Tuesday, January 17, 2012

15 January

Does God speak to you?

I believe God speaks to all of us, though sometimes we don’t hear or understand what God is trying to communicate.  From Sunday’s lessons, we learn we often need others to help us hear and see God in our lives.  Eli teaches Samuel that it is God who is calling him and how he should respond.  Philip drags his buddy Nathanael to meet Jesus.

Who are the Elis and Philips in your life?  It’s not easy, but I encourage you to take time to pray, to quiet your mind and open your heart, put fears aside and allow yourself space and time for discernment.  God is talking to us – let us respond that we are listening.


Monday, December 26, 2011

25 December

Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and forever.  Amen.

Thank you to all who came to St. Simon’s for the Christmas services, making them truly joyous and festive celebrations of the nativity of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Blessings to all in this Christmastide and may you all have a peaceful and happy New Year!

See you in 2012!


Monday, December 19, 2011

11 December

The collect for the Third Sunday of Advent is one of the most powerful of the year.  May the praying of it bring some comfort to our hurting world.

"Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever.  Amen."

May your holiday preparations go smoothly as the day of the birth of our Savior draws ever nearer!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

4 December

One of the things I took away from my trip to Israel is things are not always as you imagine them to be, but God is there – in the surprises and the differences.

Jesus was full of surprises.  At the end of his ministry, he talked about his coming again.  Last week, as we heard: Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.  Luke says it slightly differently: Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place… (Luke 21:32)  But that generation has passed away, right?  And many, many, many generations since.  Yet we forget something important that we are reminded of in Peter’s letter:  Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day.

So what’s a generation to God?  Who knows…but Jesus commissioned his disciples to go and spread the Good News.  And we have been charged to do the same.  Peter asks his readers a really good question: what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God?  How are we going to wait for Jesus, both in this Advent and in the seasons beyond?

We are called to share the Good News, not just verbally but by leading by example – living that holy and godly life that Peter writes about; to do that we need to be strong and fit – spiritually, physically and emotionally.  How do you attend to your spiritual life?  What is your equivalent a 30 minute walk three times a week?  I’d encourage you to try daily prayer or maybe reading a passage from the Bible each day, anything to pause and assess where God is in your life at that particular moment, because trust me, God is there!

Waiting with you,

Monday, November 28, 2011

27 November

First Advent – the first Sunday of the new liturgical church year.  Advent is the season where we prepare for Christmas.  What are we preparing for and why?  I believe we are preparing for the kingdom of God and Jesus’ return.  Why are we preparing? Because we don’t know when it will be.

How do we prepare?  I suggest it’s no different than making sure we’re ready for any kind of physical opportunity: is your passport ready to go or has it expired?  Is your resume up to date?  Are you healthy?  We need to ask the same questions of our spiritual preparedness: are we living as true disciples?  Do we strive to embody our baptismal vows?   Are doing our best to resist sin and temptation; and when we succumb do we repent and turn back to God?  Because that’s what Jesus is telling us we need to do.

So, while we wait, let’s not be idle.  We need to prepare, particularly our spiritual lives.  There are all sorts of ways to do that: reading scripture each day, doing an Advent Calendar together.  Maybe light a candle on your own Advent wreath and say prayers.  What you do isn’t as important as doing something.  So in this season of waiting and giving, don’t ignore your spiritual life – make sure it’s on your To-Do list.

Keep awake – Come, Lord Jesus!

Waiting with you,

Thursday, November 24, 2011

20 November

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I send up prayers of thanksgiving for St. Simon’s.  I hope you all know what a wonderful community this is.  And I offer you this Prayer of Thanksgiving for the Harvest (BCP, 840):

Most gracious God, by whose knowledge the depths are broken up and the clouds drop down the dew: We yield to you hearty thanks and praise for the return of seedtime and harvest, for the increase of the ground and the gathering in of its fruits, and for all the other blessings of your merciful providence bestowed upon this nation and people. And, we beseech you, give us a just sense of these great mercies, such as may appear in our lives by a humble, holy, and obedient walking before you all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit be all glory and honor, world without end.  Amen.

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 21, 2011

13 November

The gospel today can make folks uncomfortable – one of the slaves gets thrown into outer darkness.  While I believe that’s an excessive punishment, he did not do what was expected of him.

Ken Stiff, in his sermon, taught us that a “talent” was something that had value.  In this particular story, we assume the talents referred to are coins.  But he proposed the question, what if the talents were assignments/jobs?  Thinking about it in that framework, what might be the talents given to you?  What will you do with them?

The slave that buries his talent does himself and all those around him a great disservice.  You don’t light a lamp and hide it under a bushel.  Neither should we bury our talents.