It Naturally Spills Out

The First Sunday after Christmas Isaiah 61:10-62:3, John 1:1-18, Psalm 147 or 147:13-21 The first week of Christmas is over; many have put their trees away, cleaned up the decorations, and life moves toward the New Year. If you go to the store this week and wish someone a Merry Christmas you will likely get a very odd look. I know this from personal experience. Most people in our country start Christmas near the beginning of November and those who hold out often start Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. Yet there are 12 days in which we celebrate the Feast of Christmas beginning on Christmas Day. Hence the song the 12 days of Christmas my true love gave to me . . . I’m not sure why we are

Don’t Blink, Don’t E​even Blink

Christmas Eve - Day 1, RCL, All Years Isaiah 9:2-7; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14(15-20); Psalm 96 “Don’t blink, don’t even blink” is the warning that Dr. Who gives to people who encounter the weeping angels. For those who aren’t familiar, these weeping angels appear to be beautifully carved gothic stone statues of angels. They appear this way only while you’re looking at them. If, or when, you close your eyes they become alive, moving swiftly, just waiting to get their hands or teeth on you. Most of the stories of angels in the Bible start out with them telling us “do not be afraid.” This leads many to believe that angels must be very scary. But it isn’t the angels we need to be afraid of, is

Waiting for Signs of God’s Favor

Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year B RCL 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16; Canticle 15; Luke 1:26-38 An angel suddenly appears in the room with Mary. Mary is strong because she doesn’t show her fear, but the angel knows she is frightened. “Do not be afraid,” the angel says. Now Mary wasn’t of noble birth. Her family doesn’t appear to be wealthy. The angel meets Mary in her house, probably her parent's house, in a small, small town. This town is not like Eagle Lake. It is more like Elm Grove or Egypt, places where we would least likely expect a spectacular event to happen. But this was Bethlehem; a backwater town, with a population under 200, a place most people didn’t even know existed. Through this young gi

A Quick Determination

Third Sunday of Advent, Year B, RCL John 1:6-8, 19-28 A voice calling out in the wilderness. Didn’t we hear this last week? We did, but there are some striking differences in today’s Gospel. Last week we seemed to almost get enveloped by the scene around us. This week we are bystanders listening to John being examined by some Jewish leadership. Five times they ask him questions and twice they ask, “Who are you?” In their interrogation, we discover who John is not. He says I’m not who you think I am. “I’m not the Messiah.” And I’m no one else you are thinking of. The priests and Levites come on a mission, sent from a higher authority, their teachers. There questioning clearly foreshadows the

Expectant Waiting

Second Sunday of Advent, Year B RCL Isaiah 40:1-11, Mark 1:1-8, Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 I arrive at the water’s edge after a day’s walk. In this harsh environment of dusty dirt and rock, I see a crowd of people. They are listening to a man preaching wildly in his wilderness surroundings. When peering deeper at this man, I see he is wearing the scratchiest of clothing and as rumor has it, he eats only what he can find in his desert setting, bugs and stuff. This seemingly deranged man isn’t telling me something I haven’t heard before. Nor would this even be the first time I have allowed myself to be washed so I could be ritually clean. But there is something different. It’s not just the wild natur

Don't Miss it, Keep Awake

First Sunday of Advent, Year B, RCL Isaiah 64:1-9,1 Corinthians 1:3-9,Mark 13:24-37, Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18 Humans have made great things from skyscrapers to rockets and even medical advances which extend our lives. Historically humans believe that we are strong both physically and mentally. We are creative and have the power to do just about anything we can think of. It seems almost natural that we are anthropocentric, we “consider human beings as the most significant entity of the universe”. And we interpret the world in terms of our values and experiences. Essentially our thoughts and ideas center on humans as being the most important thing in the universe. Isaiah’s gives us a poem today whi

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Photo Credit - Amy Duval 2016