Showing posts from January, 2013

Reflections on the Gospel – Luke 4:14-21

Read the text here: Luke 4:14-21 Can You Handle the Truth? Since the days of the ancient Greeks and Romans and on to our own day, one of the great temptations that human beings have struggled with it is the place of religion in human society.   And in the majority of cases the purpose that religion has fulfilled has been to support the way the things are – to support the status quo.   The loudest proclamation that comes down through the ages is this: “God is on our side, no matter what.” Ancient paganism was designed to support the temporal powers and the Old Testament is filled with the angry words of the prophets condemning a people and government who would convert the worship of Yahweh into department of state propaganda.   Even in our own time we see this from way too often. We like to think that God is on our side and we hear this all the time – this candidate, this issue, is ordained as what God wants. It makes it hard to oppose or vote against someone or a position

Reflections on the Baptism of Our Lord – Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

Read the Gospel text here: Luke 3:15-22 Fire, Water & Wind When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.   Isaiah 43:2 Fire, water and wind: natural elements necessary for life; natural elements capable of sustaining life and also capable of destroying life.   But these elements are featured prominently in our lessons for today both for their life-giving and life-destroying aspects.   The prophet Isaiah in the passage from chapter 43 is writing to a dispirited and lost people who are in exile in Babylon.   These are people who had literally been through the fire as they fled their beloved city Jerusalem as it burned to the ground in a huge conflagration.   These are people who had experienced waves upon waves of Babylonian soldiers overrunning their city and their homes; waves upon waves of destruction

Epiphany 2013

Listen to the Isaiah 60 text sung - from Handel's Messiah - Click here Read the Isaiah 60 text here: Isaiah 60:1-9 Epiphany 2013 How do we discern the light from the darkness? There is an old story about a rabbi who enters into a discussion with his students.   When, he asks them, can one know that the night has ended and the day begun?   Is it that moment, suggests one student, when you can tell the difference between a sheep and a dog?   No, said the rabbi, that isn't it.   Is it, asks another, when you can tell the difference between an olive tree and a fig tree?   Not that either, said the rabbi.   Is it, asks a third student, when you can clearly see the sun in the sky.   No, replied the rabbi.   Rather, he told his puzzled students, it is that moment when you can look at a face never seen before and recognize the stranger as a brother or a sister.   Until that moment, he added, no matter how bright the day, it is still night. The festival of Epiphany is abou