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Showing posts from April, 2012

Where I See Jesus (or, in a pinch, what to say to atheists, those who are "spiritual but not religious," or who want nothing to do with "organized religion")

In the Gospel assigned to be read this Sunday in church, we hear the story of a group of people who approach the disciple Philip and say, "We wish – we would like – to see Jesus." "We would like to see Jesus." I think this ties directly into the "negativity fast" theme we've been advocating this Lent. Because I think the author Dan Kimbal is right when he says, in the title of his book, They Like Jesus, but Not the Church. People now days -- you and I, and society in general -- like Jesus and are hungrier than ever for Jesus: his compassionate attitude, his expansive nature, his Joy. And at the same time, they -- we -- are as fed up as ever with "the church" in the negative sense of the word: its judgmental attitude, its inflexible doctrinaire nature, its dour humorlessness. The writer Andrew Sullivan has popularized the term “Christian-ism” – the politicization of Christianity, trying to equate Christianity with one particular mi

Easter Abundance Mindset

A sermon preached Easter Sunday (April 8, 2012) The Rev. John Ohmer, Rector St. James’ Episcopal Church, Leesburg, Virginia "Easter Abundance Mindset" Tuesday of last week, a friend of mine forwarded me a joke on email. I was going to ignore it or save it for a less busy week. But the subject line caught my eye – “Hoosier humor: people from Indiana really understand the humor” and so I opened it and read it. And this is how it goes: “The year is 2036 and the United States has just elected the first woman as President of the United States .. A few days after the election, the president-elect calls her father in Indiana and asks, "So, Dad, I assume you will be coming to my inauguration?" "I don't think so. It's a long drive; your mom isn't as young as she used to be, we'll have the dog with us, and my arthritis is acting up in my knee." "Don't worry about it, Dad, I'll send Air Force One or anothe