Showing posts from July, 2014

Proper 12A, Sighs Too Deep for Words

When Paul authored the letter to the Romans, he addressed a community which contained a large number of both Jewish and Gentile Christians.  And, as this community sought to live into the way of Jesus, it is theorized that there was significant conflict.  We get hints of this when Paul uses the language of calling to describe the gathered community, when Paul reminds them that they are called according to God’s purpose (and not their own), when Paul makes clear that they are not to accuse, nor are they to condemn--because such is not the way of God.  Thematically, Paul reminds the community again and again of God’s impartiality--and in this he argues for the full inclusion of all.  
And, then speaking to this factionalized communities need for reconciliation, Paul theologizes around a truth of shared brokenness--brokenness between each other and between us and God.  
I have spent a great deal of time considering this brokenness over the last two weeks.  At the conclusion of last Sunday’…

Proper 11A, Being a Blessing in a Heart Rending World

The pervasive feeling of helplessness that I’ve been experiencing this week has been frustrating and heart breaking.  
As I read the news, the strong sense that history repeats itself, that our culture has learned nothing about help for the helpless, that children matter less than acts of revenge and that children seeking sanctuary are denied safe shelter, that taking a stand becomes more important than acting with mercy.  
For awhile this week I tried to ignore it.  
I googled "Minnesota refugee children", and when I found nothing I thought, well this situation, this situation is not relevant to us in the far reaches of the north.
(And, don’t deny it, even Southern Minnesota sits in the far reaches of the North!)  
But, then, letters appeared in my newsfeed from the Episcopal Public Policy Network requesting advocacy on the part of children and refugees.
Then, I read the essay by the President of the House of Deputies in which she reminds us that Jesus was an infant fleeing viole…

Proper 9A, 2014, Discernment

Proper 9, 2014, St. Clement’s 
Several years ago now, I had the opportunity to see an off-Broadway production of the musical “Avenue Q”.  To give you a sense of this satiric musical (one which riffs broadly on Sesame Street) I offer the names of a few choice musical numbers: "What Do You Do with a B.A. in English?", "Purpose" , "There Is Life Outside Your Apartment", and "I Wish I Could Go Back to College".
At the time, I was a relatively recent college graduate with a B.A. in English and Religion and I resonated with the words of the protagonist of Avenue Q:
“What do you do with a B.A. in English, What is my life going to be? Four years of college and plenty of knowledge, Have earned me this useless degree.
I can't pay the bills yet, 'Cause I have no skills yet, The world is a big scary place.
But somehow I can't shake, The feeling I might make, A difference, To the human race.”
Now, whilst I must agree to disagree with the notion that a B.A. in …