Showing posts from January, 2012

What Have You To Do With Us, Jesus? the interior process of transitions..

A reflection on the readings for Epiphany 4B: Psalm 111, Mark 1:21-28 and the Rector's Report for the Annual Meeting

Our Psalm this morning reminds us that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Of course fear here does not mean to be “afraid,” it actually means to be in awe of, to honor, respect, value and follow God. William Bridges, in his book, “Managing Transitions,” offers a perspective on the state in which we, as a congregation, and the entire state of religious institutions in the United States, currently live as we try to follow God in an ever changing world. He writes, “…. Change is not the same as transition. Change is situational: the new site, the new boss, the new team roles, the new policy. Transition is the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation. Change is external, transition is internal.” The beginning of wisdom, we might say, is understanding what it means to follow God in this day and age. Or as the Gospel of…

On Being Found

A reflection on the readings for the third Sunday after the Epiphany, year B: Mark 1:14-20; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Psalm 62:5-12; Jonah 3:1-5

Do you remember Mr. Gower, the old pharmacist in it’s a wonderful life? Do you remember, in particular, the way he was portrayed in the portion of the movie meant to show George what the lives of his family and friends would be like if he had never been born? Without George to intervene in the medication mix up Mr. Gower became the disgrace of the town, disliked by everyone, taunted, disheveled, with a tendency to drink too much. That’s the image I have of the person in this joke:

So, a disheveled, disoriented man stumbles across a baptismal service on Sunday afternoon down by the river.

He proceeds to walk into the water and stand next to the preacher. The minister notices the man and says, "Mister, are you ready to find Jesus?"

The man looks back and says, "Yes, preacher, I sure am."

The minister dunks the fellow under t…

A Hunger for God

A reflection on the readings for Epiphany 2: First Samuel 3:1-10 and John 1:43-51

The Hunger Games, is the first book in a trilogy of books based on a time some 100 years in the future. Following the apocalypse and a complete collapse of the world as we know it a new country rises up in North America. Instead of the United States there are twelve districts, all tightly controlled by the Capital, and each focused on the natural resources of the district. Most of the districts are very poor, a few have ample resources. In order to remind the districts that they are under the strong arm of the President and Capital, the Hunger Games are held once a year. The games, looking like something out of reality television and the Olympics, requires each district to randomly select one boy and one girl, called “TRIBUTES,” between the ages of twelve and eighteen, to compete in the games. The Hunger Games are a survival of the fittest battle through extreme wilderness experiences with only one perso…

Building A Bridge to God

Rabbi Jeffery Salkin, author of numerous books on Judaism, and rabbi of Temple Israel in Columbus, Georgia, tells this story in his book, “Being God’s Partner,”…

“A few years ago, a young taxi driver drove me to John F. Kennedy Airport, on Long Island. After a few minutes of conversation, I discovered that Mike had belonged to my synagogue years before I came to the community.

‘So, rabbi,’ he asked, while we sat in heavy traffic, ‘What do you say to a Jew like me who hasn’t been to a synagogue since his bar mitzvah ceremony?’
Thinking a moment, I realized that in Hassidic lore, the baal aqalah (the wagon driver) is an honored profession. So I said, ‘We could talk about your work.’

‘What does my work have to do with religion?’

‘Well, we choose how we look at the world and at life. You’re a taxi driver. But you are also a piece of the tissue that connects all humanity. You’re taking me to the airport. I’ll go to a different city and give a couple of lectures that might touch or help or c…