Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Feast of Pentecost Year B - John 16:1-15

John 16:1-15
The Spirit as Advocate contends for us to prove the world’s ways will not be the way for us. That is because the Spirit convicts the less than satisfactory definition of sin as the things we do proving that what is made manifest in behavior always begins in belief. But then those who think right often do not act in right ways which means righteousness “being made right with God”  can only be directed from God towards us and not vice versa. And judgment is reserved for the one who is the parent of lies and deceives us at every turn even if “every single one of us (has) the devil inside” (INXS) Jesus may have many things left to say that none of us can bear but this much is true, the “God so loved the world” Jesus makes it possible for the world to welcome the truth telling Spirit who will reveal the love of God while exposing deceitful ways.

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Feast of Pentecost Year B - Romans 8:22-27

Romans 8:22-27
When inward groaning anticipates the cry of new birth the joy anticipated is the hope that endures. Even in our weakness, when confused and conflicted our patience wears thin and we know not what to pray, God intercedes for us. Sighs too deep for words match our need breath for breath so that fed by the first fruits of the Spirit our hearts are lifted from despair. In that way the future adoption that is the redemption of our mortal bodies can be known in the present even as a kick in the womb allows expectant parents to imagine the life of the new born they await. Here and not yet – that is the nature of this pregnant pause before we know fully the full fruit of the eternal tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Feast of Pentecost Year B - Psalm 104:24-35

Psalm 104:24-35
Psalm 104:20 is the basis of the “Come Holy Spirit” prayer of the Cursillo movement. “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful and kindle in us the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and we shall be created and you shall renew the face of the earth…” The Spirit filled community (aka the church in all its various forms) is created to renew whatever portion of the face of the earth on which it is found. That means the heart kindled with love seeks to refresh the weary with refuge and replenish the hungry with good things even as we care for “all creatures great and small” and the habitats that support them. So the song we sing to the Lord as long as we live is best expressed when the words of our mouth are confirmed by the work of our hands. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Feast of Pentecost Year B - Acts 2:1-21

Acts 2:1-21
It is a lay lector’s nightmare lesson and even those who wear the collar tread lightly in the linguistic territory of “Phrygia and Pamphylia.” But then the confusion of language has spawned more trouble than mispronunciations and the divisions that begin with the inability to understand what the other is saying are too often translated into the universal language of bigotry and violence. In whatever way we understand the historical Day of Pentecost the meaning could not be clearer. The lines of language that divide were erased by the “Spirit poured out on all flesh.” Of course the language that was understood on that day was discounted as tongue tied drunkenness but there was a moment when the confusion of the Tower of Babel was reversed and suddenly every tongue was translated into the powerful deed of God that is the cross of Jesus Christ. It didn’t take long for the universal language of mercy to be confused and confined and the ability to speak in tongues became more important than understanding what was said. But the Day of Pentecost was not about speaking in tongues. It was about declaring the powerful deeds of God in ways that people could understand no matter where they came from or what language they spoke.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Easter 7 B - John 17:6-19

John 17:6-19
If you’ve read the other Gospels you might agree that John’s Jesus is less than human or if you won’t go that far at least will acknowledge that no one in real life makes speeches like the Jesus in John. That doesn’t mean it isn’t true just that John remembers a different Jesus than Matthew or Mark or the “orderly Gospel” historian Luke. But the purpose of John’s Gospel could not be more clearly stated. “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:30) So all this “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together” makes as much sense as “I am the walrus goo goo g’joob”. (The Beatles) unless you understand that in believing what cannot be fully understood, that the “in the beginning” Word became flesh and dwelt among us, means the beginning and the ending can be fully known in the present in such a way that the joy of the future is fully realized in the here and now. I know it might sound like a less melodic version of goo goo g'joob, but truth is if we would live today as if the forever tomorrow was already here our present might actually begin to look like God’s future.