This Sunday, October 13, we consider the story of the “grateful Samaritan leper.” It is a story of thanksgiving, which is often twisted into a tale of the perils of ungratefulness. Only one of the healed lepers (in this story) returns to thank Jesus. We wonder what’s up with the other nine, but they did nothing wrong; of course they were overjoyed to be healed. They did exactly what Jesus told them to do, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” Yes, Jesus points out that out of ten cleansed only one returned to say “thank you” personally. So Jesus uses the example of the one, and the other nine, to teach us what God values most about us – our relationship to God. A transformation of the one healed leper had begun, he now respects his relationship to God. Come consider your relationship to God this Sunday.
Father Harrison’s Blog
So – what happened to Mr. Nice Guy Jesus, the compassionate “Do not be afraid,” Jesus we heard about just last Sunday (Luke 12.32-40)? Within the span of a week we have a “I came to bring fire to the earth, not peace, but division,, name calling, stressed out, Jesus to contend with. Everything was going along so nicely; so why the sudden change? This is one of a few gospel lessons (Luke 12.49-56) that can cause any one of us preachers to turn to the other readings of the day, hoping to keep peace and unity at home, and not set any fires under their congregation. Feel welcome to join us at St. Barnabas at 8 or 10 a.m. tomorrow to hear how it goes.
When pressed with any question about the Bible, what I think about the Bible, how I read it, how I understand it, one of my ready answers is, “I don’t take it literally.” I’m not snubbing those who do, I’m not disrespecting the “Word of God,” mine is not some sort of fractured fairy tale approach to the Bible. I believe, I feel as though, the Bible has to be read with mind and heart. Once one begins to read with their heart open, the real word of God enters one’s mind, the head is allowed to take a break, to be quiet, and the Bible’s story becomes the reader’s story – the Word actually speaks, the Word becomes flesh. Hear more tomorrow at St. Barnabas, 8 or 10 a.m., or hear the sermon podcast at our website: www.saint-barnabas.info/sermons/
Part of the lesson in this coming Sunday’s gospel story (Luke 12. 13-21) is one we hear over and over – Jesus came to teach us that God wants much more for us than just the distractions of this world. They are ours to enjoy, of course, but not to possess, not to store up. He said, “Be not, too much, of this world.” God wishes we possess life, love, mercy, and community. We can have all that we can stand. We can have more of that than we can possibly store. We can have plenty of that to share. Look to God, look to each other, live to store up life. Come to St. Barnabas at 8 or 10 a.m. this Sunday to hear more.
Does the love, grace, and mercy (the Way of Christ) have to undermine and overwhelm our individual “life’s plan,” or can we get away with molding our faith around the life we have chosen and plans we make? Do we really have to lose control of our lives to follow the Way of Christ? I think I have discovered a “loop-hole!” Are you ready? We really are not in control, at all. That’s the great human illusion; that we are in control, that we create our destiny. Join us for worship this Sunday at 8 a.m. or 10 a.m. and hear more! (Photo by, Lynn Nicholas)
This Sunday the church celebrates Trinity Sunday. Many a preacher is tempted to flex their personal “concept of the Doctrine of the Trinity” muscle this Sunday, attempting to clearly interpret the Christian faith’s most confusing dogma. It could be many a person will skip church this Sunday, for that very reason. I once took a swing at it, comparing the “three persons of God” to 3-in-1 oil – that little black, and white, and red can with a red dispenser on top, it “Cleans, Lubricates, and Protects.” The Father forgives (cleans) us of our failures, the Son loosens (lubricates) our burdens, and the Holy Spirit (protects) us. (It didn’t go over well the first time either.) I don’t claim to understand it, the Doctrine of the Trinity. As we say, “It is what it is.” And what it is is hope – hope. Join us this Sunday for worship (8 and 10 a.m.) and hear more.
Often, I suppose, it is more uncomplicated to imagine a Holy Spirit living, and breathing, and moving among us (here on earth) than it is thoroughly understanding we share our earthly space with Jesus and God as well. The reason I assume that could be true is all too often we attempt to conjure up images of God and Jesus in some sort of human form, (expect them to show up in the same manner) yet we accept the Holy Spirit as without human likeness with little disagreement. That’s a good thing. We’re on the right track. Join us for worship this Pentecost Sunday at 8 or 10 a.m. and hear more. Wear something red and plan to stay for pot-luck lunch!
Rather than asking Jesus to “hear your prayer,” ask Jesus to pray for you, that you receive what you need to make you whole – ask Jesus to get down on his knees, fold his hands, close his eyes and pray to the father for you. Come to worship and hear more this Sunday, May 12.
The greatest promise known to human hearts is that God has not and will not ever leave us alone. God’s prophets, apostles, sages and martyrs, angels, archangels, sons and daughters, all religion’s saints, all of God’s “little ones” are assured of God’s continual (eternal) presence. And the human Jesus shed light on God’s promise again and again.
Today, the day of yet another tragedy here in Colorado, this one at the hand of someone who somehow became “overcome by evil,” read the Office reading for today Romans 12:9-21. As with all the tragedy those of us who inhabit this world at this time have witnessed, perhaps fallen victim to, it just doesn’t make any sense. In this portion of his letter to the Christians of Rome, Paul writes: “Love genuinely, hate evil, hold on to good and one another“ … and this, its tough, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil.” What happened to the shooter, what evil did he fall victim to that he would in turn imagine and set loose more evil rather than crushing it under his foot and choosing the path toward good … what did evil do to him? Those of us saddened and sympathetic, wishing to be affectionate and compassionate as we go about our day … we can honor good in the face of evil by “Rejoicing in hope, be patient in suffering, and persevere in prayer.