Sunday, February 28, 2016


Third Sunday in Lent – Year C
Isaiah 55.1-9; Psalm 63.1-8; 1 Corinthians 10.1-13; Luke 13.1-9
Sunday, February 28, 2016 – St. Paul’s Emmanuel, Santa Paula

I grew up in a church that didn’t seem to place much emphasis on Lent. I’m sure it was probably mentioned in the run-up to Easter, but I certainly do not recall making a big deal about it. If there was much about Lent, I probably just tuned it out, since I didn’t particularly care for it. So, it wasn’t until I came to the Episcopal Church that I had a truly significant encounter with this thing called Lent. And to be honest, at first I hated Lent. It seemed so drab, so dreary. There seemed to be a lot of emphasis on confessing my sins, on how I have fallen short, on how I need to repent and turn back to God. Well, even in my sinfulness, I didn’t see that I had particularly turned away from God, thank you very much. So it was that Lent was just a dreary place between the joys of Christmas and Easter. Something to be endured until we got to the main event.

I no longer feel that way. Now, I actually like Lent. I even enjoy it. I’m not sure when my perspective changed. Perhaps it was a slow evolution. A conversion of sorts. Lent is undoubtedly a season of repentance. And somewhere along the line I repented of my mistaken image of what Lent is really about.

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Hard Work of Being Christian

First Sunday in Lent – Year C
Deuteronomy 26.1-11; Psalm 91.1-2, 9-16; Romans 10.8b-13; Luke 4.1-13
Sunday, February 14, 2016 – St. Paul’s Emmanuel, Santa Paula

As we begin our journey through Lent, it is only appropriate that our Gospel lesson for this first Sunday in Lent is a story about a beginning. And about a journey. The Gospel for the first Sunday in Lent is always an account of the temptation of Christ. Immediately after his baptism in the River Jordan by John the Baptist, Jesus goes into the wilderness for 40 days. While there, he undergoes a series of temptations by the devil.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ash Wednesday Homily

Ash Wednesday
Isaiah 58.1-12; Psalm 103.8-14; 2 Corinthians 5.20b—6.10; Matthew 6.1-6, 16-21
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 – St. Paul’s Emmanuel, Santa Paula

It’s relatively easy to talk about being a good Christian. Truly living as a good Christian is quite another. The fact of the matter is that it is downright difficult to be a Christian. And even more so to live it out in the world. All of our readings for today highlight this fundamental fact, this fundamental struggle of the life of faith.

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Sunday, February 07, 2016

Transfiguration - His, Theirs, Ours

Last Sunday after Epiphany – Transfiguration Sunday (Year C)
Exodus 34.29-35; Psalm 99; 2 Corinthians 3.12—4.2; Luke 9.28-36, [37-43a]
Sunday, February 7, 2016 – St. Paul’s Emmanuel, Santa Paula

Every year, on the last Sunday of the Epiphany season, the last Sunday before the beginning of Lent, the Gospel reading is that of the Transfiguration. The lectionary sets the Transfiguration as the climax of the time after the Epiphany, a final glorious manifestation of the mystery of Jesus Christ before the season of Lent. As we delve into this spectacular event, we see that it provides an appropriate transition from Epiphany to Lent.

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