Easter Sunday 2018
Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
The Lord is Risen Indeed!
On that first Easter morning, long, long ago, there were no Alleluias! No Christ is Risen Indeed!
No Easter candle, no hymns, no lilies, no spring wardrobe.
No Easter bonnets. No yellow shoes. No hot buttered cross buns.
No, none of that. (more…)
Great Vigil of Easter
Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
The Lord is Risen Indeed!
We began this evening outside, lighting the Paschal fire, and evoking the remembrance of Easter, century upon century.
Then we followed the paschal candle into this sacred space. (more…)
Good Friday 2018
The posse comes for Jesus in the dead of night. He is dragged away like a common bandit in shackles to be mocked, tortured and killed.
His most courageous follower, Peter – the one who Jesus calls “the Rock” because he is so steady – follows at a distance. Peter – the rock – makes his way in the cold darkness to a fire in the courtyard where Jesus is taken. He is near enough that he can see Jesus interrogated and hear his words.
Then suddenly fear grabs Peter by the throat. (more…)
“You will never wash my feet.”
So Peter tells Jesus:
“You will never, ever wash my feet.”
Yesterday, many of us picked up signs and marched in towns and cities all over the world to remember those who have died from gun violence.
Today we pick up palms all over the world to begin Holy Week and to march once again to Easter.
As each day of this most holy of weeks unfolds, we will remember the final events in the life of Christ.
Today we stop at the arrest of Jesus. (more…)
Fifth Sunday of Lent
Warning: This sermon contains adult content and violence.
Let’s see if that holds your interest.
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It is hard and risky work being a prophet. It is not a job you volunteer for. The people you thought you knew and trusted may not want to hear you words. When they do hear you, they might want to kill you.
Being a prophet can get you thrown into a dungeon or a deep well. (more…)
Fourth Sunday of Lent
Gospel: John 3:14-21
“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
Have you ever wondered what the world would have been like if humans had never sinned? What would it be like now if the world said, “We are done with this sinning thing. What if, having recognized the destruction and devastation that comes from violence, resentments, jealousies, lies, wrongful use of power, domination, false superiority, errant justifications, and anger, the world said, “Enough. We have done this enough, and it is long since time to stop.” (more…)
Third Sunday of Lent
Second Sunday of Lent
Today we meet up with Jesus once again on the road as he brings hope and healing wherever he goes.
In the Gospel of Mark, there is a cascade of these healing stories, one after another just before the passage you hear this morning.
As Jesus travels the countryside, he heals everyone he meets. He does so with no regard for following established religious rules. He heals everyone, rich and poor, male and female. (more…)
First Sunday of Lent
“The heavens were torn apart and the Spirit descended like a dove.”
This past week, I was privileged to attend a luncheon honoring the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Living Room.
For those unfamiliar with this remarkable place, The Living Room is a day shelter for women, many of whom live on the streets or in their cars, and many of whom are escaping domestic violence.
And some of you may not know this: This parish founded The Living Room. (more…)
Ash Wednesday 2018
Today, as we do on this day once a year, we will smear ashes on our foreheads, and hear these sobering words: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.”
This is the one day of the year that the Church sets aside to remind us of the frailty and uncertainty of life, and indeed, to remind us of our mortality.
I’m not sure we really need much reminding of that this year. (more…)
Last Sunday of the Epiphany
Fifth Sunday of the Epiphany
Today, I want to talk about the concept of church, but please don’t flee for the doors.
The word “church” is a common word. We use it to mean a number of things that are related, including the names of the building where you are sitting.
We also talk of “church” being a particular congregation in a particular place, like this one. (more…)
Fourth Sunday of the Epiphany
The psalm sings to us this morning:
“Hallelujah! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, in the congregation.” (Ps. 111)
The small village of Capernaum, featured in the gospel today, is on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, far from Jerusalem and the center of political power and religious authorities. (more…)
Third Sunday of the Epiphany
The story we hear this morning from the Gospel of Mark might be familiar to you, or at least the scene might be familiar to you if you have ever seen any Jesus movies. My favorite Jesus movie when I was a kid was “King of Kings” with Jeffrey Hunter, made in 1961.
In the movie, Jesus, in long flowing white robe with a brown tunic, walks along the beach pointing at fishermen tending their nets.
The fishermen instantly drop everything and walk after him, a dazed look in their eyes. Jesus gathers more disciples, and off they go with music building to a crescendo. (more…)
Second Sunday of the Epiphany
Gospel: John 1:43-51
I am reading a book called Ikigai: the Japanese secret to a long and happy life by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles. The authors interviewed the residents of a Japanese village that is known as a “Blue Zone” because it has the highest percentage of 100-year-olds in the world. A Blue Zone is a term used to describes the lifestyles and environments of the world’s longest-lived people. (Wikipedia). According to the authors, the Japanese believe that everyone has an Ikigai, a reason for living, and finding it is the key to a longer and happier life. (more…)
First Sunday of the Epiphany
As many of you know, before I became an Episcopal priest, I spent most of my adult life – a quarter-century to be exact – as a journalist.
I wrote for three California newspapers, ending my daily reporting career at The Sacramento Bee where I worked for 10 years.
If I ever write a memoir, I’ll title it “Deadline Priest.” (more…)
The Feast of the Epiphany
Now that you’ve met the wise men, let’s have a frank talk about them. Beware: This is a scary story.
The story of the wise men – the magi – generally comes down to two sentences in the Gospel of Matthew, the only place in the Bible where this story is told:
“On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (more…)
First Sunday after Christmas
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”
This morning, I want to take you on a journey to the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains. This is a place I have not visited in many, many years, but it is still very dear to my heart and strong in my memory. (more…)