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Showing posts from June, 2012

John the Holy Forerunner

A Sermon for the Feast of John the Baptist
John the Baptizer hardly ever gets his own attention. It seems like we hear quite a great deal from him in Advent and then at Jesus’ baptism, but we hardly ever talk about him. In Advent, the discussion is more about Zechariah’s, his father, lack of faith compared to Mary’s trust in God. After Jesus is born and grown, the actions focus on who God is in him and what God is doing. John is a footnote to that story as well.
This week when I asked for questions about John the Baptizer, only one person dared to ask anything and they sent the question in a message, rather than in any kind of public forum. The question ran along these lines: Do you think John ever wondered if he might be The One? Did he always know he was the forerunner? What was it like to always know that you were second?
I had to think about that for a while. John would have grown up hearing his own birth narrative and that of his cousin, Jesus. He was probably raised in a very par…

It's A Mystery (Sermon, 6/17)

2 Corinthians 5:6-17; Mark 4:26-34
            When I was back on the East Coast a couple weeks ago, I went to visit my maternal grandparents’ grave. I went by myself and took flowers and water. I brushed off the stone, pulled the dead grass from around the edges, and then sat for a while and talked. My grandfather has been dead for just over eight years and my grandmother, for not quite four.
            I miss them frequently. When I was sitting at their graveside and talking to them through my tears, I kept thinking about what I was doing. If I believe they are resting here until the last days, why have I occasionally perceived them with me? Or if I believe that they are now in the presence of God, why is it so much more meaningful to be here in the place where I last saw their bodies?
            Somewhere in the mix of experience and emotion, in the tangle of reason and hope, somehow I hold to be true that my grandparents are resting in God, cheering me on, and waiting with al…