This is the hardest liturgy of the church year for me.
Every year I grow anxious as the Good Friday liturgy approaches.
And I think it’s because, if I’m being honest, I don’t want to listen to this part of the story.
Actually, I don’t want to help tell this part of the story, either.
“There is a thread we follow.”
“People wonder about what we are pursuing.”
“We have to explain the thread, but it is hard for others to see.”
And I wonder, dear neighbors--
All of us gathered here, from various faith traditions—with different beliefs—representing a variety of worshipping communities--
Is there a common thread we follow?
Holy Thursday has long been the most meaningful liturgy of the church year for me.
The first Christmas gift Matt gave me was a bronze icon of the washing of the feet. If you’ve been in our home you may have noticed the icon hanging quietly in our kitchen.
It is good to be with you again, St. Stephen's.
So, here’s the thing about the Gospel of Matthew:
More than any of the other Gospels—the Gospel of Matthew is written by a Jewish person, for a Jewish community—in a particular historical moment in the life of that community--
I’m so glad we have just a light summer Gospel lesson for this last weekend of June J:
“Do not think I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
We have well-known text this morning—we’ve heard it many times before.
It’s a Gospel lesson that is sometimes understood to mean that Christians ought to be passive in the face of harm or injustice--
Because it’s right there in black and white, isn’t it?
Happy Pentecost. And Happy Baptism Day. And, Happy Sundaes on Sunday Day, and a Happy End of the Program Year to us all--This is indeed a celebratory Sunday at All Saints’--
A culmination of another year spent together in study, prayer, service and connection--
A year spent together as CHURCH. Being Church. Doing Church.
The Church, after all, is not just a building of brick and mortar. It’s not merely a place you go—and then leave--
The CHURCH is you and me and all of us together--
A Lesson in Chutzpah. Or, How to Be Fearless Like the Syrophoenician Woman and Change the World: Mark 7:24-37
Today’s Gospel Lesson from Mark is a lesson about Chutzpah.
Chutzpah is the personal confidence or courage that allows someone to do or say things that may seem shocking to others.
Chutzpah is not the same as charisma—it’s not polish or savviness or charm or being well connected—its synonym is Fearlessness (1):
As in, The Syrophoenician woman in today’s Gospel story has a lot of Chutzpah.
Did you hear it? That terrifying verse in Mark’s Gospel warning us against the eternal sin for which there is no forgiveness?
My Sermons (and other thoughts)
a sampling of sermons preached in the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona and a sprinkling of other reflections