The Old Testament and gospel swirl in sex and politics. You might say they’re X-rated. David, as he enters Jerusalem, about to become king, spins in ecstasy, dancing to lyres and trumpets, tambourines, castanets and symbols- while off to the side Saul’s daughter seethes. Saul, her father, was the previous king. His daughter is jealous. Saul, himself, will soon fall on his own sword in violent grief. For David, it’s an inaugural ball. For Saul and his daughter, it’s a wake and funeral. Read more here.
A sermon by Fr. Ed Greene
November 22, 1963, was the day President Kennedy was assassinated. Those of us who were alive back then can probably remember exactly what we were doing when we first heard the news. I was in music class at Bowdoin College and the professor announced, “The President has just been shot in Dallas!” September 11, 2001, was the day terrorist planes flew into the World Trade Center. I arrived home after getting physical therapy for an arthritic hip, and my mother had the television on, and we watched in dismay as the first tower collapsed. Do you remember what you were doing?
The prophet Isaiah remembers exactly what he was doing at his time of national calamity. In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple.
Uzziah and Isaiah – two different people with similar-sounding names. Read more…
Here’s a great mystery: WE are already with the Father. WE are loved by God from the beginning. “They were yours from the beginning,” Jesus says. You may remember in Genesis after each day of Creation, God says it is good, it is good, it is very good – the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and every creepy crawly thing, it is good. And on the sixth day… read on
Last night the church was dark and bare, like the empty tomb. We heard the story of creation, breath moving over the waters, escape from oppression through the desert wilderness, dry bones wanting to turn back, and manna drawing us on to a land of promise. Then the lights came on, bells rung, altar linens and silver vessels re-appeared. Banners are on the walls. We have spring flowers (Yes, they will even come outside).
The resurrection reminds us we come through a history. We are about more than happy, clappy. Mary, Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome came grieving to do the rites of burial. They fretted walking down the road, ‘Who will roll away the rock?.” Read more…
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.
Enjoy the rest of this… Everybody_Somebody_Anybody_Nobody
… just don’t get used to it. :)
In September Bishop Lane invited a number of congregations to consider forming teams of two to “Pray the Neighborhood” for one year. He asked them to take a walk around their neighborhood for an hour each week, to pray together about what they observed, and, ultimately, to gather the teams to consider how their church might join the mission of God at work in their specific locale.
Recently I asked some of the people who have committed to praying their neighborhood what they have discovered after the first few months.
The Rev. Tim Walmer of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Wilton said,
We saw a large amount of Halloween decorations around the neighborhood: fake tombstones, a zombie or two, spider webs, and lots of pumpkins. So, realizing our church is in a central location, we opened the church doors on Halloween evening and passed out popcorn balls and cookies for the kids and hot cider for the grownups. We had more than 100 people stop by. I don’t have high expectations about them coming on Sunday, but the experience of simply greeting people at the front door of the church was thoroughly enjoyable.
The rector and senior warden, the Rev. Dan Warren and Paul Beaudette, of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Auburn, shared an even bolder, highly un-Episcopal, move. They knocked on a door.
C. Kirk Hadaway
The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society
On Sunday, August 24, Bishop Steve Lane visited with the people of All Saints by the Sea, Bailey Island, at the far end of the Harpswell peninsula. In his sermon he had this, in part, to say:
“The difficulty for us is not in saying the words; it’s not in making our confession of faith. It’s in living out that confession in our daily lives.
So… who do I think Jesus is? I think Jesus is the presence of God among us. Jesus shows us not only that God loves us, but that God came to be with us and to be like us. There is nothing in human life that is unknown to God and nothing that God can not or will not face and transform. Jesus is the sign of God’s embrace of human life and the human condition. And more than that Jesus is the model and the goal of human life. Living the life of faith means to become more and more like Jesus, living our lives following his example, knowing that failure is forgiven and that, with God, all things are possible.
That’s my confession. Not perfect… there’s probably more to say. And I struggle with it. As Christians in every generation have struggled to live out their faith, so I struggle as well. I take some comfort that it has never been easy.”