Showing posts from September, 2013
Lost and Found, or Somewhere In-Between Pentecost 17, Proper 19 9/15/13 Episcopal Church of the Ascension The Reverend Dr. Howard J. Hess Introduction. I love what Jesus does. I really do. He often takes what on the surface is a simple idea, or story, and uses it to communicate a profound insight for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see. Is this not what he is doing in today’s Gospel reading? He tells two short stories, called parables of grace, in which he uses images quite familiar to his audience to make a rather profound point. Now, we have just had several weeks of hard Gospel lessons, lessons about hating one’s family, not burying your dead, and leaving all to follow Jesus. There have been some silver linings, such as Fr. Rob’s sermon point that he now felt justified in being able to hate his mother-in-law. But by and large, in the recent weeks, the Gospel readings have had a sharp edge. In today’s Gospel, there is a shift. Rather than talking …

Moral Injury

September 11th 2013 Christian Hawley Genesis 8:12-17, 20-22 Ps 51:1-17 Luke 23:32-43
I went to workshop yesterday dealing with moral injuries in veterans. I told myself I was going because I needed to know what resources were available for veterans in the Knoxville area. I told myself I was going because it was a wise thing for deacon to do. And I told myself I was going because this training would help me offer better care in my ministry.
Once I got there, however, I realized I went to find help for myself. I thought I had healed pretty well from my experiences in the Middle East, and then this past April, all of those moral wounds opened up again on an idle Tuesday evening. Sometime that afternoon a Facebook newsfeed announced that an Air Force MC12 had crashed and at least four soldiers had died. I was saddened by the news, but I carried on through the day. That night the story popped up yet again and Capt Reid Nishizuka was identified as the pilot killed in the crash. …

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi

8 Sept 2013 - 16th Sunday After Pentecost Christian Hawley Jeremiah 18:1-11 Philemon 1-21 Luke 14:25-33
The word moral is getting thrown around quite a bit these days. One minute we hear how we have a moral responsibility to the innocent children of Syria, and in the next minute we hear how we have a moral responsibility to the overtasked men and women of our military.
Many of these moral claims are coming from the government, the media, the university, and the consumer-industrial complex, but what does our faith tell us about making moral decisions?
As Episcopalians, I think our faith tells us at least two things about morals, the first is wonderfully Anglican, that how we worship is how we should live, and the second is perfectly Pauline, that we should practice our faith in every aspect of our life, large and small.
We Episcopalians have this fantastic saying lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi, which roughly translates to “How we worship, so we believe, so we live.” I use …

The Divine Invitation

The Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost Luke 14:1, 7-14 The Divine Invitation
The Rev. Brett P. Backus
         Every once in a while I find myself looking out, scanning the congregation, and hoping to catch a glimpse of his face. Hoping to see Michael, someone who's last name I never even knew, and yet someone who I strongly doubt I will ever forget, sitting among you all in the pews. Every once in a awhile I find myself hoping that he has finally accepted the invitation. Every once in awhile I find myself hoping that he finally felt able to join in this celebration around the altar, and find a home in this foretaste of the divine banquet. However the truth is that I not only search the pews for his face because I hope for his homecoming into the Body of Christ and Kingdom of God that exists here and now, but I search also because I deeply desire to thank him for the enormous lesson that I doubt he even realizes he taught me. A valued lesson in true humility and hospitality.           It…