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Showing posts from July, 2012

Abundant Hospitality

The Ninth Sunday After Pentecost John 6:1-21 Abundant Hospitality
“And when He had given thanks, He distributed them to those who were seated; as much as they wanted”
    What will we really be able to accomplish? How will we ultimately help? Will I really be useful? How can what we do actually change anything at all? Without fail, these are the very same questions that I get from potential mission trip participants year after year after year. They are questions of worth, questions of capability, questions which, in a way, reveal a true desire in the hearts of each of us to do well. They are asked by people who want to solve problems, who want to help, who want to save, but who find themselves doubtful or skeptical once they have confronted the enormous and seemingly unstoppable issues at hand. For me, these are questions that are not actually all that different from the one posed by Phillip to Jesus in this morning's Gospel: “But what are they among so many people?” In other…
Pentecost Six, Year B (July 8, 2012) The Episcopal Church of the Ascension Sending Us Out Two by Two The Reverend Dr. Howard J. Hess
The Introduction: In recent Gospel readings, the primary emphasis has been upon the actions of Jesus – how he brought a young girl back to life, healed a chronically ill woman, and calmed the sea. So far the focus in Mark has been upon Jesus the teacher, the miracle worker, and the Divine Son of God. But today’s Gospel takes a dramatic turn, shifting to Jesus’ rejection and the disciples’ call to action and risk-taking. Today’s reading clarifies for us that following Jesus Christ requires not only faith, but also action, fortitude, and resilience. In other words, genuine discipleship involves emulating Jesus, not just observing him. And, further, like Jesus, such action will cost us dearly and often will not be supported by the world around us. Instead, it will be fueled by Christ’s power to live within us and enliven our abilitie…

Finding God in the Margins

The Rev. Robert P. Travis Pentecost 5th Sunday Sermon – 8am and 10:30am Church of the Ascension, Knoxville TN RCL Proper 8 Year B 7/1/2012
Scripture Text: 2 Samuel 1:1,17-24, Psalm 130, 2 Corinthians 8:7-15, Mark 5:21-43 Sermon Text:
Do you know why books and other printed materials have margins? I had never really thought about it before I went to the Credo conference this spring, and a presenter talked about it. Maybe you thought like I did, that it just was so that you could have a place to write notes. But it has more to do with how our eyes need margins, to make sense of what is on the page. It gives a sense of peace when the margins are clear, that allows us to process what we see, and even to enjoy it. If you've ever tried to read a document with no margins, you know how confusing and frustrating it can be. Our lives are like that as well, we need margins in our lives in order to make sense of the activities, in order to process what has happened, and to enjoy the …