Showing posts from October, 2010

Reformation Sunday – “No Password Needed”

As our society has become more and more technologically based I have found that I am constantly being asked to create and remember new passwords. Almost everything we do online requires a password. We have passwords for our email accounts, bank accounts, credit card accounts, online stores and merchants, social networking sites and on and on. Now, if we could use one password for everything then it would be no problem, but we can’t. Each site has its own requirements and these requirements are placed there for good reason: in order to limit access, to us alone. So that no one else has access to our accounts, we then have to remember so many different and sometimes complex passwords and this is also why we may have to change them from time to time. Of course the idea of a password as a digital key is relatively recent. But having special knowledge or even special status or completing a special action in order to limit access to something is not new at all. This has be a part of

"On God's Side" - Sermon for Proper 25C - Luke 18:9-14

If you wish to read the parable you can find it:  HERE! St. Luke 18:9-14 On God’s Side Charles arrived early for church on that rainy October Sunday morning.  He was always a little early for church.  He liked to be early.  He was committed to coming to worship and he was there every week, without fail.  He had been a member for a long time.  He and his wife had been married in this church, they raised their children in this church.  He had also been an active member, serving on council and participating in lots of other activities over the years.  Charles was a good man.  He strove to do what was right and to live a Christian life.  And so, on this rainy Sunday morning he and his wife slipped into their favorite pew to wait for the service to begin. Zeke had also been a member for a number of years, but had not always been very regular in his worship attendance.  In fact, this particular Sunday was the first Sunday he had been in church for some time.  But

Persistence Pays - St. Luke 18:1-8 - Proper 24C

If you wish to read the parable you can find it -  HERE - St. Luke 18:1-8 This past week I watched some of the “God in America” series on PBS’ “American Experience.” If you have not seen any of this go to their website and watch it – FIND IT HERE! ! This series is a series of vignettes from the history of the lives and events that have shaped the development of religious thought and experience in the USA. One of the stories that I found particularly captivating was the story of Anne Hutchinson. Anne was a puritan living in Massachusetts. The puritans had come from England to escape persecution and to be able to worship freely, but they had fallen into the same kind of trap so that life in the puritan villages was just as oppressive and strict as life in England, if not more so. In this context Anne started women’s bible studies and she began quietly and later not so quietly challenging both the theology and the male leadership of the colony. In particular Anne was lifting up i

I Deserve It!

I Deserve It!  - Some Reflections on II Kings 5:1-3, 7-15 / St. Luke 17:11-19 There is a current TV ad for a car rental company which has a well dressed young executive walking through an airport talking and going out to the parking lot.  When he gets there he picks a nice car, looks at the camera and says: "I deserve it?"  I always want to yell at the screen - "Why?"  Why do you deserve this car, why do you think you "deserve" anything? This seems to be a theme in our society - entitlement.  We think we "deserve" this and that, and lots of money and a nicer house than we can afford and a fancy car and a pretty generic family and no debt or illness or anything else.  And when hard times hit, then we get angry - "it isn't fair; I don't deserve this!"  We get angry with our job, or politicians or with God because things aren't for us the way they are supposed to be.  Or we find others to scapegoat -

Singin' The Blues - Some Thoughts on Habakkuk for Proper 22C

The Blues are a distinctive musical expression that emerged from the African-American experience of slavery and reconstruction in the late 19th and early 20th centuries here in our country. The form is simple – we can all write a blues verse: 1. Identify a basic situation you want to express from your life’s experience (usually based on a hardship of some sort). 2. State the situation in a line of 13 beats – example: I was with you, baby, when you didn’t have a dime. 3. Repeat. 4. State the complaint (lament - how it directly affects you) in 14 beats – example: Now since you got plenty money, you’re gone now all the time. This example is by the great blues singer Besse Smith. And you can go on and on and on. This particular blues has a number of verses and by the end of it all she has gone from lament to resolution; from the complaining that he is a no good bum to resolving to dump him! We talk about “singing the blues” when things are not going well. And usually it is a way