This Sunday’s Gospel carries on from last week’s parable of the sower and describes God’s patience with us. This is the foundation of our patience with one another and with those whom we love and pray for. The gospel also helps us to remember not to confuse patience with approval. Still the biggest message is patience. There is also in this gospel a strong basis for church planting, and a peak into my motivation to move to Hawaii. - Fr. Ed
This weeks gospel is one of my favorite passages --The parable of the sower. It is one of eight parables that appear in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. It is one that Jesus took time to explain to his disciples. The Gospel of Mark is only 16 chapters long and this parable occupies half a chapter! Simply put, this parable is central to Jesus' teaching. In the book I am taking forever to write, this parable will have it's own chapter. This parable is about faith and offers important insights into the nature of faithfulness. I hope you will come and worship at St. James and reflect with me on the nature of faith. - Fr. Ed
In this week's Gospel, Jesus compares the religious leaders of the day to children in the market shouting and complaining that other people won't care and respond the way they want them to. It reminds me of some of the threads I've read on social media. Most people want to be good moral people, but in a sea of competing, conflicting, inconsistent world views, pleasing everyone is a hopeless endeavor. Someone will always be disappointed in you, someone will always be judging you. In response, Jesus invites us to be yoked with him... to hear and follow one voice, one heart, one love.
And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Matthew 10:24-39
9 mins 5 secs
Views: 91
When we become a Christian, we accept the forgiveness and the lordship of Jesus Christ. The forgiveness frees us to live a life of joy and peace and to experience the love of God. Accepting the lordship of Christ means choosing to follow him; allowing God to reshape our hearts, our minds, our priorities, passions, and dreams. We choose to use our life and our voice for the Kingdom of God, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, amazing things are accomplished. But the mighty works of God do come at a cost. This week we have dramatic readings about the cost of following the Lord: Jeremiah for whom the word of God becomes a fire in his bones if he does not speak it… The Psalmist recounting how he has been rejected by all for his worship of God… Paul, teaching about how our old self is crucified with Jesus, so the we may no longer be slave to sin… and the challenging words of Jesus to his disciples: Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Matthew 28:16-20
15 mins 23 secs
Views: 101
After the excitement of Pentecost, and the coming of the Holy Spirit poured out on all the disciples, with wind and flame, and in our case, baptism… this week we turn to the complexity of the Trinity. This is one of the most difficult and yet most central doctrines of Christianity. Trying to understand it fully is like trying to carry the ocean in a bucket. There are some who would like to diminish by calling it a post-canonical innovation, but this week we look at three of the readings which support this complex but important revelation of God. We also hear the Great Commission in this week’s Gospel reading, and it is all the more important to know the triune God in whom we baptize and make disciples.
The Very Rev. Ed McNeill
John 20:19-23
21 mins 1 sec
Views: 95
Come Holy Spirit, Come! This Sunday we celebrate new birth. The birth of the church and the new birth we enjoy in Christ. Pentecost! This Sunday we will celebrate the birth of the church and rejoice as we baptize a new Christian into the Church. We will also renew our own Baptismal Covenant and rejoice in the Holy Spirit. -Fr. Ed
The Very Rev. Ed McNeill
& Luke 24:44-53
16 mins 40 secs
Views: 93
Jesus ascended, returned to The Father and The Holy Spirit before He could send the Holy Spirit. This is how things got intensely personal. Before the Ascension, Jesus could be in one place at one time. If he was in Galilee he couldn't be anywhere else. After the Ascension, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, God's presence and Third Person of the Trinity who is not limited by being Incarnate. God is everywhere at all times. The Ascension of Jesus prepares the way for God to be personally present to us in the person of the Holy Spirit. The Ascension is also a celebration that we get to participate in. I'll be reflecting on all of this on Sunday. -Fr. Ed
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
John 14:15-21
13 mins 31 secs
Views: 206
God is not shaped by our desires and plans. He is not a pocket god, a small god, that we can carry around as part of our plans. At the same time, God is not unknown to us, unknowable, or inaccessible. To know the Father, we need to know and love the Son, to love the Son is to follow His commandments, to follow His commandments requires allowing the deepest parts of us to be transformed; to live a life that reflects the wholeness, beauty, grace and love of God Himself. But by ourselves we are helpless to change the fundamental shape and desires of our soul. So our efforts at keeping His commandments either fail and fade away or fall into the legalism of fixing only the most visible parts of our life. This is where the Holy Spirit, the apparently elusive Third Person of the Trinity saves us. After our creation, after our redemption, we are invited to be transformed by the abiding presence of the Spirit of Truth into the likeness of Christ.
The Very Rev. Ed McNeill
John 14:1-14
12 mins 47 secs
Views: 86
Jesus uses many images to explain who he is. Even after the resurrection, he is explaining to the apostles who he is. Do we understand, do we have faith? Faith is belief, obedience, trust, hope and persistence. Join us Sunday in celebration and worship of our God who persists in his love of his people.