Showing posts from October, 2012

Sermon – Mark 10:46-52 – Pentecost 22B

Read the entire text here: St. Mark 10:35-52 What do you want me to do for you? Jesus has been on the way to Jerusalem now for the last couple chapters.   Throughout this journey he has repeatedly tried to help the disciples to understand that Jerusalem is going to be the place for rejection, betrayal, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection.   And over and over the disciples have demonstrated a complete lack of understanding; a blindness to everything Jesus has been trying to teach them.   For them, Jerusalem signifies glory, power, victory and wealth!   Last week in our Gospel lesson from the verses immediately before the lesson for today, James and John come to Jesus (immediately after Jesus has again repeated for them the purpose of his trip) and asked Jesus to do something for them.   “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asks in verse 36.   “We want to sit at your right and left hand, when you come into your glory!   We want to be powerful like

Blest to Be a Blessing

Blessed to be a Blessing! What does it mean to be a blessing?   For that matter what does it mean to receive a blessing? These are not easy questions to come up with a simple answer for.   We can all probably can tell when we are being blessed, most of the time.   In church during worship we experience a series of blessings: we are blessed during the absolution of our sins after the confession; we are blessed through the singing and the prayers; we are blessed when we reach out to greet one another during the sharing of the peace; we are blessed in the words of the closing benediction as we are being sent forth.   Most profoundly we are blessed as we participate in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, as we re-affirm our baptism and in the taking of bread and wine in the Sacrament of Holy Communion.   So, what is a blessing?   One simple answer to this is that it is an experience of God’s presence; it is a moment when we sense God’s promises coming to fulfillment in our

Christians and Politics

In case you haven’t noticed we have entered into the final days of the political season.   This means that everywhere you go you see signs in lawns and that no matter what TV show you watch you have to contend with all kinds of political advertising – most of it mean-spirited and most of it lacking in factual veracity. We are being bombarded and it is almost impossible to escape.   This inevitably leads to the question about whether Christians should participate at all in this political process and, if so, in what ways.   If you look over the landscape of American Christianity you get a wide variety of responses to those questions.   At one edge of the spectrum there are those who want to usher in God’s Kingdom through the electoral process and so support candidates and positions which they believe will bring them closer to achieving this goal.   On the other edge there are those who completely remove themselves from the political process branding it as too worldly

Reflections on the text: Hebrews 1:1

Knowing and Speaking Long ago, God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days God has spoken to us by the Son...   (Hebrews 1:1)             We are a very verbal society, we talk and explain and discuss everything.   This reflects the fact that we have become a very intellectual society.   Reason and comprehension often drive our actions and decisions, our relationships and decision-making. We seek to understand everything and the drive for knowledge and comprehension, the lifting up of reason, which has been a part of the Western experience since the 18 th century Enlightenment, is in many ways a good thing.   It has led to great discoveries in science and breakthroughs in, for example, medicine.   This has led to the space program and the development of computers and the internet.   Of course the dark side of all of it is that it has also led to more and more sophisticated and lethal weapons. In the area of faith