Thursday, November 19, 2015

Christus Rex

Although it's the end of the church year as we know it this Sunday, all around it sounds like the end of the world as we know it. Hyperbolic language is bombarding us from the right and from the left in regard to current events. The premise that is so uncritically accepted is that there has to be sides: winners and losers, right and wrong, good and evil. Everyone wants to be on the winning team.

The thing is, we all lose when we accept these terms as the way things have to be. We are a community of faith that is lead by a crucified Lord. We look to the Christ of the Cross as the victorious Lord of all. So, if the way of selflessness, suffering, sacrifice, and the cross was Christ's way of loving the world, are we too called to take up these things as our way of life as well? I believe we are.

Mercy, love, grace, acceptance, and hospitality -- these are not optional equipment for the journey we are called to make as brothers and sisters in Christ.

When we confess Christ as King, what are the implications for the way in which we live our lives. What difference does it make that Christ is King when we are confronted with the tragic, the terror, and the tedium of our times? How easy it is to be swept up in the call to arms, violence, retaliation, hatred and fear!

Christ the King is also the Prince of Peace. He calls us to lift up our hearts and set our minds not on things that are on earth, but on things that are above. This isn't easy. It's not convenient. And it sure isn't popular. Yet, I can find no faithful alternative. Can we reconcile the cognitive dissidence in the popular premise that asserts itself at the center of our current state of affairs here below?

Christ the King Sunday
November 22, 2015

Prayer of the Day

Almighty and ever-living God, you anointed your beloved Son to be priest and sovereign forever. Grant that all the people of the earth, now divided by the power of sin, may be united by the glorious and gentle rule of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


The one coming with the clouds rules over all

Ever since the world began, your throne has been established. (Ps. 93:2)

Glory to the one who made us a kingdom

The kingdom of Christ

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Every Whit

What does it look like to be committed? Have you ever been "all in" with some project, effort, or passion? It's been observed that half measures avail us nothing.This may ring true on the page, but what about in real living? There are so many voices vying for our allegiance.

I'll admit that I frequently feel that I must compromise in order simply to keep my head above water. Even as I'm taking the time at this moment to sit down and work on this blog, I'm thinking about all the other places I "should" be right now. I've got to work on promoting Sunday afternoon's concert, I've got to make a few visits. I've got to help the secretary get the bulletin announcements proofed and in order because so many ignored forgot the Wednesday deadline for submissions! The sermon isn't finished yet. Gabriel has chorus rehearsal at 4:30. The leaves need to be raked. The phone is ringing. Someone just came in the door! Is it time for lunch? People are chatting in the hallway!

I'm taking a deep breath.

This Sunday we hear the gospel lesson in which Jesus commends the nameless widow who gave her all, every whit. So many throw in their two cents, but she has given wholly, all she had to live on. This widow is "all in" -- committed, invested.

With all our abundance, are we able to experience the luxury of thorough devotion? What might be some of the obstacles? What might one thing be that we could do to help clear the way?

Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

November 8, 2015

Prayer of the Day
O God, you show forth your almighty power chiefly by reaching out to us in mercy. Grant us the fullness of your grace, strengthen our trust in your promises, and bring all the world to share in the treasures that come through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

God feeds Elijah and the widow at Zarephath

Psalm 146 
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down. (Ps. 146:8)

Hebrews 9:24-28 
The once for all sacrifice of Christ

Mark 12:38-44 
A widow’s generosity reveals the hypocrisy of the scribes