Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Sermon Named Desire

I thought Fr. Dunbar gave a wonderful sermon today. He had to handle Paul's desire for "the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus" without making it sound like the death wish of the "becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead" part of the reading. Indeed, how do we living creatures reconcile this desire to become God-like with our desires for life and earthly things? Those who dwell on the former do not lose the latter. Instead, they will get "Heaven with the Earth thrown in" (C.S. Lewis). Those who dwell on the latter will lose the former. Alas, too often most of us never give spiritual matters a "passing" thought. If people would strive for balance of mind, body, and spirit then we might be better able to serve the Eternal and the mortal together. Is this impossible?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Today's Old Testament Lesson

In todays lectionary link we read the words of the prophet, but do we listen?

23Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord. 2Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord. 3Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the Lord

Monday, March 19, 2007

2 Sermons in One

Follow the title to the ERD site for the MDGs. Which one of these goals will your group be assigned to tackle? Eliminating extreme poverty, reducing child mortality, or curing malaria? My fear has always been that if you suddenly reduce child mortality (these goals are meant to be reached quickly), then you will create a sudden rise in population causing new suffering through hunger, violence, and other unintended consequences of your well meant intentions. I think the goals are just and true, but it is the attempt to whip us into a frenzy of action that dooms the project. These problems are so built into the human condition that there is no simple quick "solution." And what does this have to do with the story of the prodigal son? I did not hear Mary Cat give us a link, so I will create one. The story tells us how the good son felt. I think he felt the wayward son should have been beaten, or rejected, and justice was not served. To us, the open arms and celebration of the father gives us hope as we daily return from our sinful ways to a loving God. This type of justice is the unexpected consequence of God's love. For our goals, let us try to follow Jesus' command that we love one another, and make our MDG to seek justice for all. After that is established, the most wonderful unexpected consequences may follow. For one wild comparison of the Christian and Buddhist prodigal son parables check out

Friday, March 16, 2007

Presiding Bishop Schori Goes After South Carolina

Now let me get this straight. She votes for Bishop Robinson, and now she blocks the Rev. Mr. Mark Lawrence. And all we hear about in the news is how President Bush is in trouble for wanting his guys as Federal Attorneys. Seems to me that a congressional hearing will need to be called so we can read the P.B.'s e-mails to see her true nature.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Thanks be to I AM

Please turn on your speakers and click on the title. I always love that line. One of I AM's all time greatest hits. All of the Old and New Testament lessons about towers falling down on us and punishing us sinners make one wonder about the nature of God. Wrathful/loving/omnipotent/omnipresent/all knowing/all seeing. Forget all that and just reflect on I AM, or as I like to quiet it down to the small voice "I am." This is the voice of presence. When listening for God, this is all we ever need to hear.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Crawling to Easter

Charlie's sermon: "Let's not rush to Easter." Indeed, slow down and prayerfully consider each painful step. If you crawl, the pain may be great, but the gain will be proportionately greater. Is this the principle that should be applied to the great rift in the Anglican Communion? From my island, I can survey the combatants and their opposing battle fleets eager to race to war. But both navies appear to be listing and under questionable command. These people claim to be the people of God for heaven's sake! They do seem to be in a hurry to engage in conflict. Is there a human counselor who can forge a peace? Where have you gone Henry Kissinger?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Archbishop Arches His Back?

Probably just his eyebrows. The title contains a link to AoC Rowan Williams' comments about the ongoing rumblings. I had the misfortune of listening to some of our PBs web cast yesterday( After hearing her speak and answer prescreened questions from the audience, the pewster is not optimistic about TEC sharing communion with the worldwide Anglican Community. In my opinion, if people were honestly caring about the "Church" and not themselves, then the controversial bishop Gene Robinson would resign saying that he does not want to be a cause for conflict, and he could return to work as a humble priest for whichever congregation finds him appealing. This act might help the PB to rethink her agenda. I am not optimistic because I feel everyone is being self centered rather than God centered.