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Showing posts from October, 2015

The Kingdom of God, Shifting Perspectives

A parishioner recently shared this video, titled "Assumptions."  It only takes 43 seconds to watch:

As soon as I watched it, I said, "well, THAT'LL preach!

Here's what I mean: one of the most important roles of Christian faith is to help us shift our perspective.

What if 20 minutes spent daily in prayer caused us to have these 43-second shifts in perspective all day long, every day?

What if daily bible reading helped us realize, over time, that that which seems large and looming in life may, in fact/God's Kingdom/reality, be quite small?

And that which seems remote and insignificant may, in fact/God's Kingdom/reality quite large?

What if current events were the "forced perspective" of the chair? What if acts of service to others were the second cup and saucer?

Praying, Honestly

In the Gospel we hear this Sunday, James and John come to Jesus and say, "we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you."
When Jesus says "what is it you want me to do for you?," they tell him they want to sit at Jesus' right hand - to have places of honor in heaven. So usually, when you hear a sermon about this passage, or when you read any commentaries about it, James and John don't come off so well.
Usually, the line of thinking/preaching goes, "How dare they! How selfish! How inconsiderate; how egotistical." Or at least "how clueless."
And according to that way of understanding the passage (an understanding I've had almost my entire ministry, I must admit), Jesus is seen as sharing the anger or frustration that we're told the other ten disciples have toward James and John, and his tone toward James and John is seen as scolding.
But nowhere does the text say Jesus was angry with James or John.
And the Bible does not give us …

Daily Examen: God at Work

Daily Examen of St. Ignatius Loyola(From a widely distributed brochure and found on other sites; I cannot find any copyright or even a way to properly attribute authorship...if you know and can help me give credit where credit is due, please let me know in the comment field.)

Would You Like to Grow in Intimacy with God?

God becomes available to us through the lives of individuals who share their gifts, and the Source of their gifts, with others.

Saint Ignatius Loyola received a gift from God that enriched his Christian life. The gift was a "method," a way to seek and find God in all things and then gain the freedom to let His will be done on earth. This "method" allowed Ignatius to discover the voice of God within his own heart and to experience a growth in familiarity with God's will. This "method" involved discovery and experience; becoming attuned to God's suggestions and supports for action, growing intimate with God's promptings and purpos…

St. Francis, Jesus, and...us

This Sunday is the Feast of St. Francis, a day to remember and honor Francis of Assisi, who was born in the early 1180's and who died in 1226.

Francis was the son of a wealthy merchant, but encounters with the poor caused him to take Jesus/the Bible/the "authority of Scripture" literally and - much to the chagrin of his father - give up all his possessions and live a life of poverty, humility, and service to the poor. He was the founder of the Franciscan order, people who to this day dedicate themselves to following his teachings.
Ironically, St. Francis is best known to most American Episcopalians for one thing that wasn't all that central to his life - his love for animals and the resulting custom of an annual Blessing of the Animals -- and another thing that has nothing directly to do with him at all: the "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace" prayer that is printed in our Book of Common Prayer as attributed to him, but wasn't written much earli…