Thursday, February 15, 2018
Monday, February 5, 2018
Sunday, November 12, 2017
“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. What a time for this scripture to come up in the lectionary readings. Those who die in the Lord are on everyone’s mind this week following the massacre at the 1st Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. Senseless killing and senseless death are beyond the imagination of ordinary people. We don’t understand the kind of tormented soul who could commit such a heinous act. And we grieve the loss of so many who were loved by family and friends and who worshipped and trusted in God.
Quite often we want to rail at God for allowing such evil and pain to exist in the world. From our perspective, is it hard to remember that God does not consider physical death to be a tragedy. The ones who died are with the Lord they loved, but those who are left behind are experiencing an unbearable hole in their lives and a deep, deep sorrow at their loss. God is the ultimate comforter and healer. For most, the wounds will eventually heal, but the experience reminds us that life in this world is uncertain and we need to hold close those we love and never take for granted those whose lives are entwined with ours.
Saturday, October 7, 2017
Friday, September 22, 2017
“To me, living is Christ and dying is gain.” Philippians 1:21.
In this passage (Phil. 1:21-30) Paul wrestles with the idea of dying to be one with Christ or living to spread the gospel message. Even though his desire is to die and be with Christ, he understands that his purpose is to help others come to a fuller understanding of a life lived in grace.
By remaining in this life as an encouraging agent, Paul is doing God’s work. Through sharing his struggles, he gives us an example of what it looks like to follow Christ. It is not always easy, but we are assured that the prize is worth the effort. Christ himself is the prize, and Christ himself is our support. We are never alone in our struggle. Christ will always come alongside of us to share our burden.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. Romans 14:3. Paul is responding to a problem in the Roman church. Some people believe that they are better than others because of their practices in the faith. He makes it clear in this passage that we are not to pass judgment. Different people are at different places in their walk with Christ, and that’s okay.
Some of us may honor the Lord in different ways and that’s okay. Paul reminds us that we don’t live to ourselves but to the Lord. When we died we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. And our Gospel lesson tells us that we will be judged according to the judgment we have passed on others. One of the hardest things a Christian does might be to learn how to be non-judgmental. We must remember that forgiveness is from God and is always to be passed on to those we meet.
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lantern to my feet and a light upon my path.” There is a reason why more Bibles are sold every year than any other book. It not only talks about eternal salvation, but it lays out a plan for living out our lives here on earth. It gives examples of both right and wrong ways of doing things. It also points out that even when you don’t do everything exactly right, you can still be acceptable before God.
At ordination, an Episcopal priest declares that they believe the Bible to contain all things necessary to salvation. Sometimes when I don’t have a clue about what I’m supposed to do and I yell out, “Oh God, what now?” God’s word can be comforting. It can be challenging. It can place you in God’s presence and help you see that path God has chosen for you to travel. And it is always time well spent reading and contemplating God’s word.