November 30, 2021
Our text this week from the gospel of Luke comes with some troubling words from Jesus. It seems that they are prophetic words about predicting the future and warning of the end times. However, if we only look at this passage thinking that it gives us a means to read the tea leaves and predict the future, then we have missed the point entirely.
It seems that this passage we will hear, has a lot more to do with how we live our lives right now. When we resolve to love our neighbour and seek common good for all. This kind of life has a profound meaning, discernible for the person living it and to the community at large. This is the life of the disciple. Do this and your lives will bear witness that the kingdom of God is a kingdom of love, a kingdom of joy, a kingdom of peace and a kingdom of hope as seen right here and now.
November 23, 2021
Today’s reading from John’s gospel is at its heart the story of two men: one, Pilate a son of Rome; the other, Jesus, the Son of God. The first seeks the truth; the second witnesses to it. Pilate uses the power and authority received from his emperor to impose the rule of an oppressive kingdom on the children of Abraham. Jesus uses the authority received from his heavenly Father to work for the salvation of these children from their earthly bonds.
Jesus seeks to bring about a new, greater kingdom, one built on a heavenly foundation. In this brief passage from John, the journeys of these two sons – one that began at the heart of the Roman Empire, the other beginning in a small working class village in Galilee – intersect in the heart of Jerusalem. Jesus, who only recently was swept along by cheering, adoring crowds from Jericho to Jerusalem in advance of the Passover Feast, now finds himself at the mercy of a jeering, contemptuous crowd anxious to turn him over to the authorities. A man beloved and proclaimed by many as the Messiah just days before now finds himself very much alone.
November 16, 2021
This week’s readings describe answers to prayer as well as future hope and challenges. In many ways we will find them challenging because they are distant from our lived experiences. Yet, when we look more deeply, there is a message that emerges. This message is that despite life’s difficulties and threats, God seems to make a way where there seems to be no way.
The reading we hear from Mark’s gospel certainly addresses this idea of facing challenges. We are told that the earth will be in chaos. Wars will abound and fear will be great. Yet, it seems that this upheaval is just the prelude to a new creation. “Don’t be afraid,” so says Mark. “God will be at work in the future to bring new life.”
So perhaps this is a story about spiritual growth. We may feel unsettled; our world may turn upside down as a result of some new
insight. It might just be that God is working for good, but we have to go
through the process and trust that God will bring something beautiful out of the crises we experience.
November 9, 2021
On this Remembrance Day Sunday what do we have to offer back for those who sacrificed so much? Where does prayer, or communion or singing fit into desperate conflicts where two sides are reaching for weapons? We have our stories to offer. Stories that reveal a different vision of how things could be, are meant to be. Our story today comes from Mark’s gospel about a woman observed by Jesus.
This is the story about a widow and her two small copper coins. What is sacrifice really for her? What is the enemy for this poor widow? Jesus is aware of the decision makers in his day who work against God’s dream of a world of dignity for all. Jesus’
allies that are working for this dream, this vision, are unlikely people. The woman we read about today takes two coins and puts them both into the treasury.She then leaves the temple knowing that she has done what she felt called to do and that she has done the best she could.
November 4, 2021
The readings for this week are an important reminder that God brings people into our lives, inspiring our imaginations and luring us toward unexpected life changing encounters. Our dependence on God inspires us to be generous and open knowing that God will supply what we need.
In the reading from Ruth we meet Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth. Two resident woman who cling together against life’s bad breaks. Two people much like us who point the way toward faith. The story is human and mundane, a tale of everyday people and yet they get caught up in God’s great purposes.
The passage from the gospel of Mark allows us to explore how we relate to others. Jesus is telling us directly: Love is the total reason for our being… the sole purpose for all creation and our unique place in it. Love defines us. It must be who we are and what we do. If not, we’re just taking up space and wasting time.