Tag Archive for 'responsibility'

Pentecost 15 September 5, 2010

Deuteronomy 30:15-20                                                     

Luke 14:25-33                                                                      

I don’t know whether you’ve noticed, but there’s a pattern to the way I preach. I usually begin with some story or example from life, develop a topic, and then bring the biblical readings to bear on it. That’s not the only way to preach, obviously. Many preachers start with the Bible, what is called expository preaching, illustrating the points in the lessons with examples from life.

I usually start with life because most congregations in Episcopal churches are not very familiar with the Bible and don’t automatically accept it as authoritative the way, say, a Baptist congregation would. But there are drawbacks to my approach. It tends to water down or soften the force of the biblical readings. You might even say it’s a coward’s way of preaching.

So let’s start with the Bible this morning. Continue reading ‘Pentecost 15 September 5, 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’

Ash Wednesday February 25, 2009

2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10                                                 

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21                                                       

 

The weekday fasts and feasts that we celebrate here at Holy Cross always remind me of what a secularized world we live in, what a distance there is between the way the world sees things and the way we as members of the community of Christ are called to see them. Continue reading ‘Ash Wednesday February 25, 2009’