On November 9, the quadrennial presidential election marathon, which has consumed more space in the media and in the psyche than any time I can remember, will be over. A winner will be declared and a loser will concede defeat. And no matter how it turns out, millions of people will be hopping mad.
You are here
Posts from retired blogs, including Bishop Mark Beckwith's blog "Signs of God's Grace," Canon Greg Jacobs' blog "Out of the Ordinary," and blogs by General Convention deputies in 2012 and 2015.
Our spiritual ancestors were threatened by Pharaoh’s army as they made their way from slavery to freedom. They crossed the Red Sea on dry ground, but the pursuing army was washed away. Their new land was wilderness, where they were threatened by lack of water and food – and not knowing where they were. But God provided: manna came down every day – and when Moses struck rock with his staff, water gushed out.
As we approach Easter, and in the wake of the Brussels attacks, I offer this brief meditation on the image of the crucifix.
"We may suffer, but this image reminds us that we do not need to succumb. Love is present and it is powerful - it is a gift from God. Love is stronger than death. Love has made Easter possible, for Jesus - and for us."
We know the story. During this next week we will tell the story, in some cases we will re-enact the story and, if we allow it, our souls will be invaded by the story.
I had a B alliteration going on in my Convention address a little over a month ago. I began with blessedness and belovedness – and how God wants, indeed expects, us to embrace them. And then there are the burdens – what I have referred to over the years as the killer B’s – buildings, budgets, boilers and burn-out. Those killer B’s can take over the life of a congregation – because they are real, and most of the time they are urgent (especially to vestries). I added another killer B – blame. I now hear and see blame more than anytime I can remember. Our culture is awash in blame. Some presidential candidates have staked their whole campaigns on leveling blame. Vote for the better blamer.
For me, Lent is about making space for God's presence and blessing to emerge. This is not easy, primarily because we live at a time and in a place in which we feel pressure to fill things in rather than to open them up. Lenten intentions often end up being a series of practices that are designed to demonstrate loyalty and devotion to the living Christ, but instead become enterprises that crowd out the soul.
The Primates of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion have just concluded their first meeting in five years. Their concluding statement indicates that because of our decision at the 2015 General Convention to allow same-sex marriages, for a period of three years The Episcopal Church (TEC) will “no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.”
Epiphany is a season when we are invited to see things that we are not supposed to be able to see. To see things that require our imagination and invite us to suspend what we know about how the world works. The stories of Epiphany are filled with fantastic showings or manifestations – epiphanies of God’s presence. The season begins with the story of a star moving across the sky, and ends with a story of Jesus being lit up like a star at the Transfiguration. This last Sunday the story was not of light, but about a voice – coming down from heaven telling Jesus that he was beloved by God.
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” (Isaiah 9:2)
People have been walking in darkness long before the prophet wrote these words over 2500 years ago; and people have been walking in darkness ever since. This year, the earth’s annual rhythm toward deepening darkness, which culminates with the solstice on December 22, seems to have spread beyond weather and cosmology to take up residence in politics, in the psyche – and in the crescendo of violence around the world. It is a darkness of fear and oppression and prejudice.
It is a paralyzing darkness.
In recent days there has been enormous public expression to “other” Muslims – to render them suspect, foreign, alien. We need to remember, and honor, the fact that Christianity and Islam are branches from the same religious root. Muslims are our brothers and sisters in the Abrahamic faith.