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The grace of Jesus gives us back to God

“But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and gave him back to his father.” Luke 9: 42 Jesus was constantly healing people during his earthly ministry. He healed because he loved and had compassion for the people he came into contact with. We don’t know what happened to most of the people that Jesus healed; they could seem to be mere highlights along His path to Calvary and Resurrection. In Luke 9, after the Transfiguration, Jesus comes down the mountain and immediately encounters a man whose son Jesus’ disciples have not been able to heal. Our Lord is frustrated with his disciples’ inability to deal with the boy’s problem. But I would not have been able to heal the boy either, who has apparentl

Giving in good measure fills our cup, too

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back." Luke 6: 37-38 “…for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” Has that been your experience? Are we always repaid with the patience we give, the kindness we share, the hope that we extend to another? Sometimes, right? But not always, not by a long stretch. Jesus has just finished his “Sermon on the Plain,” in Luke’s Gospel. He is telling those around Him how they can and shou

Like a tree planted by water

“Blessed are those who trust in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17: 7-9 Jeremiah, who lived in hope in a seemingly hopeless time, shares something rather profound about the nature of God’s love. We, who trust in God’s love, are claiming a life that is rooted, like Jeremiah’s tree “planted by water,” in a hope that can transcend the fear, anger, and partisan wrangling of our current time. A love that is patient and kind, a love that does not seek is own wa

Racial Reconciliation Sunday in the ECCT

Isaiah 6:1-8 only; Psalm 138; 1 Corinthians 15:1-1; Luke 5:1-11 Today, in whatever small way, we begin nudging forward in our attempt to explore challenging issues of race, including how we all have been ensnared in the insidious, sometimes subtle, racial divide and construct in our country which has existed since our founding. But I must tell you I have no interest in engaging in these difficult yet liberating conversations without it coming from a place of Gospel – a location of the genuine good news of what God has done, is doing, and can do in our community; it is a message that has little power outside the grace of God in Christ. Luke reminds us that we are called – not because we are b

Go away from me Lord....

Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” Luke 5 We are about to embark on conversations about race. And we might rightly ask: what does it mean, how does it involve me, and why is it important for us as people of faith? And as we explore difficult issues surrounding race, privilege, difference, responsibility, hopefulness, and healing, we will take tentative steps at understanding ourselves and each other better, in light of the Gospel’s proclamation that all are included in the grace offered to us in Jesus, the Son of God. What pours out of this week’s readings, from Isaiah, Corinthians and Luke, is one of the most hopeful messages imaginable: we are held by the grace of God. Isaiah’s

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Jeremiah 1:4-10; Psalm 71:1-6; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Luke 4:21-30 We all respond to God’s call, in one way or another, a little like Jeremiah. We are too young, too inarticulate, too busy, too old, too rough around the edges, too afraid … Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s summer sermon at the wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle has led to the creation of a program called The Way of Love. The premise is that if we pursue the way of love, in the way and name of Jesus – in all of its many variations, colors, shapes, and hues - then perhaps following God’s call on our lives will just kind of happen. Suddenly – but not the overnight kind of suddenly - without knowing what happened really, Go

Known by God

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1: 5 Being fully known and formed by God is an empowering, comforting, yet frightening thing! The prophets developed, usually after much resistance, this sense of God’s power in their lives. Their faith in God allowed them to speak truth to power, deal with the threat of violence and adversity, and, in the case of Elijah, to endure famine and harsh travel. This Friday and Saturday, your Vestry is gathering for retreat to pray, build loving relationship, and look at the spiritual gifts of community, leadership, and begin developing spiritual intentionali