This Medicine Tastes Horrible!

“And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things come to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” Luke 1:20 Today is the Feast day of the Conception of St. John the Forerunner, and the above is from our Gospel Lesson today in Luke 1:5-25. And it doesn’t seem fair. It never ceases to amaze me of…

The Sound of Silence

At a recent spiritual retreat I was asked to conduct, I was asked how one should prepare to deal with questions about the faith when others ask about it. It’s a good question, but it points to a deeper challenge, like most good questions do! While it may be satisfying to get some basic talking points to share with folks, and it is actually a good thing to have some training in…

That Free Bubble Up and Eatin That Rainbow Stew

In the early 80’s Merle Haggard came out with a great country song about “Rainbow Stew.” The song celebrated a time when everything in the world would be right and then, well, I’ll let some of the lyrics enlighten you. This is verse three: You don’t have to get high to get happy Just think about what’s in store When people start doing what they ought to be doing And they won’t…

Danger, Will Robinson!

What a provocative Gospel Lesson today! Listen to the last part: “And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and a report concerning him went out through all the surrounding country. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.” (see the whole lesson in Luke 4:1-15) Of course this is the…

Family! Yeah that’s Hard Work!

“Oh NO! Not the family tree scriptures again!” I can almost hear the congregation thinking out loud when we come to portions of the scriptures that have “and so and so begat so and so, and he begat so and so, and …” Just look at today’s Gospel Lesson in Luke 3:23-38, 4:1. Jesus has a real family! I’ve even been asked “why is that in the Bible?” The short answer: You…

The Sweet Smell of Worship

A certain man married, had children, and became a very wealthy businessman. His fortune was world renowned. As his children grew, they got the best of everything – the best schools, the best clothes, the best food, and the best connections their father’s wealth could provide. This man’s children were blessed beyond their wildest dreams. As the oldest entered his teenage years, the father continued to lavish abundance on the young man,…

Save, O Lord, Your People

“Into each life a little rain must fall” and “April showers bring May flowers” and “This too shall pass” all old sayings meant to convey honest (and sometimes not so honest) attempts to help others get past difficult times. As we approach the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, we are confronted with arguably the greatest tragedy, the greatest miscarriage of justice, the most horrendous event in human history –…

Thanks Donkey!

In finding stories of unlikely prophets, there is none better than in the Bible. In Numbers 22 (for those wondering, Numbers is actually a book in the First Testament) we discover the wonderful story of Balaam and his donkey. To make a long story short, Balaam is something of a prophet and some enemies of the Jews in the area want to hire him to curse the Jews so these enemies may…

Open Your Mouth, Widen Your Heart

Today is the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City, the Pentagon, and the crash of the third plane in a field in Pennsylvania here in the US. That horrible day was terrifying, tragic, and life changing. Setting aside the politics and the scandals, fallout, and subsequent attacks (today marks the one year anniversary of the death of diplomates and guards in Benghazi, Libya), this event in the life…

You Have Never Talked to a Mere Mortal

As we move toward the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross this Saturday, listen to this quote: “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you say it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such…