Mark 5:21-41 / 28 June 2015

In Nomine Iesu

Today’s Gospel is a story of two daughters.  A 12 year-old girl, the daughter of a synagogue ruler named Jairus, and a woman who had suffered from a bleeding for 12 years, whom Jesus strangely calls “daughter.” Their lives are inextricably bound together by sickness, by death, by Jesus, who is Life and Healing, for them and for you too.
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Mark 1:14-20 / Epiphany 3B / 25 January 2015

In Mark’s version of the Gospel, everything happens “immediately.” In the Greek, euthus. At once. Without hesitation. “And immediately they left their nets and followed Him.” “And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed Him.” Immediately. If all you had was Mark’s version of the Gospel, you’d think it all happened in six months or so. One thing immediately after another.
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John 1:43-51 / Epiphany 2B / 18 January 2015

“Follow me.” That’s today’s word from Jesus for you, in your hearing, and in your Baptism. Those are the words that make you His disciple. Although the word “disciple” does not appear in this morning’s reading from the Gospel according to St. John, the text and theme is about discipleship. Jesus calls His first disciples, who happen to be Philip and Nathaniel. Not the front-running disciples we are used to hearing about – Peter, James, and John, but the somewhat “lesser” (if one can use such a term) and lesser known disciples Philip and Nathaniel. And in the encounter between Jesus with Philip and his brother Nathaniel, we learn a great deal about discipleship, about what it means to be a disciple, and also about the disciple-making mandate of the church.
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Mark 1:4-11 /Baptism of Our Lord B / 11 January 2015

Baptism is creative and creation is baptismal. That’s the connecting link in our readings this morning. Baptism is creative, a new creation, in which we are united with the death and life of Jesus, die to Sin and rise to life in Christ so that we can now consider ourselves dead to Sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. To be baptized is to be in Christ, and if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is gone, the new has come.
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Ephesians 1:3-14 / Christmas 2B / 4 January 2015

A joyous and blessed new year to all of you, and a happy 11th day of Christmas as we make our way with the wise men to Epiphany and then the Baptism of our Lord. By now many of you have packed away Christmas, I’m sure. Those nativity scenes with the baby Jesus have been safely wrapped up and put back in the garage or the attic until next year, though hopefully you haven’t done that with the Gospel of Christmas, the good news of the Word become flesh to save you. That remains when everything else is packed up and over.
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Luke 1:26-38 / Advent 4B / 21 December 2014

It’s beginning to look at least a little bit like Christmas around here. Some Christmasy decorations trickling in on this fourth and last Sunday of Advent. And our Gospel reading shifts from John the Baptist in the Judean wilderness to a young woman named Mary in the north country of Nazareth. Before there is going to be a birth to celebrate, there must be a conception nine months earlier. This is Jesus’ conception story, and it is filled with wonderful things.

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary.” Luke packs it all into the opening sentence – six wonderful things in two sentences.
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1 Thessalonians 5:12-24 / Advent Vespers 3 / 17 December 2014

The notion of an “end times” and “last days” is the cause of much anxiety, even among believers. Remember Harold Camping a couple of years ago, predicting the end of the world several times? It made the network news, and admit it, it probably caused you to wonder too, didn’t it? Hal Lindsey has made a cottage industry out of being wrong as his “Late, Great Planet Earth” goes into revision after revision. Only in the religion business can you make money by being wrong. People are alternately terrified and mesmerized by the eschatological and the apocalyptic. There are video games built around end times themes.
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John 1:6-8,19-28 / Advent 3B / 14 December 2014

Who are you? That’s the question posed to John by the delegation from Jerusalem, the religious priests and Levites who were sent to investigate this strange wilderness man. Who are you? Or perhaps the question is more aptly put, “Who do you think you are? Calling people to repentance. Baptizing all sorts of filthy sinners – prostitutes and tax agents and riff raff – as if they could take a bath and all would be forgiven. Who are you? Dressed in camel’s hair, eating locusts and wild honey. Calling us a ‘brood of vipers’ and daring to call good, respectable religious people to repentance. Who do you think you are, John?”
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2 Peter 3:13-14 / Advent Vespers 2 / 10 December 2014

Advent Vespers 2
2 Peter 3:13-14

2Pet. 3:13 But according to his promise we wait for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

2Pet. 3:14 Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.

We are time-bound creatures. Time enslaved at times. We are creatures of the clock, chasing the clock through the day and into the night, always asking “What time is it?” anxiously wondering if we have enough time. Our lives are governed by time. We wake up at a certain time of day and go to sleep at a certain time. There are fixed times for meals, for a bath or shower, for most of the things we do in life. It seems we never have enough time.
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Mark 1:1-8 / Advent 2B / 7 December 2014

You know it’s Advent when John the Baptist appears on the scene. “Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.” John is our Advent preacher, calling to us from the wilderness, calling us to the water of Baptism, pointing with that long, bony finger to Christ saying, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” That’s all John is good for. That’s all he is there for. Preparing a royal highway of repentance. He is God’s bulldozer, leveling the high places and filling in the low ones, making the uneven ground level and the rough places plain.
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