Sunday, November 30, 2008

1 Advent B - 30 November 2008

1 Advent B - 30 November 2008
IIsaiah 64:1-9; 1 Corinthians 1:1-9; Mark 13:24-37
James V. Stockton
“Change is nature’s delight.” So wrote Marcus Aurelius, 2nd century Emperor of Rome in his book of Meditations. Though the delight of nature, it cannot always be said that change is the delight of human beings. I read a story about married couple. Fred and Harriet have been together for 20 years, now. And Fred is worried that the spark in the relationship may be dimming. “Each day I come home at 5:30,” Fred thinks to himself. “I tumble in through the back door, drop my stuff onto the kitchen table, grab a snack from the refrigerator. On my way to change my clothes I mumble ‘hello’ to Harriet, and then disappear into my ‘cave’ until dinner. And though he knows it won’t be easy, Fred determines that he must make a change.

To embrace the need for change is a hopeful but it is also a dreadful thing. Change involves opening up to something new and therefore unfamiliar, and to the possibility that the change will be harder than the status quo. The recent political season was, as many will recall, full on all sides of promises of change. I think it is important, then, for the Church, for God’s people everywhere, to reclaim for God and the gospel the promise of change. Weaving its way through the intricacies of the universe God’s will is the creating and guiding energy of all that is. Through the ins and outs and ups and downs of people’s lives, change that is lasting and good is change that is begun and ended in God.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

26 Pentecost - 9 November 2008

26 Pentecost - 9 November 2008 - Proper 27 A
Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-25; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-13
James V. Stockton

The presidential election is over. And whatever comes next, we all must watch and wait together. As we do, it’s important for us all to remember that the election of any president leaves some of us very happy and some of us very disappointed. It’s all the more important, then, that we all remember that all of us are praying for God’s blessing upon our country. We can be rightly proud of our nation that Barack Obama’s election is a crossing of a racial divide that has been a constant affliction to our history. And it’s up to all of us to work and pray to ensure that all such divisions continue to recede from the front page until they reside only on the pages of our ancient history.

With some people hailing him as the new messiah of the world, I hope we can all pray that the world, this country, and the president-elect himself, will allow Barack Obama to be simply a human being; a good servant of the people, yes, but not a messiah. Christ is coming, of this we can be sure. But it’s unkind and unrealistic to require any new president to meet the expectations of the coming of the messiah.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Rector's Study November 2008

From the Rector's Study ~

“While Paul was waiting…in Athens,…he argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and also in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. Also some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers debated with him. Some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" Others said, "He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign divinities." This was because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. So they took him and brought him to the Areopagus and asked him, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?

It sounds rather strange to us, so we would like to know what it means." Now all the Athenians and the foreigners living there would spend their time in nothing but telling or hearing something new. Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, "Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, "To an unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.” (Act 17:16-23).