Showing posts from February, 2008

Lent 6 - I am a broken dish

Sixth Sunday in Lent March 16, 2008 Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16 ; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 26:14—27:66 (Liturgy of the Passion) There is no story more important to Christians than the Passion. There are no more central Messianic prophecies than the “suffering servant” songs of Isaiah. And there is no better summary of Christ’s role than the Christ-hymn of Philippians. With so much going on in these great texts, we might easily miss what God is saying as we pray this Psalm, in the midst of these proclamations of Christ. For the Passion, the suffering servant, the Philippians hymn, all describe one who is an outcast. Insults, bullying, gossip, layoffs, illness, divorce, aging, scandal, rejection. There are so many ways to be out, not in. Everyone I know has been in this position, though it is one we would all rather flee. Yet this Sunday, this Holy Week, in fact every Sunday and every week, God directs us again and again to attend to the one who is suffering. In the Pass

Lent 5 - I Felt the Lord's Power

Fifth Sunday in Lent - March 9, 2008 Ezekiel 37:1-14 ; Psalm 130; Romans 8:6-11; John 11:1-45 Perhaps you’ve heard people refer to Lent as a “downer.” Probe a little, and I expect you will often find that this is a reaction against the notion of Lent as a fast or time of deprivation (so seldom observed), against a somber or even dreary quality in some of the music and worship, or against a focus on our sinfulness which may seem extreme. Yet the story of Lent, as we journey with Jesus to Jerusalem and his Passion, is essentially forward-looking. There is a direction to the story. Even as we remember Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem and death, we are hearing the story from the other side. These stories, though, reach out to where we are. We do not always live in the land of resurrection. These places of dry bones, these decaying bodies, these sealed tombs are real to us. Sometimes our sin brings destruction upon us. Sometimes the sin of others crashes into our lives. And the result is

Prayer Corner – February, 2008

A Simple Prayer for Lent Sometimes there’s nothing better than to turn to prayers tested by time and experience. The “Jesus Prayer” is one which you might wish to try this Lent. While it has ancient roots, it is probably best known in the West from a 19th century Russian book, The Way of a Pilgrim. The pilgrim uses the Jesus Prayer in his spiritual journey, attempting to pray without ceasing by repeating this prayer. The words are simple: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” There is some scholarly debate on whether the prayer originated with calling upon the name of “Jesus,” or with the experience of remorse for sin. Either way, the prayer reflects an expression of faith from our liturgy, “Lord, have mercy,” the Kyrie. It also evokes an ancient practice (known in Judaism as sheviti) of putting the name of God, the object of your prayer, in front of you. It seems especially suited to Lent. Despite its depth, it is a simple prayer which addresses some of our most

Lent 4 - Things Done In the Dark

Fourth Sunday in Lent - March 2, 2008 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14 ; John 9:1-41 Of course, “darkness” is used as a metaphor. Nowadays we don’t often spend much time in the real dark. If we’re out at night there are streetlights or headlights to illumine the way. At home there’s the comfort of light bulbs and the glow of TVs. Even adventurous cave explorers take light with them. Yet darkness is unfortunately not that strange to us. At times it can be dark indeed. Circumstances can seem hopeless. We can sink into depths of depression. We wander in the gloom of ignorance and sin. Sometimes we cower in the moral darkness of things concealed and secrets hidden from sight. Truth be told, we never stand very far from the dark of the grave. The journey of Lent began with the dark of ashes: “Remember that you are dust...” God’s light shines into each kind of darkness. The story of the man born blind ( John 9 ) works on a number of levels. The very mud of creation,


Greetings, and welcome to my blog. Occasionally I write something I think is worth sharing. I hope you agree. The first thing I'll be putting up are some reflections for the remaining Sundays of Lent.