Tag Archive for 'atonement'

Ash Wednesday February 17, 2010

2 Corinthians 5:20b-21, 6:1-10                                       

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21                                                       

 Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

 We celebrate today two things that are difficult for us: sin and mortality. I remember being on the search committee for a new priest, back before I was ordained myself. We were going through resumes the bishop had sent us and we got to Fr. So-and-So’s. “Discard!” announced a woman on the committee immediately. “I went to a service at his church and he preached on sin.” Moral: don’t talk about sin if you want to get ahead, even in the Church, certainly not in the rest of life.

Mortality, too: who wants to talk about death, particularly their own? Obituaries always note how someone died after a “long struggle” or a “long battle” with whatever disease carried them off. Death is the enemy. Hospitals and hospices are partly places where we hide away the dying so they won’t spoil things for the living. We’ve come a long ways from our ancestors, who prayed in the Great Litany to be delivered from “dying suddenly and unprepared” and saw this life in terms of preparation for death. Continue reading ‘Ash Wednesday February 17, 2010’

Epiphany 4 February 1, 2009

Deuteronomy 18:15-20                                                    

1 Corinthians 8:1-13                                                          

Mark 1:21-28


 [H]e taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

— Mark 1:22b


A few days into our vacation these past two weeks, I began to experience withdrawal anxiety. We were having a great time, attending an interesting conference, visiting beautiful places and eating good food—too much good food. But I didn’t have my daily New York Times. What was happening in the world? And, more important, what was I to think of whatever was happening? Ever since I went to college I have read the Times daily, looking to it for the “authority” around which to shape my view of the world. Continue reading ‘Epiphany 4 February 1, 2009’