Monthly Archives: May 2015
Since November 30th of 2014 when we began Advent, we have been in the first part of the liturgical year, called Special Time and we have celebrated the special seasons centred in Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Passion, Easter and Pentecost. All of these are centred in Jesus’ life. Today, we step from there into what is called Ordinary Time, the Gospel readings of which do not celebrate the special times in Jesus’ life so much as the life and teachings of Jesus. The Sundays are numbered (ordered), and so ordinary. They are, like our steps through life, one by one,… Continue reading
The title of today’s sermon, “This is that…,” comes from words attributed to Peter in the Acts Lesson, verse 16. Here’s a literal translation: “This is that which has been spoken through the prophet Joel.” The verb tenses here imply that what was spoken long ago is still being spoken today, and what is happening is the unfolding and development now of what was spoken and promised then. The Spirit’s new arrival on that Day of Pentecost (which was, itself, part of an ancient Jewish festival) was just one more demonstration of what the Spirit of God had been up… Continue reading
Fifty years ago, in 1965, the year I graduated from high school, a young professor at Harvard Divinity School named Harvey Cox published a volume called The Secular City which made a great impact on the religious world, including me. One point in it that I remember all these years later was that he argued that God was active and working in the secular world at least as much as in the church, perhaps more. In fact, the church was really a group of people in the world not an institution isolated from it. Like most revolutionary statements, it was,… Continue reading
I began a preaching ministry with you twelve years ago, with the today’s lectionary readings. Because Easter is a movable feast, in 2003 it was on May 18th. So, today, we begin our fifth cycle through the Lectionary texts. And I for one, continue to find new things in them.
The Book of Isaiah is a difficult book to read and understand well. Today’s Old Testament Lesson comes from Isaiah 35. Up until this point, much of what we find in the Book of Isaiah has dealt with the man after whom the book is named, the prophet Isaiah who… Continue reading