Sunday, May 29, 2016

May 29, 2016 - 2nd Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 4

Readings for the Day (Track 1).

Listen to the sermon.

Seasons. That’s what’s on my mind this week.  It could be that 2 weeks ago it was snowing, and this week it is summer-hot and humid.  Seasons are about weather, about repeating cycles of life and death and rebirth.  We talk about seasons of the church year, cycles of a congregation, seasons of our lives.  Seasons have highs and lows, patterns that are predictable but not absolute. 

Some seasons we see extreme growth and fruitfulness – like summer.  When the seeds we have planted, or God has planted in our lives, seem to take nourishment from the very air, and they grow into big, beautiful plants that bear luscious fruit – so much luscious fruit that we can share our bounty again and again. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

May 15, 2016 - Pentecost

Readings for the Day.

Listen to the Sermon.

Jesus knows his disciples are upset by the idea of him leaving.  We can almost hear the anxiety and fear in Philip’s voice when he asks Jesus, again, about seeing the Father. 

We know that kind of anxiety and fear – in our every day personal lives, in our uncertain and chaotic world, and in our life as a community of faith.  There are so many things we cannot control.  Like Philip, we might like to pin Jesus down and say, “Show us that God is REAL, and we will be satisfied.”  Then we will know everything will be okay. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

May 8, 2016 - 7th Sunday of Easter

Readings for the Day are here.

Listen to the sermon.

Good Morning.  My heart is so full today.  One of the things I’m really thankful for is that we have 5 more Sundays together.  I hope you will be here for the next few weeks, as we celebrate the things we’ve done together, say a good good-bye, and send one another off with blessings. 

This leave-taking is hard work.  I am repeatedly surprised at the deep emotions it bring to the surface.  Love. Gratitude. Sorrow. Anger. Fear. Disappointment. Peace. Joy.  Affection.  When I can name those emotions, and sometimes they come so fast and jumbled that I can’t pull them apart, I am grateful for the relationship we have. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May 1, 2016 - 6th Sunday of Easter / Rogation Sunday

Readings of the Day are here.  Reading John 14.

Listen to the sermon.

I was remembering this week some of the dogs of my life.  Growing up, we had dalmations – smart, high-energy, pretty dogs.  They were outside dogs, and very protective.  Tian was the dog of my childhood – and I vividly remember the day she died at the age of 12.  Another dog I have loved was Lindy.  She belonged to my best friend in seminary.  Lindy was a mutt with dirty-looking curly fur, and she was not so smart – as proven by the many times she crawled under a bed and couldn’t figure out how to get out.  And now there’s my friend Clementine, a golden retriever with lots of energy to play and who thinks any un-busy hand is meant to pet her.

Did you know that spending just 15 minutes petting a dog or cat can actually lower your blood pressure, help you sleep better, and increase your mental acuity?  If you own a pet, you probably didn’t need me to tell you that.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

April 24, 2016 - 5th Sunday of Easter

Readings for the Day are here.

Listen to the Sermon.

I probably should say this cautiously, but it seems like spring has sprung! Looking out the window, there are flowers and trees in bloom; fuzzy yellow goslings toddling behind their parents; peepers singing from the ponds at night.  The sun feels warmer.  If colors had scents, I imagine green would smell like spring air. 

The renewal of life that happens in spring reminds us that we are still in the Easter season.  Our “Alleluia” refrain, which was so jubilant just five weeks ago, has already gotten a little less exuberant. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

April 10, 2016 - Third Sunday of Easter

Readings for the Day are here.

Listen to the sermon.

How often do we glimpse the face of Christ in the context of food?  When we gather for communion, or family dinner?  When we are preparing a meal liberally seasoned with love?  When we serve up hot food to hungry strangers and friends?  How often do we see the activities of eating as more than physical sustenance?  In the past three weeks, the disciples have encountered Jesus in new and profound ways while eating.  

Sunday, April 3, 2016

April 3, 2016 - Second Sunday of Easter

Readings for the Day are here.

Listen to the sermon.

Doubt.  It seems like a timely topic for these days in our life.  As we look forward, sometimes it’s hard to imagine what comes next.  It’s so much easier to look back at the path we have already traveled and wish we were in some idyllic place in the past.  After all, how will an unknown future feed and sustain us?

The disciples sat in that room, on both of the occasions in our gospel, asking much the same questions through a veil of grief.