Sermons on Eucharist
One of the gifts of our Episcopal worship is that there is a 3 year cycle to the lessons we read each Sunday. This means that over the long arc of our lives, the stories become familiar, like old friends we delight in visiting again, acknowledging and savoring the fact that it feels like we’re just picking up on an ongoing conversation, without losing a beat. It also means that when we come upon a particular story, we can notice…
Over twenty years ago, in a parenting book I’ve long since given away, I remember reading an account of the Transfiguration story and strongly identifying with Peter. I can’t help feeling a little sorry for Peter because I completely understand why he responded the way he did, a reluctant character in this scene that goes from comical to monumental in just a few words. Taken high up this mountain by Jesus, with only James and John for companions, the physical…
Our faith journey can sometimes feel like a roller coaster ride. There can be moments of intense excitement, awe and fear as we near a mountaintop experience, before dipping down into the depths of our soul. And there can be times when we can feel lulled into momentary complacency as we chug along the track in a steady rhythm. There can be times when all our attention is focused on a particular spot or turn when God grabs our full…
We can’t stay in or return to that place of utter communion we all experienced in Brian’s hospital room this week, but we can be determined to live out of that moment. We can allow the sense of shared love, of openness to one another and God, to be what defines us as we move forward. We can allow God to give us the ability to see without blinking, to open our hearts to the wholeness which can and will be ours again. And we can allow God to hold us, tenderly, fiercely, and with steadfast love. For in that release of our souls into the heart of God, we will find and fall into the truth of God, and we will be restored and saved.
At the end of the day, the world will either be a more or less kind, compassionate and loving place – And I would add – a more or less united, peaceful, and grace-filled place – Because of your presence. We can choose to water down the way of love so as to never make a mark on the world, to never cause someone to make a choice or consider another option, or bring peace into difficult situations, or we can choose to be as Jesus, impassioned, fueled by the Spirit, and desiring to bring the Kingdom of God in now. It’s your move.
To be “rich toward God”, is to be in balance, where our breathing in of God’s goodness includes our tending to our relationship with God, and our breathing out includes an exhale into our world of truth, love, righteousness, and care for God’s creation and God’s people.
Jesus claims the meaning of being named the Son of God in today’s scriptures. We explore what it means to live in and be propelled through the gap between who we claim to be and who God desires us to become.
Our work is to place our “no’s” at the threshold, and give them to God, fully release and open them to God’s creative work. This can be hard work, for we often feel defeated and overwhelmed with our own “no’s” or those society says to us. But God’s “yes” is waiting for us.
Though we may find grief is at our core, often it is unchecked assumptions about how life should be, or our childhood beliefs about what is right and wrong, or our privileged status, or the way we expect our lives to turn out, or our own agenda. Regardless, it asks us to join with God to build a life larger than that within us which can consume our lives.