November 21, 2021
Christ the King B
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. (Revelation 1:4b-8)
The Alpha and the Omega … the “A to Z” … the beginning and the end: God is the one who is and who was and who is to come – in other words, God is beyond time. This is a pretty big idea for us to get our heads around. We often think in linear terms, so A to Z means a finite string of letters to us, not an all-encompassing understanding of everything that ever was or is or ever will be. Continue reading
November 14, 2021
We jump back into the gospel according to Mark today. This is the final chapter in the year of Mark – all that’s left is the passion story, which we heard during Lent. This is the final ‘regular’ Sunday in the church year – next week is Christ the King, and then Advent begins. Advent is always a two-fold expectation of Christ’s arrival. It’s no coincidence that we are getting ready to look forward to Jesus’ birth, just as Jesus is telling us to get ready for his coming again.
But right now, the story takes us from the temple, across the valley to the Mount of Olives. Continue reading
November 11, 2018
Have you ever given your opinion about something, and then said, “That’s just my two cents worth”? It’s a way of letting the person you’re talking to know that this is just your own opinion, and the listener is free to disagree. When we add our “two cents worth” to a discussion, we let people know that, “yeah, this is what I think, but I could be wrong. I’m no expert. Take it for what it’s worth – not much, maybe.”
Do you remember “sound bites”? We don’t hear about them much anymore, maybe because sound bites have been replaced with tweets. Continue reading
All Saints Sunday 11/7/2021
Jesus has completed his journey from Galilee to Jerusalem. The triumphal entry into the city is already fading from memory. We’ve jumped from Mark’s gospel to John’s for this celebration of All Saints Sunday, so the timeline might seem a little crooked. But the trajectory of the story is the same: Jesus is getting closer to the Cross.
Since arriving in Jerusalem, Jesus has managed to make just about everyone angry. The shouts of “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” have given way to accusations of blasphemy, and threats of stoning. Jesus has gone back across the Jordan River to the place where John the Baptist was baptizing at the beginning of the story. While he is there, Mary and Martha send word to him that their brother Lazarus is sick. They ask him to come immediately, but he stays a couple more days. We can feel the tension building, even if Jesus seems not to be bothered. Continue reading