Showing posts from 2016

Christmas Eve, Born to Liberate

The scripture appointed for this service can be found here
Who here has ever played hide and seek? The classic children’s game, in which one person hides their eyes while everyone else hides from sight. Then, after an agreed upon interval, the seeker calls out, “Ready or Not, here I come!”.  And, while some are well hidden, others call out, “wait, no, not yet!” or “You counted too fast.” There are times when Christmas feels like this, a frantic scurry of activity in the days preceding and, then, “ready or not, here I come!” and despite any protestations that the house is still a mess, or the presents aren’t wrapped, or the music not rehearsed enough, or the baby didn’t nap, or the sermon not “perfect”, Christmas comes. Christmas comes in its own time, not ours. And, when it comes, ready or not, we will be found. And, we will be found in part, because we won’t be ready, and God will look upon our imperfections and judge them with the standard of an all-encompassing love. We won’t be a…

Advent 4A-Grace to You, and Peace

Advent 4A, the scripture appointed can be found here

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Amen.
I have a mentor and friend who begins each of her sermons with these words, taken from the letter of Paul to the Romans.And, when I say these words today, I think of her and I think of the love she has had for every congregation in which she has served.And, I also think of how this opening prayer, sets the tone for the remainder of the sermon.
Because this is a greeting, yes, but much more than a simple “hello”. First of all, it is a declaration that the preacher stands in the pulpit not for herself, but for God.Secondly, it is an affirmation, that we ourselves are all children of God. And, finally, that the grace and peace that are conveyed by the preacher did not originate with the preacher, but are a gift from God, and God’s son Jesus.
And, in this, the preacher is the means and not the end. And, each of us, is the means and not the end. The grace and pe…

Not as the World Gives

Advent 2A, 2016, scripture readings assigned for this day can be found here
Peace, But Not as the World Gives
Every year at this time, I start looking for our family’s Christmas Card.Or, to be more accurate, I start wondering if we’ll manage to get a card out this year.
And, as I wonder, I find myself perusing the offerings at the local stores and on the internet.Glittered, snowy scenes. Sweet nativities with babe and child.And, one by one, I reject them.
First I eliminate any card that features my name prominently.Then, I consider the traditional Mary, Joseph, Jesus iconography. Then, I cross those off the list--not all of the people on our list celebrate Christmas.
Then, there are Angel cards…I rather like those. But, trumpet blowing angels and haloed figures don’t quite make the cut either. The angel iconography seeming so very tame, all things considered.
Because, truthfully, I’m not quite sure how to reconcile these images with the many winged seraphim or the flaming swords describ…