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Sunday, 13 November 2016
Passage: Luke 21:5-19
Duration: 11 mins 9 secs
It's time to put down our internet news, our TV remote, our radio and paper for a few minutes and pick up this week’s scripture; to take our eyes off the drama, name calling, blaming, relief, disbelief, confusion, and gloating of the election and look into the eyes of our Savior. It is possible to be hated, misunderstood, falsely accused, and mocked and still respond in love; just look at our Savior on the cross. It is possible to meet the broken, the wounded, the fearful, and the outcast, and those acting like toddlers, and bring healing, mercy and grace; just look at the life of our Savior. The drama of this election and the various reactions to it are very small in comparison to what this week’s gospel prepares us to face, and small indeed to what other Christians in the world today are facing. All of this is temporary, but it is also opportunity to practice loving those who disagree with us, in preparation for proclaiming the gospel in word and deed to others who may someday want to arrest and kill us because of His name.
Sunday, 06 November 2016
Passage: Luke 20:27-38
Duration: 11 mins 47 secs
On Sunday we celebrate the hope we have in Christ and the foretaste of Glory that we experience now. We will give thanks for all the saints, known and unknown, who have gone before us and whose examples encourage us to faithfulness. Our Gospel reading is the Beatitudes in Luke. What does it really mean to be blessed or happy? Why does Jesus intend for us in hearing these words? What reorientation is intended for us? Sometimes English really fails to convey the meaning of the Greek and Hebrew. All this and more on Sunday. - Fr. Ed
Sunday, 30 October 2016
Passage: Luke 19:1-10
Duration: 15 mins 35 secs
This week, we continue to follow Jesus towards Jerusalem into Jericho, where in the midst of thronging crowds eager to see him, Jesus chooses an outcast in a tree to have the honor of hosting him for dinner. And once again, rest of the town questions his spiritual and social discernment. But the priorities of Jesus are different than the priorities of the religious elite. He has come to seek and save the lost. And Zacchaeus is more than a caricature, he is a man whose life reflects true repentance, and an answer to the question asked after the question of the rich young ruler… “who then can be saved?
Sunday, 23 October 2016
Passage: Luke 18:9-14
Duration: 15 mins 28 secs
As I read this week's Gospel I found my self humming "Clowns to the left of me! Jokers to the right! Here I am stuck in the middle with you." These lyrics were written by Bob Dylan who recently won a Noble Prize for Literature. In this week's Gospel, Jesus points out a way to be unfaithful while appearing faithful. He addresses those who have obedience dialed in and yet are still lacking. I imagine Jesus' sighing as he prepared to tell this week's parable and expect he enjoys Bob Dylan's music. This Sunday I'll reflect on all this and share a spiritual practice that helps us balance our faith. - Fr. Ed
Sunday, 16 October 2016
Passage: Luke 18:1-8
Duration: 13 mins 34 secs
Sunday is approaching and I am still wrestling with this week’s Gospel. Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem and tells the parable of the widow and the unrighteous judge to his disciples. We are told this is a parable about the need to be persistent in prayer, but it seems to leave many questions unanswered. Our holy and loving Father is not an unrighteous judge, and yet our prayers sometimes still seem to be unheeded. He promises to give justice to his people and not long delay. Thousands of faithful Christians in Africa and Middle East are crying out to him, and yet justice in this world is intermittent at best. Are we just not persistent enough, not patient enough, or praying for the wrong outcomes? And then there is the zinger at the end… “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Where do we find the persistence of the widow, to keep praying with faithfulness?
Sunday, 09 October 2016
Passage: Luke 17:11-19
Duration: 12 mins 9 secs
This Sunday's Gospel is Luke's account of Jesus' healing of ten lepers. One comes back to offer praise and thanksgiving. The other 9 were no doubt thankful, but they didn't come back. The one who did come back wasn't even Jewish. He was a Samaritan. Jesus is impressed with his response. He chose to return. His new normal began with Jesus and is centered on Jesus. The others were also blessed with a healing but chose another new normal. Being a disciple of Jesus involves a daily choosing of where our normal is centered. A profound religious experience isn't a guarantee of staying centered on God. King Solomon had two conversations with God and turned away in his old age. Jesus fed 5,000 and many followed looking for more bread. This Sunday I'll be exploring this week's Gospel and what is says about choosing a new normal. I hope you will join me in this reflection. - Fr. Ed
Sunday, 02 October 2016
Passage: Luke 17:5-10
Duration: 12 mins 4 secs
The disciples want an increase of faith so that they might have hearts to forgive others as many as seven times a day. That’s a lot of faith. Or is it really about the quality of faith they already have. Faith is a word with many aspects. Five major ones. Belief, Trust, Hope, Perseverance, and Obedience. Jesus answers their request for an increase in faith with an invitation to increase their obedience and see themselves as servants of God. Indeed a humble heart is a heart with an ability to forgive.
Sunday, 25 September 2016
Passage: Luke 16:19-31
Duration: 17 mins 12 secs
Our culture is consumed with the desire for more. Even as we mentally scold those who have too much, we still want more: More food, more money, more comfort, more security, more time, more vacation… even more information, more entertainment, more friends and more appreciation. These are the cultural waters we swim in, and if we are not intentionally swimming upstream, then our lives are pulled along in the current. In our readings this week we are challenged to swim upstream; to question our places of comfort, trust and security; and to embrace not the fear of insufficiency, but the provision of contentment
Sunday, 18 September 2016
This Sunday, we have a particularly challenging Gospel. It is a bit difficult to understand and it's a challenge to apply. It is the parable of the Unrighteous Steward who gets praised! Confused yet? How about if I say it's about money but not about money at all? Like I said, its a challenge to explain and a challenge to apply. A word like "Alignment" sounds a bit too much like biz speak, as in "our goals will be more readily achieved if we align our strategy, tactics, and resources to our core values." That's actually true -but not especially inspiring. That sentence is also a bit true of this week's Gospel, although I promise to stay away from the biz speak and try to sound more like Jesus. ;-) -Fr. Ed
Sunday, 11 September 2016
Passage: Luke 15:1-10
Duration: 8 mins 51 secs
This Sunday we move into Luke 15! This chapter is sometimes called the "mini gospel" as it contains three wonderful parables that reveal God's heart for those who have turned away and the great joy in heaven when even one person returns. Sometimes the Christian life can feel wearisome in its repetitiveness. Where is the progress? Why aren't our prayers answered immediately and why do I still stumble over the same sins? At moments like this, a little perspective helps. God is more patient and persistent than we are. Every time we truly humble our hearts and seek forgiveness, Angels rejoice. Every time. Further, the gospel teaches us there are no acceptable losses in the Divine economy. Every repentant heart matters.
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