Monthly Archive for May, 2010

Trinity Sunday May 30, 2010

Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31                                                        

Romans 5:1-5                                                                     

John 16:12-15

 

I have good news for you. You have inherited a magnificent mansion – in fact, a palace, a castle, an estate of enormous expanse and magnificence beyond your wildest dreams. It’s very old, filled with art treasures and beautiful antique furniture. But it’s also been renovated, brought up to date with new wiring and plumbing and all. You’ve been given the key to the front door; you’re free to wander and explore; there are servants eager to show you about and attend to your needs and desires.

I’m talking about the Holy Trinity, and with it the whole theological and ecclesiological edifice that we’ve inherited as Christians and Anglicans. Continue reading ‘Trinity Sunday May 30, 2010’

Day of Pentecost May 23, 2010

Acts 2:1-21                                                                          

Romans 8:14-17                                                                

John 14:8-17, 25-27

Our celebration of the Day of Pentecost at Holy Cross today is one of our periodic “Come With Joy” Sundays. Six or eight times a year we do these, incorporating elements of art and drama into the liturgy, playing a little loose with the order of some of the parts of the service, involving members of the congregation (especially teenagers and children), and opening the homily time to discussion. Like most clergy, I’m pretty much a law and order guy myself when it comes to liturgy, so I’m always a little anxious about these occasions, but almost without exception they’ve come off well. We just have to understand that we can worship God in many ways, not just the semi-monastic, cathedral-style worship that Anglicans have traditionally been accustomed to. Continue reading ‘Day of Pentecost May 23, 2010’

Easter 7 May 16, 2010

Acts 16:16-34                                                                      

Revelation 22:12-14, 16-171, 20-21                                       

John 17:20-26

“I just had a general question for you,” said the email I got last week. “Is it possible to not believe in God, but to believe in Jesus Christ and in good vs. evil?”

What a wonderful question – and always good to get questions from people, especially ones like this that go right to the heart of things. And a specially wonderful question for this Sunday, which I like to think of as “God has gone away” Sunday. This is the Sunday in the Christian year between the Ascension, last Thursday, and Pentecost, next Sunday. The Ascension celebrates Jesus going up to heaven after the resurrection, to “sit at the right hand of God,” as the Creeds put it. Pentecost celebrates the sending of the Holy Spirit of God to be with us here on earth. So, in between, God has in a sense gone away. Continue reading ‘Easter 7 May 16, 2010’

Easter 6 May 9, 2010

Acts 16:9-15                                                                        

Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5                                                               

John 5:1-9

Last Sunday Jude Desmarais, our breakfast chef, was out of town, attending his daughter Carina’s graduation from the University of Michigan. So the whole responsibility for breakfast lay on Kourtney Williams, the high school junior who’s been working as Jude’s assistant. She was nervous, but she pulled it off beautifully.

Talking with her about it, I told her of a story that I’d read when I was little in a children’s magazine we got, Jack and Jill. The story was about a little girl who had to prepare dinner for herself because of some emergency absence of her mother. The girl had fixed dinner with her mother present, but never alone. So she went up to the attic and brought down a dressmaker’s dummy – something common back then when more people made their own clothes. She put one of her mother’s dresses on the dummy and pretended her mother was there, giving her cooking instructions. And she cooked her dinner all by herself.

 “Do you want to be made well?” Jesus asks the man in the gospel this morning. The man had been ill for 38 years and was lying by a pool in Jerusalem noted for its healing powers – powers attributed to angels who stirred up its waters from time to time. The problem the sick man had was that no one was there to carry him into the pool at the crucial moment, and when he tried to drag himself in he was always crowded out by others waiting to enter the waters. And what does Jesus do about this? He says to the man, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” Which the man does, and he is healed. Then comes the cryptic statement: “Now that day was a sabbath.” Continue reading ‘Easter 6 May 9, 2010’

Easter 5 May 2, 2010

Revelation 21:1-6                                                                              

John 13:31-35                                                                     

  “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”

— John 13:34

 “If you love me,” says the teenager in the parked car to his girl friend, “you will do what I want.” “Oh, I just love myself!” gushes the woman on the total make-over show as she admires her new face, new clothes and new hair in a mirror. “Love makes the world go round,” runs an old song. And of course, “Don’t you love those Red Sox?” Love, love, love.

Talk about love puts me in mind of the Supreme Court Justice who wrote in an opinion that he couldn’t define pornography, but he knew it when he saw it. I can’t define love, but I know it when I see it. We don’t see it all that often – not real love. But we see it in Jesus. “Just as I have loved you,” he says, “you also should love one another.” Church is not about a bunch of ideas, concepts, rules and regulations, even biblical texts. Church is about a person: Jesus. About learning to see ourselves, to see all life, in terms of the love we see in Jesus. Continue reading ‘Easter 5 May 2, 2010’