Sunday, September 11, 2016

Returning Home

17th Sunday after Pentecost – Proper 19 (Year C)
Exodus 32.7-14; Psalm 51.1-11; 1 Timothy 1.12-17; Luke 15.1-10
Sunday, September 11, 2016 – St. Paul’s Emmanuel, Santa Paula

It was a Tuesday. Tuesdays had a special rhythm all their own. On any other weekday, I would get up, get ready for work, eat breakfast, and then go to the office. But on Tuesdays, I would skip breakfast, and instead of going to work, I would drive right past my office and on to St. George’s Episcopal Church, where I was doing my internship prior to going to seminary. This particular Tuesday was different still. Normally while I’m getting ready for work I listen to the news on the radio. On the drive to work I also listen to the radio. This particular Tuesday, for some reason, I did not turn on the radio while I was getting ready for work. When I got into my car the radio was turned off. I did not turn it on. I enjoyed a quiet, peaceful drive to St. George’s. I got to the church and walked into Coleman House, which served as the parish offices and meeting space, where we had our Tuesday morning Eucharist, followed by breakfast.

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Sunday, September 04, 2016

The Steep (and Complicated) Cost of Discipleship

16th Sunday after Pentecost – Proper 18 (Year C)
Deuteronomy 30.15-20; Psalm 1; Philemon 1-21; Luke 14.25-33
Sunday, September 4, 2016 – St. Paul’s Emmanuel, Santa Paula

Well, I guess we all might as well just go home. After all, Jesus begins today’s Gospel passage with “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.” And he ends with “none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.” I think it’s pretty safe to say that each of you have people in your life that you love. Your families and your friends. I know I love my mother. I love my sister – most of the time. And I love all of you. So we all fail on that count. And I’m guessing that most of us love being alive. Okay, there may be days when life may not be that great, but for the most part, I hope we all enjoy being alive. Again – fail. And then there are the possessions. We all have “stuff.” Since we are not sitting here buck naked, I can say with absolute certainty that none of us here is completely free of owning at least some possessions. It may not be a whole lot, but at least we have the necessities of life and maybe even some creature comforts. So again, we all fail. So how can we be followers of Jesus?

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