Sunday, May 14, 2017

May 14, 2017 - the 5th Sunday of Easter

Readings of the Day.

Listen to the Sermon.

Happy Mother’s Day!  On this day when we honor our mothers, let’s take a moment and think about what we love about our moms.  Anyone want to share a word of what you appreciate about your mom?

I am guessing that a few of us will be giving flowers to our mothers or mother-like people in our lives today.  In the world where we use flowers to express feelings, carnations broadly signify love, fascination, and distinction.  The pink carnation, the original color of the flower, has the strongest meaning since it’s thought that they first appeared from the Virgin Mary’s tears - making them a symbol of a mother’s undying love.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

April 16, 2017 - Easter Day / the Feast of the Resurrection

Read the lessons here.

Listen to the sermon.

When my children were babies, I made up lullabies for them that repeated their names over and over. The sound of their names, sung gently and lovingly, soothed them to sleep many nights.  Those lullabies, naming them, telling them how they would grow up strong and brave, broke through many moments of anger and fear and frustration.  Even today, as they are both in elementary school, those same lullabies comfort and relax them.
Something about hearing our own name, spoken gently and tenderly, stops us short, calls us out of our fear and panic, and brings us back into our true selves.  Reminds us who we are, at our core.  Whether it is God calling us by name, beloved and chosen, at our baptism – or a parent singing us to sleep – hearing our name spoken in love breaks through to us.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

April 2, 2017 - the 5th Sunday in Lent

Readings for the Day.

Listen to the Sermon.

I have found myself thinking lately about the prayer cycle of a holy Lent.  It’s the three-part cycle that is mentioned in the Invitation to a Holy Lent that we read on Ash Wednesday.  The cycle of self-examination and repentance; action as a result of that self-examination, and; listening to the Word of God.  Spending time with Scripture inevitably leads to thinking about the connection between the Word and our lives, and so the cycle begins again.  Self-examination, prayer, Scripture.  Self-examination, fasting, listening for God.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

March 19, 2017 - the 3rd Sunday in Lent

Readings for the Day.

Listen to the Sermon.

This story of the Woman at the Well is one of those Bible stories that I don’t always hear.  Does this happen to you too?  It’s familiar enough that, in my mind, I know how it goes.  I know the main characters - Jesus and the unnamed Samaritan woman.  And it’s long - so I tend to get caught by my reaction to a particular word or interaction, and then I lose the overall arc of the story.

Once we recognize the story, and stop hearing it, we also fall back on the interpretations we have heard in the past.  Which makes it more challenging to see the relationship of the story to our life as it is today.  Let’s take another look at this story, to see and hear the invitation it offers today.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

March 1, 2017 - Ash Wednesday

Readings for the Day.

So, here we are.  It’s Ash Wednesday - again.  Done with the feasting of Fat Tuesday, and ready to focus ourselves on the next 40 days before Easter. Some of us have thought about our Lenten fasts, and the rest of us are taking time to think about them right now.
Before we get too far down the road of deciding to give up chocolate or TV or to start yoga for Lent this year, I have a question for each of us.  Well, actually, it’s three questions.
1.      What does Lent mean to you?
2.     Why is this season important to you?
3.     What difference does Lent make in your spiritual life?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

February 26, 2017 - the Last Sunday after the Epiphany - Transfiguration Sunday

Readings of the Day.

Listen to the Sermon.

I love this moment in the liturgical year.  The light of Epiphany seems so bright at the moment of Transfiguration.  While a wild story, the Transfiguration is easy to imagine.  In my mind’s eye, we can see Peter and James and John, resting after climbing the mountain with Jesus.  The light, the disbelief, the conversation trying to make sense of it all.  A true ‘mountaintop’ experience.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

February 19, 2017 - the 7th Sunday after the Epiphany

Readings for the Day.

Listen to the Sermon.

“If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also” (Mt 5:39).  “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Mt 5:44).  “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48).

What is Jesus saying?!!  He sounds crazy.  Doesn’t he know that the way to respond to anger and violence in our world, and his, is to strike back, to prove our strength, to destroy our enemies and WIN?