I am Blessed

The Gospel of Luke 6:17-23 At that time, Jesus stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came…

Never Lonely Again

There’s something about intimacy that scares us to death AND becomes a central hunger for our lives. From sociological studies showing modern society becoming more and more lonely, to small groups of Baby Boomers forming support groups to talk about death and dying, to the perennial stories of men and their lack of close friends; modern humanity is struggling with a dual challenge: A deep-seeded (and God given, in my humble opinion) desire…

It’s Tough Sometimes

St. Timothy was a young, spiritual son of St. Paul, and Paul had placed Timothy as the head of a local Christian community. Now Paul is writing to his spiritual son to encourage him as he serves his first parish. Listen to what Paul tells Timothy: “TIMOTHY, my son, you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions, my sufferings,…

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 –…