Tag Archive for 'hospitality'

Pentcost 8 July 18, 2010

Genesis 18:1-10                                                                  

Luke 10:38-42                                                                     

We’re standing in the sacristy there at St. Michael’s, Barrington, Illinois – me, the curate just out of seminary, the rector, and the visiting bishop – just about to go in to begin the liturgy. “Bill,” says the bishop to the rector, “what did I preach about last time I was here?” (This would have been four years earlier.) I watch a look of panic cross the rector’s face. Sermons have a short shelf life in memory; four years could be four centuries. “I remember you told a story about a dog,” the rector replied, color returning to his face. “Ah,” said the bishop, returning to his brief case the sermon he had taken out and pulling forth another. It turned out he had three sermons that he preached, rotating them as he went his rounds.

So, a story about stories. Fr. McLean remembered nothing about the bishop’s sermon except the dog story he’d told. You may well remember nothing about this story except my story about the bishop’s sermon. Stories are what are most memorable because we humans are constructed by stories. It is through stories that we find the most fundamental meaning of who we are and what life and reality are all about. The Bible endures as a source of truth because it is above all a collection of stories. Continue reading ‘Pentcost 8 July 18, 2010’

Advent 4 December 20, 2009

Micah 5:2-5a                                                                      

Hebrews 10:5-10                                                                

Luke 1:39-45

I must confess to a dirty little secret: I don’t like Christmas trees very much. They’re fun when you have children, and the one we will put up this afternoon here at church will be beautiful, decorated very simply with little white lights. But mostly I’d like to leave them growing out in the forest. They’re expensive, work to put up, a mess and bother to take down, and often they seem to me symbols not of Christmas but of the excess of American consumerism. But that’s just my little grump for the holidays.

I do, however, really like Advent wreaths. I like the symbolism of the four candles, the turning of the wheel of the year, the victory of light over darkness in the coming of Jesus the Christ. And I especially like the hole in the middle of Advent wreaths. We notice it particularly with the wreath we have on the east wall behind the Altar here at Holy Cross. The hole in the middle, that empty space, is a kind of window or door opening out to the One Who Is to Come – to the mystery of God beyond us, coming to us, which this season is all about. Continue reading ‘Advent 4 December 20, 2009’