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Showing posts from July, 2015

Wisdom

This week’s narrative reading is: Ecclesiastes 1:1-11; 3:1-17
1:1 The words of the Teacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. 3 What do people gain from all the toil at which they toil under the sun? 4 A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. 5 The sun rises and the sun goes down, and hurries to the place where it rises. 6 The wind blows to the south, and goes around to the north; round and round goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns. 7 All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they continue to flow. 8 All things are wearisome; more than one can express; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, or the ear filled with hearing. 9 What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"? It ha…

God's Work, Our Work

This week’s Gospel reading is: John 6:1-21 1 After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. 2 A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. 3 Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. 5 When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?" 6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, "Six months' wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little." 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, 9 "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?" 10 Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat d…

Ammunition

"Mommy, somebody has a gun."

My five-year-old called these words out to me before we'd even been at the playground for 2 minutes. 
My head snapped up and my eyes darted. I saw a furtive figure dart away from my son and across the playground, diving under the other set of equipment. 
My two-year-old was already on a a swing, calling for me to push her.  There were three pre-teen girls laughing and playing some game out in the ball field. 
We had passed a woman walking her dogs when we came in, but there were no other adults. 
"Mommy, somebody has a gun." 
My dad instilled intense respect for guns into his children. I never had a toy gun, in part, because we were taught and able to use real guns for target practice and/or hunting. Guns are tools, not toys. 
My husband has deeper feelings about guns, if possible, than my dad did. Two large safes guard the weaponry of our house. Always. 
I've never been afraid of guns (other than the kickback of some calibers.…

Sabbath Famine

This week’s Gospel reading is: Mark 6:30–34, 53–56
30The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31He said to them, "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. 53When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. 54When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, 55and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the market…

What Do We Learn from Proverbs?

This week’s narrative reading is: Proverbs 8:1-11, 22-36
1 Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice? 2 On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; 3 beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries out: 4 "To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live. 5 O simple ones, learn prudence; acquire intelligence, you who lack it. 6 Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right; 7 for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips. 8 All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them. 9 They are all straight to one who understands and right to those who find knowledge. 10 Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold; 11 for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her. 22 The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of…

Tragedy and Truth

Today, I saw the worst thing that I ever hope to see.

A tiny coffin with a three-month old little boy inside. 
I heard the grieving of a mother who barely lived a trimester with her son outside her womb. 
I touched a smooth, cold, small forehead and marked it with the cross of Christ. 
I tasted the mucus that came with the tears I tried not to shed as I prayed and preached. 
I felt a sharp, damp breeze as I walked behind the casket- carried by the mother of the baby, his grandfather, grandmother, and great-grandfather. 

I offered no words of welcome in introducing myself. A funeral for a three-month old is not a celebration of life. It is a cacophony in the attempt of death to win a battle in a war it already lost. 
Child, family, friends, all gathered were all unknown to me, but not to God. 
I lit a baptismal candle and said, with a steady voice, "Baptism is never about us or what we do. It is about, all about, God's grace and love. In life, T--- was baptized by kisses and i…