What does mutual love mean?

Proper 17, Year C, Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16; Luke 14:1, 7-14 What does mutual love mean? The author of Hebrews tells us how to live in Christian community. He gives us a series of what seem to be somewhat disjointed thoughts. First, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers.” This is fellowship with the people around us; our neighbors even though they may be strangers. How do we as a community welcome the stranger? This seems especially hard when we have an inherent distrust or even fear of our neighbors. We teach our children at a young age “Stranger Danger;” not to trust, don’t talk to, don’t take candy from strangers. This is clearly for our children’s safety and is the right thing to

Freedom and Rest

Proper 16, Luke 13:10-17; Under Jewish law you are not supposed to do certain kinds of work on the Sabbath. There are actually 39 categories of work and over a hundred subcategories of things which you are to either abstain from or be restricted in doing. Taking care of your animals is acceptable, feeding and watering them; milking them if appropriate. You are not allowed to run after them if they escape or go through a broken fence. But you can do things to help them if the situation is critical or urgent for their survival. Under life threatening conditions for man or animal you are allowed to break the rules of Sabbath if necessary. But the distinctions are clear you cannot break the Sabb

O where, o where has our peaceful Jesus gone.

Proper 15, Year C, Hebrews 11:29-12:2, Luke 12:49-56 Over the last few months we have been talking about a peaceful Jesus. Today we hear of fire and division. Jesus said, “I came to bring fire to the earth and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and how I am pressed until it is completed.” I will not tell you today that this passage is supposed to bring us great comfort. Yet, at the same time, it is not antithetical to the Gospel of peace that we have been talking about either. To have a better understanding we have to take a close look this passage. First notice the parallelism between the first two sentences. Fire is paired with baptism. I think

Are You Ready for the Hear-and-Now?

Proper 14, Year C, 8-7-2016 Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16 Luke 12:32-40 Like last week, our Gospel clearly picks up on the theme of greed and storing up treasure. But then it quickly changes into something else. Jesus offers us two pericopes to further illuminate our thought. One is of the servant who waits up for his master. We wait while the master is out at a wedding banquet. Because of our faith, our attentiveness, God rewards us. He rewards us by serving us. (I wonder what that exactly means?) The second bit says the owner doesn’t know when the house will be robed, so we must stay ready for Christ, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour. We often think that this passage speaks of th

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Photo Credit - Amy Duval 2016