Tag Archive for 'stories'

Easter 3 May 8, 2011

Acts 2:14a, 36-41                                                                               

1 Peter 1:17-23                                                                  

Luke 24:13-35

There is a saying in Zen Buddhism: If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him. Zen Buddhism is all about the shedding of attachments, including attachment to the Buddha himself. But Christianity, I think, is quite different. You might say it is about the deepening of attachments – though in a particular way, a way that avoids the false attachment of idolatry but leads us rather into a deepening quest for the attachment beyond attachments, that with God himself. Anyway, those thoughts as introduction to the gospel we’ve just heard, in which two of Jesus’ disciples meet him on Easter evening, on the road to a village outside Jerusalem called Emmaus.

What does this story mean? How do you and I encounter the risen Christ on the road of our life? How do our encounters change us? There are three parts to the Emmaus story which we will take up in turn: what Jesus does in “opening the Scriptures”; what he does in the “breaking of the bread”; and the final notation that when he had opened the disciples’ eyes he “vanished from their sight.” Continue reading ‘Easter 3 May 8, 2011’

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’