Scarcity

Proper 12, Year B, RCL, Track 1 Psalm 14, Ephesians 3:14-21, John 6:1-21 Back when I was a Boy Scout, our troop had a paper drive. We advertised in the local paper that we would be coming around picking up newspaper bundles on a certain day. When that day arrived, we broke up into several groups and canvased the town. While some homes had fairly small stacks, a few weeks’ worth of paper, other homes had huge stacks that seemed to be years’ worth of papers. Believe it or not, this was a fundraiser for the troop in which all this paper was sold to a recycling center. Now I have no idea how much money we made but at my tender age, I thought we were making a huge difference in collecting and re

This is Our Faith

Proper 11, Year B, RCL, Track 1 Ephesians 2:11-22, Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 If we are not Jewish, circumcised as a sign of our covenantal relationship with God, then we are Godless people.[i] Paul says we are “strangers to the covenants of promise” and “aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel.” Without Christ, we have “no hope and [are] without God in the world.” But he continues to tell us that this is not our lot in life. For we are not without hope. We have hope, not through the hands of man in circumcision, but through Christ himself. In Christ, a new humanity is born. Jew and gentile, circumcised and uncircumcised. Through Christ’s blood, we have been made one. Through Him and the cross, we h

Love is All but Absent

Year B, Proper 10, RCL, Track 1 Psalm 24, Ephesians 1:3-14, Mark 6:14-29 We have a responsibility to truth-telling and to admonish our fellow human beings when circumstances require.[i] These are not my thoughts but the thoughts of Saints Ambrose, Bede, and Chrysostom from the 4th and 7th Century. Herod married his brother’s wife Herodias. This was an illegal marriage under Jewish law. Though due to his power and privilege it seems that no one took action against him. But Herod’s power didn’t stop John the Baptist from calling Herod out; from telling the truth. Recall that last week that Jesus sent the disciples out two by two. He sent them to spread the Good News, that all shall repent, tha

Without an Invitation, Who Will Enter

Proper 9, Year B, RCL, Track 1 Mark 6:1-13 God often works in understated ways. Today we find Jesus in his hometown. Some of the people are amazed by how he speaks until they remember who he really is. He is one of their own, from their small town, and he seems to have gotten a bit too big for his britches. I’m sure that none of us have ever met someone who went away to college, became successful, and then tried to settle back in the town where they grew up. They speak a bit differently than we remember; they have new ideas, interest, and even new friends. This person says they wants to be our friend but they are hardly the same person we remember and they have a hard time fitting in with th

Restoration of Wholeness

Proper 8, Year B, RCL, Track 1 2 Corinthians 8:7-15, Mark 5:21-43 She wanted to be cured, but she hoped for more. In her present condition, the hemorrhaging lady from our story would be ostracized to the fringes of the community. Her continuous bleeding would make her unclean. Anyone who would touch her or even sat in a chair that she used would be made unclean. Because of this, she would not be able to live with her family or to work within the community. She may have been relegated to places like a leper colony. This lady tries to get help. Over 12 years she risks all she has in an attempted to be cured physicians. But today she risks ridicule and punishment by intentionally touching someo

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Photo Credit - Amy Duval 2016