Showing posts from February, 2016

Lent 3C, The Tincture of Time

Tincture of Time
Scripture appointed for Lent 3C can be found here
I’ve been working on the Easter Vigil this week. A funny thing in the midst of Lent, to be constantly a season ahead and working on resurrection glory from the midst of the wilderness journey.But, as I’ve considered the arc of the vigil—where narrative upon narrative is meant to help us see ourselves within the story of God’s salvation.I’ve found myself deeply considering those places of God’s presence in the wilderness. The burning bush, the cloud by day, the red sea’s parting—and the joy of the Lenten season is that God’s salvation happens in wilderness times and places. Where would we be without the desert? Where would we be without the betrayal and the denial on the way to Golgotha? So, wilderness is our story and salvation is our story.The past is our story and the future is our story—Moses, our ancestors, and the hope for future fruit.
And, I use the plural purposely.Our story. Our future. For, while we e…

In the Breaking is the Healing, A Sermon for Ash Wednesday

Readings appointed for Ash Wednesday can be found here
Last night, at our Shrove Tuesday celebration, a small boy in our congregation asked my why we burn the palms. My reply?
Because they were once alive and they now are dead and become earth again. They remind us that alive things, including people, become dead things and return to the earth. And that in living and in dying we are loved by God.
In retrospect (and when not standing outside with a crowd of tweens standing too close for my comfort to the burning palms) I would have said more.But how much can a wee one take in on a cold night when the smoke is pouring from a galvanized tin?So, now I go on, and consider the palms which were burned into ash, and the smoke that stung our eyes, and the cheering parade that led to death on a hill, and the first breath become the last.
And, our own confrontation of what is our end, and what is inevitable. But, bound up in that inevitability, the equally inevitable truth of of mercy and lo…

Through a Mirror Dimly, Transfiguration

The readings for Transfiguration can be found here
Sometimes it feels as if our lives are lived in pursuit of mountain top moments.
In fact, that’s the only way I can make sense of things like bungie jumping, surfing 50 foot swells, climbing Mount Everest or Sky diving. 
People who participate in these sorts of activities describe them as “life changing”, as transformative. They may describe themselves as feeling more complete, more authentically and wholly themselves in the moments following these peak experiences.
And, when described as a “peak experience” we can call to mind the work of psychologist Abraham Maslow who used the term peak experience to describe the “tremendous intensification of any of the experiences in which there is loss of self or transcendence of [self]” (Maslow, 1970, Motivation and Personality,  p. 165)
For example, “Moses came down from Mount Sinai. As he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand, Moses did not know tha…