The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 16:19-31
17 mins 12 secs
Views: 113
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
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
The Very Rev. Ed McNeill
Luke 15:1-10
8 mins 51 secs
Views: 137
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.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 14:25-33
17 mins 56 secs
Views: 57
What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ? What is the cost? Do we get to set boundaries between what parts of our lives and selves we are willing to offer to God and other parts we keep to ourselves? In our Old Testament and Psalm this week, the overwhelming divinity and sovereignty of God is balanced by the profound intimacy of His love and knowledge of us. In our New Testament and Gospel readings we are asked to be willing to give up anything and everything else to be a disciple of Jesus, and to let the ethics and priorities of God shape our own. Living in the presence of God means being open to a life of transformation.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 14:1 & Luke 14:7-14
15 mins 38 secs
Views: 70
This week’s readings begin with an Apocrypha reading from Sirach: “The beginning of human pride is to forsake the Lord; the heart has withdrawn from its Maker.” Then a reading from Hebrews: “Let mutual love continue.” And in Luke, Jesus tells the dinner party guests to stop jostling for seats of status, instead to humble themselves, and tells the dinner party host to stop inviting his equals, but to invite the poor, the lame, and the blind. When we lose sight of who we are in the face of God, we slip into the pettiness of politics with each other; striving and competing to be more important than our neighbors, but when we remember ourselves, we can see all people with the eyes of God.
The Very Rev. Ed McNeill
Luke 13:10-17
18 mins 8 secs
Views: 90
It's hard to be jealous of someone who is utterly above one in skill or talent. Jealousy seems to be reserved for those we perceive as competitors or peers. We tend to admire those whose ability is clearly beyond our own. In this week's Gospel Jesus encounters jealousy as he heals a woman of an 18 year ailment. He did it on the Sabbath and that upset some folks. This Sunday I'll be reflecting on this amazing healing, the responses Jesus experienced, and the subtle impact of jealousy on our spiritual life. - Fr. Ed
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 12:49-46
10 mins 54 secs
Views: 72
This week’s readings are not for the faint of heart, but are a reminder that following Christ is not fluffy and soft. In Jeremiah, God calls false prophets onto the carpet. In Psalms, God puts false gods on notice. In Hebrews, the author lists the hardships and faith of the heroes of Israel, and calls on the current generation to live up to that standard. In Luke, Jesus speaks of his crucifixion in terms of fire and baptism, and says he came not to bring peace, but division. So we are called to wake up and realize what times we live in, and what we are called to do.
In this week’s Gospel, we are called to live lives of expectation and peace. We rest in the knowledge of God’s love for us, but also are asked to live with our sandals on and our gas tanks full. Life as we know it is not static; neither locally nor cosmically, and what we see here and now is a small part of our whole life. Likewise, this physical Earth is a small part of the spiritual reality around us, and is not our homeland. So what does it look like to live with that type of expectant, hopeful, faith?
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 12:13-21
11 mins 32 secs
Views: 80
In this week’s gospel Jesus warns that our lives are not to be about gathering wealth. Life is so much more than the abundance of possessions. Jesus tell the Parable of the Rich Fool, a man who who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God. We are not to devote our lives to the gathering and accumulation of wealth. if money is our master, that means God is not (Matthew 6:24). When God is our master, we are blessed to be a blessing in the lives of others, and we are blessed to build the kingdom of God.
The Very Rev. Ed McNeill
Luke 11:1-13
17 mins 49 secs
Views: 77
In this week’s gospel, the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray. What they are really asking, as they already knew how to pray, was how they were to pray as his disciples. He teaches them the Lord’s prayer but then teaches them some important lessons about prayer. These lessons together with the Lord’s Prayer give us direction on how to pray as a faithful follower of Jesus. This Sunday we’ll reflect on how to pray faithfully, what faithful prayer is, and aligning ourselves to Jesus.