Easter 2021: Mark 16:1-8. It feels like quite a while ago, but it was just last week — Palm Sunday — that we reflected on a line from Jesus’ instruction to the two disciples who were sent to fetch a donkey for his procession into Jerusalem. “If anyone asks why are you doing this …” This week … Continue reading New beginnings & Easter joy
Good Friday 2021: Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9; John 18:1 – 19:42. We were gathered in the old parish hall across the way. Young and old alike, we gathered at the end of the Lenten season, to watch a movie of the life of Christ. I’m sure that movie projector is long gone, but I remember watching … Continue reading Good Friday witness
Maundy Thursday 2021: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-17, 31b-35. You’ve likely noticed that something is missing tonight. It’s rather obvious: it’s a Maundy Thursday service with no foot-washing! We can expect the return of this ritual when the pandemic is behind us. But, there’s something perhaps less obvious that’s missing. I wonder if you noticed … Continue reading Maundy Thursday: The Uncut Version of John chapter 13
Palm Sunday, Year B: Mark 11:1-11; Mark 15:1-39. Why? Is a question that three-year-olds cannot stop asking and one that adults sometimes forget to ask. *Why? Is a question that can uncover meaning, purpose, motivation. It is a question that cuts through the noise, the static, and the banter. **Why? Is a question that seeks … Continue reading Why are you doing this?
Lent 5, Year B: John 12:20-33. It is a small piece of paper, yellowed by time. Nobody knows who put it there or when. But there it is still: inside the pulpit at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, where only the preacher can see it. My first three years of ordained ministry were spent at Palmer, … Continue reading We wish to see Jesus.
Lent 4, Year B: Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:14-21. In the famous words of the character Indiana Jones in the 1981 movie Raiders of the Lost Ark: “Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?” Ha! — that’s exactly what I thought when I read the lectionary texts last week! Snakes. Actually, the text calls them serpents. And we’re … Continue reading The Snake-bites of Life Need Not be Fatal
Lent 1, Year B: Mark 1:9-15 We’ve become expert at boiling water in response to disasters, haven’t we? On Ash Wednesday, I announced at our services that anyone who needed to warm themselves during the severe winter storm was welcome on the church campus. Welcome to charge electronic devices and take bottled water since we … Continue reading Testing, testing…
Lent 3, Year B: Exodus 20:1-17. I have a rule. I’ve had this rule for so long, that I forgot why I had it. What’s the rule? Thou shalt not ride thy bike after 3 pm on Fridays. I love to ride my bike. I feel free and fast! I feel the wind and sun. I love … Continue reading I have a rule.
Lent 2, Year B: Mark 8:31-38. Maybe this is true for you, it is certainly true for me: I have favorite scripture passages, but they are my favorites for different reasons. One of my favorites is from the Bread of Life Discourse in the Gospel of John (6:47ff). In response to Jesus’ teaching that his … Continue reading This is a difficult teaching. Who can accept it?
Ash Wednesday: Psalm 51; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21. Wyoming, Utah, and Hawaii: my family’s vacations have sometimes been more like geological studies. In our country’s beautiful national parks, I have marveled at the wonder of creation and how so long ago our Creator spoke our universe into being … along with the great variety of life through the … Continue reading Ash Wednesday: Geology and the Heart