Moment of Clarity With Rev. Lorrie Daly-Price
Signs of the Times

Signs of the Times

November 21, 2019

November 17, 2019 | This week the Church celebrates "Christ the King" or "Reign of Christ" Sunday.  It is the hinge week between the liturgical seasons of Ordinary Time and Advent. It is the time when we pause to reflect on the meaning of Jesus’ kingship before we dive into the mysteries of light and darkness, hope and sorrow.

Given the pomp and circumstance that we typically associate with kings we might be expecting to find passages this week that sound, well, kingly. Something glorious perhaps about Jesus sitting on his throne decked out in splendid robes and a jeweled crown. At least a shiny moment from one of the Gospels like Jesus being transfigured on the mountaintop.

But no, we find none of these. What we find instead is a crucifixion scene. A stripped suffocating man wracked with pain. A crowd of mockers spouting out words of hate. A man hanging between thieves speaking blessing and promise to one less fortunate than himself. This is our King.

Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

November 12, 2019

November 10, 2019 | In our reading this week from Luke’s gospel, we find the Sadducees once again trying to make Jesus’ life miserable. These guys were the urban aristocrats and among the religious authorities from their day. They based their understanding of God on only the first five books of the Bible. Since the resurrection was not mentioned there they denied any belief in it. When the Sadducees ask Jesus about the resurrection, they are not really interested in knowing about it or considering what he has to say on the matter. Instead, they pose a riddle that is on the level of “Can God make a stone so big that even God cannot lift it?”

Rationalistic in spirit, the Sadducees doubted the concept of resurrection, the restoration of life to the whole person on the last day. Trying to discern Jesus’ theology of the afterlife – and even in the first century, Jewish intellectuals were well aware of the separation of soul and body and the afterlife adventures of the liberated soul – they ask him a curious question about marriage beyond the grave. Jesus, as often is the case, doesn’t give a definitive answer. He simply places the answer where it belongs, in the context of God’s graceful care for humankind. The dead will live on, God is the God of the living, and we will live on. The details of the afterlife are apparently unimportant; what matters is God’s fidelity and enduring love. God is alive, God is faithful, and it well with our souls.

What is a Saint?

What is a Saint?

November 4, 2019

November 3, 2019 | In the gospel reading this week from Luke Jesus is passing through Jericho and many have come out to see him but so many are lining the streets it’s hard to tell. Zacchaeus, a local tax collector, is curious. He wants to see what all the excitement is about. So he climbs a tree to get a better look at Jesus. And rather than just seeing, he is seen. Jesus looks up and looks right into Zacchaeus’ heart. And what he sees isn’t pretty. Zacchaeus is an opportunist, grown wealthy by skimming and squeezing. He’s despised as a traitorous agent of Rome’s oppression. All in all Zacchaeus is not a likely candidate for God’s grace. But Jesus is the master of the unlikely. As he has done so many times before, he reaches out to Zacchaeus and invites himself into the tax collector’s home.

Why Zacchaeus? Why pick out this tax hustler for special attention? Surely in the whole city of Jericho there are many, many others more worthy of a visit. So not surprisingly the whole crowd begins to grumble. They had heard that Jesus was blessed. He was supposed to be special and here he wants to hang out with the town crook. What’s this all about?

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