Skip to main content

Posts

No Sausage in the Resurrection

Last weekend I went to a funeral that made me so glad to be an Episcopalian. The Episcopal funeral service is gorgeous.  We have beautiful prayers and hymns, lots of scripture, invitations for the congregation to join in.  And best of all, even while the funeral service mourns an end, it is also an Easter service that celebrates a new beginning. My very favorite part of the service is the opening anthems.  These are basically scripture passages about death and resurrection that are put together in a beautiful way.  They are incredibly powerful and reassuring and they really set the tone for the service. At my previous church, the clergy would walk in from the back of the church saying the opening anthems.  We’d follow behind an acolyte with a cross, if we could get one, and the casket or urn, if there was one, and sometimes the family, if they wanted to process.  Last came the clergy, saying the anthems. I’ll never forget my first time officiating a funeral service and how humbling and i…
Recent posts

Settling Into Babylon

October 13, 2019 Jeremiah 29:1-7 Last week we had Psalm 137.  A song of lament by people that have been exiled from their home land: “By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, when we remembered you, O Zion.” And this week, the people are still sitting by the waters of Babylon weeping in our Old Testament reading from Jeremiah.  They are still waiting for God to change their circumstances, to bring them home out of exile in a foreign land.  They are still frozen in mourning, stuck in the face of a completely uncertain future. God had set them apart as Chosen People. And now they are strangers in a strange land. God had given them the Promised Land.  And now they had lost it. And so just like last week, they must have been wondering: "How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?" When they asked God how they could possibly live like this, they had a certain kind of answer in mind.  They were expecting God to come and save them -- maybe with pillars of clouds by day …

Recalculating

September 22, 2019 Luke 16:1-13
This summer the drive to the beach was hideous.  It usually is on summer Saturdays, but this was the worst I’d seen.  The crawl of cars wasn’t only before the Bay Bridge but all through the little confusing webs of roads on the other side too.  I probably had five times where the little lines on my GPS were so red for so long that the nice British lady inside decided it was time to rethink the whole thing.  The screen would freeze for a minute then shift a bit and the lady would say “Recalculating.” And then she would find me some slightly less painful way to go forward.   Finally, after a much longer drive than anyone was prepared for, we got to the beach and unpacked the car.  Finally it was time to head to the beach and forget the last five hours. Finally I would get to ensconce myself on my chair under the umbrella as the kids frolicked in the waves.  Finally I would get to lose myself in a great novel, one of my favorite things about the spaciousnes…

A Grumpy Prophet, and Family stories

Sept 1, 2019 Jeremiah 2:4-13 Jeremiah, from our Old Testament reading today, is a grumpy prophet.  And he’s earned it. Jeremiah had a long career of warning and cajoling and accusing people who had no interest in listening to him.  During his lifetime, he was opposed, belittled, ignored, and hated by pretty much everyone. Priests and kings conspired to kill him, more interested in pursuit of wealth and power than heeding Jeremiah’s plea to turn their hearts to God.   Well, in today’s reading, Jeremiah is at it again. He sounds like a lawyer, indicting the people on God’s behalf for breaking their covenant with God.  God has been gracious and saved them over and over. But the people have defaulted on their promises to God.  They have forsaken God and turned to other Gods. They have chosen what is worthless instead of what is life-giving.  And so Jeremiah accuses them; and not just the people of his generation, but their ancestors as well. But the piece that strikes me as running through the…