Just to be clear, the church in her lectionary cycle chose today’s readings before Wisconsin and Pennsylvania turned red late Tuesday evening…
Next Sunday is Consecration Sunday, the Sunday on which we are invited to make a pledge of financial support to Trinity Parish for 2017. In just a moment, I’m going to tell why Ashley and I make it a priority to give generously, but first I want to say something about the election.
Last week in my homily I spoke about how our nation is counting on us to be Christians, to be agents of reconciliation. I spoke about our nation’s polarization, and how we Christians have it in our DNA to hold together two seeming opposites: how Christmas unites heaven and earth; how the person of Jesus unites human and divine. I referred to Paul in 2 Corinthians about reconciliation: “In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself… and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us…” I quoted Bp Gates on paranoia versus metanoia – fear vs love. And I urged us to focus, not on what divides us, but on how many good people are in this country, on both sides of the political divide, and to see past stereotypes to see more like God sees – that all are God’s beloved children worthy of our respect and even love. Continue reading →
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
Today’s reading from the Gospel according to Saint Luke is my favorite from the New Testament—bar none. I keep a bookmark with Rembrandt’s famous depiction of the reconciled father and son permanently in my Prayer Book at this morning’s Psalm 32. And I also posted a lithograph of the forlorn younger son, seated among the pigs and husks, on my office door at Saint Mark’s School, just below a copy of an icon of Moses at the burning bush, about which we heard last Sunday. That passage is my favorite from the Hebrew Bible—bar none! So it has been, as they say, a “red letter” few weeks for me with our lectionary!
I resonate so deeply with these two stories and images because together, they represent the complete story of my own spiritual journey to date in a nutshell: the one, a dramatic and sudden revelation of the Name of God, together with God’s summons to a fraught and dangerous mission in the calling of Moses; the other, the return of the prodigal to the “hesed,” the “mercy” and “steadfast love” of God’s embrace in Saint Luke’s Gospel. In fact, I always told the students in my New Testament class that if, by some happenstance, we had had no other record of Jesus’ teachings, the Parable of the Prodigal Son and the Parable of the Good Samaritan—both unique to Saint Luke’s Gospel—together would tell us the whole Christian story of salvation in Christ. These two parables represent the substance of Jesus’ teaching about God, humanity, and the “kingdom of God.” Continue reading →
A Song of the soul in intimate communication and union with the love of God
The Boyars’ Wedding – Konstantin Makovsky
Flame, alive, compelling.
yet tender past all telling,
reaching the secret centre of my soul!
Since now evasion’s over,
finish your work, my Lover,
break the last thread, wound me and make me whole!
Burn that is for my healing!
Wound of delight past feeling!
Ah, gentle hand whose touch is a caress,
foretaste of heaven conveying
and every debt repaying:
slaying, you give me life for death’s distress. Continue reading →