I was ordained a priest just six days after the death of my father. We had a…complicated relationship…and so my feelings were…complicated. I was grieved, and angry, and stunned. A little numb. As the procession got closer and closer to the church doors I could hear more and more the congregation thundering through the hymn, “Praise to The Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation.” Perhaps my favorite hymn. But, as we approached the church […]
Towards the end of the second chapter of “Acts,” we find a summary of how the first followers of Jesus lived: They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds […]
The resurrection has consequences. It changes things. Everything. The very fabric of the universe, in fact. But, it doesn’t stop there. (!) It also changes the way we are supposed to relate to each other.
The following is a reflection on Acts 2:1-21, the lesson properly appointed for the Day of Pentecost, year B of the Revised Common Lectionary, and Genesis 11:1-9 the lesson appointed for the Day of Pentecost, year c. Pentecost is often interpreted as the undoing of Babel. At the tower of Babel, God confounded the speech of His People so that they could not communicate with each other. At Pentecost God gave the apostles the gift […]
The following is a reflection on Acts 1:15-17, 21-26, the second lesson properly appointed for Easter 7B, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. With Judas’ demise, the disciples were down to eleven. Twelve is a good biblical number though. A number with significance. So, it seemed good and proper to get the disciples back to “twelve.” There was a position to fill.
The following is a reflection on Acts 10:44-48, the second lesson properly appointed for Easter 6B, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. …While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles… The two words above, which to me stick out as if they have […]
I don't have all the answers, I don't know if I'm on God's side or not, I'm just trying to muddle my way through - but all the while seeking truth and mercy.
(The following is an excerpt from a book I’m working on. Should be finished soon…) There’s a fantastic scene in the third chapter of the Gospel of Luke where we’re introduced to the wild-eyed prophet, John the Baptist. Crowds gathered around him wondered if he was the One who was sent by God to save them and the whole world. John greeted these curious onlookers who were coming to be baptized with these words: You […]
Cause if we just sink into the mire of Christian blandness we might as well just climb back into the upper room. And lock the door. I heard it's safe in there. But when the Spirit of God moved on the waters, and Light shined forth, and the morning stars sang together with all the heavenly host - when that hunk of clay took its first breath direct from the lungs of God - when the white-hot fire of God swooped down from Heaven and set a bush on fire/ blazed a trail in the wilderness/ filled the Temple with God's Presence/ brought forth the Holy Spirit and set the disciples' heads literally on fire. . . there was nothing bland about any of it.
And, maybe it's not the central meaning of this passage from the Book of Acts, but what this perspective at least demonstrates is that ministry, and blessing, and prayer all happen in the midst of the messiness of human emotion. There's that awful preconceived notion that the Christian life is supposed to be one of calm serenity, if not outright blandness. There's an unspoken (though maybe in some circles it IS spoken) platitude that if we're close to the heart of God we just smile all the time and put up with anything and anyone without bother. Bologna.