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Showing posts from May, 2017

Gone, but Still Present

Today  (Thursday, May 25th) is  Ascension Day , one of only seven "Principal Feast" days.  (Principal feasts are the big ones, the others being  Easter  Day, The Day of  Pentecost ,  Trinity  Sunday,  All Saints  Day,  Christmas  Day, and The  Epiphany ).  With Memorial Day being Monday,  this weekend  is usually recognized as Memorial Day weekend.  That means  this Sunday  can pose a bit of a challenge for churches, and preachers. Officially, it's the seventh Sunday of Easter, and is still  Easter season /the resurrected Jesus is still with us.  Unofficially, it's the Sunday after Ascension Day, and we hear, in our lessons, about Jesus'  ascension  into/back into heaven, and the disciples' being promised that they'll soon receive the Holy Spirit -- but that doesn't come/is not celebrated until next Sunday, June 4th, Pentecost Sunday.  Culturally, it's a major national holiday weekend, a time to not only  remember , but to honor and giv

One of Life's Greatest Questions

During the Wednesday night "ARC" class that we offer at The Falls Church Episcopal,* my colleague Kelly asked me to jump into her presentation on "Prophets and Wisdom" in order to give a brief summary of the book of Job. The book of Job wrestles with the great question, " If God is a loving and powerful God, then how do we make sense of evil ?" As I told the class, this question - along with "why does the other line always move faster?, why are hot dogs sold in packs of 10 and buns sold in packs of 8?, and why can't Washington-D.C.-area teams succeed in the playoffs?" -- is one of Life's Greatest Questions . For years, I wrestled with how best to think through - and then preach and teach on - the topic of evil. Particularly challenging is finding ways to preach and teach about the "personification" of evil - whether we call that spiritual force "Satan," "the Devil," "the Tempter," the &quo