Tag Archive for 'beatitudes'

Epiphany 4 January 30, 2011

Micah 6:1-8                                                                         

1 Corinthians 1:18-31                                                        

Matthew 5:1-12

Friends of mine, active Episcopalians, are trying out a new church. They’re tired of their big, rather safe and stuffy church. They’ve been visiting another Episcopal church in the city where they live: a mission founded to minister to people released from prison. It meets, they write, “in a drafty hall with folding chairs; the music is amateurish and in many genres; the service is one of several modernized versions of the Eucharist; the sermons we have heard have been full of energy and commitment. The place has a strong bent towards social action; it is interracial and clearly gay-friendly. The people are friendly and warm, clearly connected with each other, and clearly engaged in worship.  After the sermons, the priest hands around a mike and a few people talk about the sermon or the text, so far as we can tell in pretty real ways, connecting what they have heard to their lives.”

But my friends have one concern about this new congregation: “whether there is a discipline here and if so what it is.” By “discipline,” they mean what is the standard, the criterion, by which the life of the congregation is measured and held to account. And that’s a very important question; an important question for all churches, and for each of us as individuals. Is our “discipline” just what we like? What makes us feel comfortable or happy? The way we’ve done things in the past? Continue reading ‘Epiphany 4 January 30, 2011’

Pentecost 20 October 18, 2009

Isaiah 53:4-12                                                                    

Hebrews 5:1-10                                                                  

Mark 10:35-45

 

Well, it looks like it may be morning in America again. The Dow closed above 10,000; Goldman Sachs is looking for record profits with bonuses up in the hundreds of millions for its top people; air travel to exotic vacation spots is driving holiday air fares higher by the week; talk of reforms for the financial system is fading.

Morning comes in an interesting way though. Maybe you’ve noticed: the sun touches the tops of the hills and mountains, turning them golden, while the valleys where most of us live are still dark and damp, lying under frost. While a few people at the top are cheering the end of the recession, if this is the end, you and I know people who are unemployed, who are trying to get food stamps, who have no health coverage, whose pay has been cut, who may lose their homes. It is, as usual, the ordinary people who have to wait the longest for things to pick up.

The world of the Bible was no different. In fact, economic and social inequality was far greater back then. Continue reading ‘Pentecost 20 October 18, 2009’