Proper 22, Year B (Genesis 2:18-24; Mark 10:2-16) My long-time friend Melody and I were recently enjoying a meal together and catching up. We met 28 years ago in EFM (Education for Ministry). At that time, I was engaged to be married and she had been married for two years. She and her husband are … Continue reading R – E – S – P – E – C – T
Proper 21, Year B (James 5:13-20; Mark 9:38-50) Now, everyone — let’s take a deep breath and remember that we are not literalists. And Mark even says in chapter 4 “he did not speak to them except in parables” (4:33). So, let’s be clear: Jesus is not advocating literal self-mutilation. Additionally, we know the gospel … Continue reading Extend a Hand
Proper 20, Year B (James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a; Mark 9:30-37) It was so long ago now that cannot recall the circumstances of her death, but a teenager in the church had died. I was in my last year of seminary, serving in a full-time internship in a small Episcopal church on the outskirts of Dallas. So many people … Continue reading Draw Near to God
Janet. Loving, gracious, amusing Janet wanted me to share this summary of her life which she wrote for you: “Glorious childhood with three older brothers. Outstanding parents. Graduated from high school while being a member of John Magee’s choir where I only got demerits for laughing. Went to college and graduated much to my parents’ … Continue reading A homily for Janet
Proper 18, Year B: Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 You might be thinking to yourself: Did I hear that correctly? Did Jesus call the woman in the gospel passage a dog? Well, yes — yes, he did. This is the story of the Syrophoenician Woman. It also appears in Matthew (15:21-28) as “The Canaanite Woman.” And … Continue reading Her name is Justa.
Proper 17, Year B: Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 Rick Springfield is a musician and actor who came into popularity in the 1980s and apparently still has quite a following — I presume of women about my age! I never imagined I would use one of his song lyrics in a sermon, yet all week the song “State … Continue reading It’s a State of the Heart, per Jesus (and Rick Springfield)
Proper 16, Year B: Ephesians 6:10-20; John 6:56-69 Today’s gospel features one of my favorite Bible verses! Yes, yes — it does! We are at the end of John’s Bread of Life discourse, which kicks off with the Feeding of the Multitude (6:1-15) and ends here (five Sundays later in the lectionary, if you’re counting. And … Continue reading A dealbreaker?
Proper 15, Year B (Proverbs 9:1-6; John 6:51-58) It’s good to be back from vacation. And it’s great to be with you all again! I had the opportunity to travel during my time away, including the gift of joining my parents on vacation in New Mexico. One day while exploring Taos, we wandered into a … Continue reading Chew on this.
Proper 8, Year B: Psalm 30; Mark 5:21-43 There is a historic graveyard in East Texas between Kountze and Lumberton that I have visited throughout my life because several generations of my family are buried there. It’s an old cemetery, established in 1850, so there are sections where many of the markers are crumbling and … Continue reading Sweetly Sleeping
Proper 7, Year B: Mark 4:35-41; Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32 In the Vatican Museum, there is a fragment of a stone sarcophagus, carved by an artist, likely in the 3rd century. While the remainder of this stone coffin is lost to us, the remaining fragment bears enough visual information to evoke a gospel story. Four figures are featured, … Continue reading A Posture of Trust