Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sermon: C 5 Easter 28 April 2013

Acts 11: 1-18; Ps 148; Rev 21: 1-6; JOHN 13: 31-35

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. AMEN.

This morning’s readings circle around the concept of love as the disciples heard it, in traveling around, with, and continuing to follow Jesus. The readings present an odd combination of images and associations. The chosen psalm is straightforward praising the Lord for his mighty acts. Since Halleluiah is the theme and concept for Eastertide, this psalm echoes or leads to both. Reciting this psalm in Easter season, we are suggesting that the Lord had done great deeds for them, and by extension, his deeds for us include the resurrection, ascension, and on-going life of Jesus our Lord. The psalm is joyful and suits the feeling of the season.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Getting and giving help after the bombings in Boston

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has some useful resources if you need help, or if you want to help out:

For crisis counseling, please call 1-800-985-5990 or the City of Boston Health Line at 617-534-5050. The American Red Cross has material on their website about emotional recovery. 

If you have a tip, call 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) and choose prompt #3, or email

To make a donation, please visit

Sunday, April 14, 2013

C 3 Easter 14 April 2013

Acts 9:1-6(7-20); Ps 30; Rev 5:11-14; JOHN 21: 1-19

Alleluia! Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed, in truth. Alleluia!

The Easter 3 readings are full of Wow, thanks and then help to paraphrase. The numbers in scripture always intrigue me, and so one year, in reading this John, I looked up, maybe, 14 commentaries about 153 fish, why 153? Each commentary had an authoritative definitive answer; none was the same; each writer had earned directly or indirectly $’s for his (I’m pretty sure) answer. John’s Gospel is, however about theology, not narrative history. Unless, in the culture then 153 was the record number of homeruns, lambs shorn in a day, or water vats turned into wine at one party, I’d guess 153 was a number of a big biggness of fish caught, but real fish, not symbolic ones. John was saying Jesus turned a bad day of fishing into one of enormous bounty, bigger than imaginable, enough for eating then, a stockpile for a communal future, and one reflective of a generous Creator’s constant awareness of what his beloved creation always needs—enough to eat, to work, live, and love on. Here John is telling a parable in using a random, specific large number to convey the extent of the care and gifts to G*d’s people, in need and in their lives to come. John wasn’t doing a one to one allegory where fish = food, 153 = 10 fish/each of 12 tribes and one for each of his 33 years or some other nonsense. I’d guess it’s an introductory rhetorical largeness for the next story.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sermon: C 2 Easter 7 April 2013

Acts 5:27-32; Ps 150; Rev 1:4-8; JOHN 20: 19-31

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Hallelujah! Amen.

Every year for this Sunday, I carefully reread today’s Gospel in Greek, to see why Thomas gets such a bad rap. It’s not there, nor do I ever see where he “doubts.” In Barbara Crafton’s short essay, called “Nailprints” in her blog “The Geranium Farm,” she begins, “We are so accustomed to comparing ourselves favorably with poor Thomas, whose famous doubt has come to be considered part of his name…,” I stopped reading that for a moment. I reread the Gospel, not because I consider myself better than Thomas, but rather that I am Thomas, or in the direct line of this one who was “just checking.”

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sermon: C Easter Day 31 March 2013

Is 65: 17-25; Ps 118; 1 Cor 15:19-26; LUKE 24: 1-12

Alleluia! Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia! Amen.

“Welcome happy morning age to age shall say.” And so we arrive at the real 
Easter Morning, the 4th day of a three-day sequence. Parishes that do glorious Vigils, as we do, have some inclination to skip Easter morning, because it has already become Easter; they’ve sung “Jesus Christ is risen today;” and what more is there to do to welcome the risen Lord. We began this service with a Procession for this reason. While the parishes that do Vigils have done processions, and readings, and drama, and darkness and light, and more, Easter morning is still Easter morning, and Easter cannot be observed with less moment than the other two major Church festivals of Christmas and Pentecost. Whether or not a Vigil was held doesn’t impact those people for whom Easter happens in the early part of Sunday morning. The great Triduum, the great Three Days don’t include Sunday, because Sunday is always Sunday and always a feast to remember and relive Easter, especially on …Easter. Easter morning can never be an afterthought to the Vigil, nor simply zipped through. Easter is at least Easter, especially on—Easter.