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Showing posts from July, 2010

On the Eve of a Funeral

Tomorrow I'm officiating a sermon for someone I've never met.  It is for a 97 year old woman who was a life-long Episcopalian but had moved from her home town in the last few years so her son (Roman Catholic) went looking for an Episcopal priest to do her funeral.  It is a strange, but beautiful, position to be in.  I get to see pictures of this stranger, who is my unknown sister in faith.  I get to hear stories about her life -- her adventures, her sorrows, her quirks.  And I get to be with her family in this time that is so poignant for them as they remember and love and celebrate her.  For some sacraments I find that knowing the person really matters.  In marriage ceremony, I feel more joyous the more I know the couple and know something about their love and support for one another.  In baptism, I feel much more confident when I know that we as a congregation really and truly will be able to do all in our power to support this person in their life of faith because we really…

Martha meets Mary

July 18, 2010
Pentecost 8, Proper 11
Luke 10:38-42

Part of my process before going to seminary involved answering a bunch of essay questions for the Diocese. One of the questions asked which biblical character I most identified with. I cheated and used two – the two sisters we read about this morning – Mary and Martha. I must admit that my answer was partly a calculated one. I didn’t want to pick anyone too righteous or too unrighteous, just in case that might set off red flags. But it was mostly a real answer. I have strong Martha tendencies, but in my heart I’d like to be Mary.

And maybe because I identify with her, this story makes me feel sorry for Martha. Here she is, welcoming Jesus into her home, along with all his disciples. There’s no telling how many people we’re talking about here, because Jesus has all sorts of folks following him around. Those dusty feet trodding all over her clean carpets. Those loud voices taking over her house. And she’s doing her best to make all her …