no longer are even aware that animals don’t really talk, cars don’t explode into giant fireballs with one bullet, and most people don’t actually go from total annoyance with that obnoxious party guest to the greatest love of all time in less […]
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Click here There is a liturgical controversy regarding Palm Sunday. And, for once, it isn’t just for liturgy wonks. Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when the people threw palms on the road Jesus traveled into the city as a sign of honor. But the Palm Sunday liturgy and the lessons rather quickly […]
It is, very possibly, the greatest three step self-help speech ever given. I don’t think St. Paul thought of it that way, but I read it that way. This Sunday’s reading from Philippians sums it up beautifully. Click here to read it. First, he puts his past in perspective. He doesn’t beat himself up over […]
Reconciliation is hard. Make no mistake. Reconciliation does not mean “pretend it never happened.” Nor is it a simple “I forgive you,” important though that may be. Reconciliation is not required when the failure minor. Five minutes late for supper? A simple “I’m sorry!” should do (unless there is a lot of history to be factored in). […]
Do you want God? How much? What would you sacrifice to find God? This Sunday’s Psalm (Psalm 63, click here to read it) opens with the Psalmist’s desire for God: “O God, you are my God; eagerly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you, as in a barren and […]
What makes you righteous? I mean in the old fashioned sense of being in “right standing.” Are you righteous by behaving righteously? “(Abram) believed the LORD and the LORD reckoned it to him as righteousness.” Abram was righteous just by believing God. Abram, later to be called Abraham, had been called by God and promised […]
I don’t think I can say it better than our Book of Common Prayer (from the Ash Wednesday liturgy, p. 264): “Dear People of God: The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence […]
The lesson from 2 Corinthians begins “Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness…” (2 Cor. 3:12, click here for the full passage) What hope can lead to great boldness? We need remember that Biblical “hope” is not just wishful thinking: “I hope it doesn’t rain today.” Or naive optimism: “I […]
It would be nice if Christian faith were clean, simple, clear — black and white answers to every question. Alas it is not, and often we have to struggle to hold various truths in a holy tension. Sunday’s lesson from Genesis is challenging in this regard. It is a snippet from the much longer saga […]
Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians about having confidence in the resurrection. For him, the resurrection was everything, and without the resurrection, our faith is nothing. Click here to read it. I was reflecting on this passage with my clergy Bible study group and I commented that at St. John’s (and, I suspect, in their […]