Friday, February 22, 2013


Sermon for the First Sunday in Lent
Luke 4:1-13

Monday, February 18, 2013

Ash Wednesday

Sermon about examining our motives, using Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Sermon for the Last Sunday of Epiphany

Luke 9:28-36

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Christmas Musings 2012

“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7

With these unassuming words, Luke announces the Incarnation of our Lord.  Jesus, born of Mary, was wrapped tightly in linen cloth and laid in a feeding trough.  The wrapping provided warmth and uniform pressure to the newborn.  His mother would be his source of food.  His surroundings, in cave that provided shelter and food for sheep, reminds us all of why he came.

Luke’s account of Mary and Joseph, two weary refugees turned away from human habitation, places Jesus in the heart of our own poverty.  He came to us on the edges of civilization, in a shelter for sheep, in order to draw us back into the center of God’s Kingdom.  He is laid in a feeding trough to become bread for a broken world.

The Holy Night of Christmas is an opportunity to stand in our own poverty and broken dreams and offer them up as a resting place for God.  The Incarnation, so many thousands of years ago, is a promise to each one of us that God continues to rest here, deep within each of us, in the most unlikely places.  While we fight for justice, freedom, and peace in our world we are asked to do the same within our own spiritual lives.

Jesus is born in poverty because that is who He has come to save.  We are saved by admitting our own helplessness.  How are we bound with swaddling clothes and protected from the truth of our vulnerability?  How do we invite Jesus into this tender and hidden place so that he can transform us?

At the end of Luke’s Gospel Jesus is again wrapped tightly in a linen cloth, but not by Mary.  This time it is Joseph (of Arithmathea) who wraps him and lays him in a new stone tomb.  Like Jesus, we emerge from the cave of birth and head toward our own cave of death.  And because of Jesus, we need never fear.  By emancipating us from death he gives us the power to effect change in life.  May we live into the change he calls us to:
“Peace on earth and goodwill to all whom he favors.” Luke 2:14

Epiphany Musings

e·piph·a·ny [ih-pif-uh-nee] noun, plural e·piph·a·nies.
A sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.”

The Feast Day of Epiphany on January the 6th commemorates the story in Matthew’s Gospel of Gentiles (or non-Jews) drawn to Christ through the guiding light of a star.  But the story itself is filled with “sudden intuitive perceptions” that guide the Gentile Kings safely through deceptive encounters and deadly plans.  These same “insights into the essential meaning” of dreams lead the Kings safely back to their foreign countries, and the Holy Family into and out of Egypt.

It is a common occurrence to experience epiphanies when you discuss their significance with someone on a regular basis.  Many of you know that I am a Spiritual Director.  One of the questions I always ask a directee is, “How do you experience God?”  Do you find God with you on walks?  In the Eucharist?  In your dreams?  With your grandchildren?  When you have an “aha” moment with God do you write it down?  Do you share it with someone? 

Epiphanies come in all shapes and sizes.  An inspired idea of what gift to give a special person in your life.  A sudden understanding of how your parents loved you  when you were a child.  A feeling of deep connection with a stranger.  An overwhelming desire to go somewhere, and when there have a “chance” or synchronicitous encounter with a long-lost friend.

If we sit and talk for awhile about these occurrences in our lives their frequency increases.  Why is that?  I have come to believe that the more we discuss the spiritual nature of our lives the more spiritual we become.  It is like priming a pump.  You pour a little water in, and then a little more, and the stream is drawn upward into your bucket.

Christ comes to us as Holy Spirit, Unbounded Love, and Intuitive Friend.  If we learn what our own spiritual language is we have a much better chance of catching insights.  We all have a personal prayer language.  May this Epiphany Season enrich and multiply your epiphanies so that your experience of God can shine for someone else.  And lead them on their way.

Monday, February 4, 2013


Luke 4: 21-30, Jesus is rejected by his howmtown