Sermons

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Stop/Observe

Today's SSJE reflection continues the discussion about Sabbath and rest. The question begins with an instruction: schedule a complete day of rest. Then the question, "What does it make you realize about your life and heart?"

First of all, I am having to think hard about scheduling a complete day of rest without being forced to (i.e., by being sick). But the more I think about it, the more attractive it becomes. I have in the past enjoyed days in which I stayed in bed most of the day napping and reading. I don't know that the brothers are suggesting that we have to stay in bed to rest, and certainly not to be sick. But when I stop to think, I suspect that the physical rest that comes with sleep is what I need most right now.

Perhaps resting more frequently would entail getting dressed and sitting up to read or to sit outside and watch the world. A day at the beach might well be a day of complete rest. Or at the duck pond. Or to spend the day at home but not feeling guilty about vacuuming. I would have to fight the urge to do something productive, I'm sure, until I got the hang of it.

I haven't been able to answer the question yet. What does it make you realize about your life and heart? But I suspect the answer might be that my life and heart are much more happy and healthy when I regularly take time out to rest.

Like this:





Friday, February 27, 2015

Contentment

Today's SSJE video and question is about contentment.

Are you content right now?

Here's my photo answer - a picture of contentment, I think, both restful and playful:


As I answered in the SSJE comment page, I realize that this is a complex idea, contentment. I have often been someone who wanted more and more. From an early age, I wanted the WHOLE COLLECTION of things I collected. I often feel dis-content. 

And yet at the same time, I often do feel contentment, at least for a little while. Sometimes sitting in church I feel content; sometimes propped up in bed with a good book brings on a sense of contentment. Gathering around a table of good food and friends/family does, too. Going on a walk outside and enjoying nature makes me feel content.

The part of this idea that is most active in my mind and imagination, though, is that as I age, I have become discontent with excess. Too much stuff. We are packing up our house in Atlanta to move it all to Richmond and I enjoyed filling up a dumpster and gathering things to be given away. Stuff is encroaching on me. I feel that stuff binds me. 

And yet, I couldn't bring myself to get rid of way too much stuff.

So this is complex. I definitely need to continue to ponder contentment. 






Thursday, February 26, 2015

Stop/Drawn

Today's SSJE video and question:

Where are you drawn when you follow your heart?


I wonder if I would post a picture of the beach every day? Or birds or flowers? These are the places and things that often draw me to God.

But truly, when I follow my heart, I am drawn to my family.














Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Being rather than Doing

Today's SSJE question is:

How do you picture a day spent “being” – as opposed to “doing”?


If you've been a reader of this blog for long, this picture won't surprise you.










Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Stop/Liberation

Today's post from the SSJE Lenten project on Time really hits me where I live. Here's the video:





So here's the question:

What taskmasters do you need to be liberated from to reclaim your dignity?

I hardly know what to say. I think I'm susceptible to expectations, real and imagined, that I always be available (hey, I'm a priest!), that I accomplish a lot (hey, I'm accomplished!), that I do everything everyone asks me to do (hey, I'm unable to set boundaries!).

So I wonder if the taskmaster I most need to be liberated from is this one:











Monday, February 23, 2015

Stopping/Monday

The question today is, "Where is your invitation to stop during the day?"

Ha ha. I had to think about that a long time.

But here it is:














Stopping

Continuing with the SSJE Lenten program, yesterday's question was

"Sit in total stillness for five minutes today.
How does it feel?"

Like this:

















Saturday, February 21, 2015

Day 4

What daily practice sparks joy in you?




Going outside to look at and really notice. creation. 



















Friday, February 20, 2015

Day three

What will I call Sabbath?

Something that refreshes and is life giving. 












Thursday, February 19, 2015

What I'm Doing for Lent

I have been struggling with what to do for Lent this year. I have also been struggling with trying to keep up with blogging, which I love but have found harder and harder to do. I recently went on a retreat at the Monastery of the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a retreat that turned out to be something very different that what I was planning/expecting. I will spare you the details. 

What did happen over the last few days as my world has been consumed with weather and travel issues, most of them "acts of God" except for the one that was entirely my fault, with Ash Wednesday squeezed in between, was that upon returning from the Monastery, I found in my snailmailbox a booklet from the same Brothers of SSJE their Lenten series, which is called:


It’s time to… Stop, Pray, Work, Play & Love

The series is about Time. Boy do I need this. I realize that my struggle is not about Lent or Blogging but about how I have let the ordering of my life get seriously messed up. I will be watching their videos or reading their meditations daily and answering their questions on their site. 

You can play along with the Brothers by clicking here

I really do want to continue blogging. And I hope that one result of my walking through Lent focusing on Time will be that I have more Time to Write! But for now, since I already to make time to take pictures, I will focus on posting a photo every day that corresponds to the SSJE video's subject for that day.

Yesterday's word was Time and the question was: what is your relationship with time?

Here's my photo:



Today's word is Priorities and the question is: how do you set priorities in your life?

A photo simply wouldn't do for this question, so here's a video instead:


video



So, here we are on the "porch" of Lent, the days between Ash Wednesday and Lent I on Sunday. I look forward to this holy time. My wish for you is an equally holy time of renewal and growth.

Blessings.
















Friday, February 13, 2015

Retreat




I am on a retreat at the monastery of the Society of St John the Evangelist in Boston. It is very snowy. And very, very cold. There is a man who has been sitting in the public area of the church this afternoon. I wonder if he is homeless. 

We are trying, with mixed results, to keep silence as we worry whether or not we will have a blizzard tomorrow. The sun gleams on the snow and flashes through huge icicles on the church, perhaps to remind us of the transfiguration, which is the Gospel for this Sunday. 

We are all praying a lot. Of course all will be well. 


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Morning Canticle: Gloria



20    Glory to God    Gloria in excelsis


Glory to God in the highest, 
 and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King, 
almighty God and Father,
   we worship you, we give you thanks, 
    we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, 
Lord God, Lamb of God, 
you take away the sin of the world: 
    have mercy on us; 
you are seated at the right hand of the Father: 
    receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One, 
you alone are the Lord, 
you alone are the Most High,
    Jesus Christ, 
    with the Holy Spirit, 
   in the glory of God the Father. Amen.












Monday, February 9, 2015

Collect for Social Justice



Almighty God, who created us in your image: Grant us

grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace
with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom,
help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our
communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy
Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with
you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.



(BCP 260)






Sunday, February 8, 2015

Collect for the Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany



Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.









Thursday, February 5, 2015

Collect for the Good Use of Leisure



O God, in the course of this busy life, give us times of refreshment and peace; and grant that we may so use our leisure to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds, that our spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(BCP 825)










Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Prayer for Trust in God





O God, the source of all health: So fill my heart with faith in  your love, that with calm expectancy I may make room for  your power to possess me, and gracefully accept your  healing; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

(BCP 461)

















Monday, February 2, 2015

Collect for the Feast of the Presentation



Almighty and everliving God, we humbly pray that, as your only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple, so we may be presented to you with pure and clean hearts by Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.






Sunday, February 1, 2015

Collect for the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany




Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.












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