Friday, December 8, 2017

Padre's Post - Advent: A Reviving

Advent begins with the prophets calling out to “make way,” “turn around”, WAKE UP! We all fall asleep at the wheel of life. The actions and motion remain but the spirit is waning, our passion and convictions in life have diminished. Routine has taken over and we need to “begin again” with new heart and vision.

We can know what we are supposed to be doing with our life, but if we lack the heart and passion to do it, then we will remain in the mediocrity of our lives. Advent calls out to us from the wilderness to our “comfortably numb” conditions, to revive the heart and spirit of our life.

We are “world weary.” The daily news of those above us behaving below us has put us all on shaky and shallow ground. But the prophets are accustomed to dealing with fickle and arrogant rulers and powers. Their voices call out to us to walk again the ancient path of goodness, and compassion, and integrity, and love. Those who rule the day will be gone tomorrow but the grounding of God lies before us and we are called to return to the ways of the LORD.

The prophets do not accept the folly of the times as an excuse for our own foolish disregard of walking the path of faith, hope, and love. We are to be firmly planted, with our roots running deep below the surface, to drink the wisdom and ways that flow from the deeper places.

Advent calls out to us, “be born again, again!” into the mystical body of Jesus who in his own day suffered under the hand of corrupt and mismanaged government to live a life of peace, truth, healing, and intimacy with the divine eternal. We have the keys to opening the doors of God’s kingdom, but have we lost the faith and tenacity to exercise the authority given to the church: to bind the wicked powers that destroy the creation of God, and to invoke the blessing and peace of God upon the earth? So that, the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together..."

Fr. Richard

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Advent One - God Come Down

Father Richard's sermon for December 3, 2017.

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Padre's Post - Advent: A Dream Is Conceived

“O that you would tear open the heavens and come down… when you did awesome deeds that we did not expect… no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for Him…Yet, O Lord, you are our father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” 

These words lifted from the passage of Isaiah proclaim the hope at Advent:  God “coming down” to be in our midst filling the intimate spaces of our lives.  God’s voice speaking to us, God’s countenance shining upon us, God’s hand shaping and guiding us. 

In Advent the church begins again the pilgrimage through the life of Jesus.  As in all new birth it begins with a relationship.  The Hebrew prophets are relying upon the covenant between God and creation and more specifically, the covenant relationship between God and the Hebrew people.  Isaiah is looking around and seeing little evidence of a relationship between God and God’s people.  And so, a hope is conceived in the imagination of the prophet.  The hope being that God “come down” from the high and inapproachable places to dwell amidst the people.

In his own day, Isaiah recognized the need to touch, see, smell, and feel God’s presence.   And so the idea was conceived that God would walk among us.  In our flesh we could know God in the flesh.  Our eyes could behold.  Our hands could touch.  Our ears could hear the word of God reverberating to the depth of our hearts.  This was the dream of the Hebrew prophets conceived centuries before the birth of Jesus in the town of Bethlehem.

Fr. Richard

Sunday, November 26, 2017

God's Love In The Flesh

Father Richard's sermon for November 26, 2017.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Padre's Post - Living Thanks Giving

The Eucharist is the great thanksgiving.  Our worship centers around the communal act of offering thanks for the gift of life and all that God has given.  Living thanksgiving invites us to be gracious for our lives; and be generous with our lives.  St. Paul wrote, “I am content with little or an abundance and I am thankful for either.”  Living simply with little can bring more joy then being a steward over much.  This truth has been learned time and again by those who have lost much to discover a new sense of joy and freedom.

Christian spirituality has always designated the day as the foundational place in which we are instructed to live lives of faith, hope, and love.  “Rejoice and be glad, for this is the day that the Lord has made.”  “Do not worry about tomorrow, today is enough to hold to our attention.”  I believe it to be a major theme in all healthy spirituality to focus our intention for spiritual growth “one day at a time.”

For the remainder of this season of Thanksgiving, consider your own conscious intention to “Give thanks in everything.”  Simply being thankful for who you are, where you live, with whom you share life, for the resources in your life, for the work you do, for those with whom you work, for the food you eat, the hands that prepared it, and the miraculous gift that a day is.  This spiritual exercise of simply saying, “Thank You,” for the day and all that fills it will be transformational.   

Fr. Richard

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Creating A Life Of Giving Thanks

Father Richard's sermon for November 19, 2017.

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(No text available)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Padre's Post - The Lives Of The Saints

The church remembers the lives of the saints to inspire the generations who follow. In the Episcopal tradition, a collection of exemplary and faithful biographies are compiled in “Holy Women, Holy Men.” The book is filled with persons who were instrumental in expanding education to the masses, opportunities and resources to the disadvantaged, contributions to the arts and sciences, and tireless devotion on behalf of marginalized people groups over the past three centuries as well as lives remembered from the ancient church. As I read the short biographies I am impressed with the difference one life can make in the world, and the tremendous sacrifice and devotion of which persons are capable.

A life is a powerful force of nature. With our thoughts we create or destroy. With our words we bless or curse. With our bodies we work or indulge. With our souls we imagine or deny. The lives of the saints who have walked before us tell us that we can turn a culture from bigotry to mutual respect. We can be peacemakers in violent times. We can raise the consciousness of the dignity of all life when exploitation and abuse threaten humanity at every turn. We can give our lives to being instruments of change and beauty because we believe at the center of all life lies the power to live and to love and to forgive and to heal. It is the saints of the world who break through the surface of life’s landscapes and headlines to find the power to be the divine force inherent in all creation. May the lives lived before us continue to inspire us to fully live and work and breathe and love in our own day.

Fr. Richard