Showing posts from December, 2014
"Sharing God's Love"
December 25, 2014
By Bob Wadley
Well, here we are, Christmas Day!  Merry Christmas.  Have you ever wondered,  “How do we know Jesus was born on December 25?”  Well, actually, we don't.  Around the middle of the 4th century, the Bishop of Jerusalem asked the Bishop of Rome to determine the actual date of Christ's birth.  He wrote back that it was December 25, knowing that was an arbitrary date.  But his picking that date wasn't arbitrary, it was deliberate.  For centuries before Christ was born, the month of December had been a time of pagan festivals.  He thought that if people would celebrate Christ's birth at the same time, it would cause people to become more engaged in spiritual things and draw them away from their revelry.  It was a nice thought, but as we know, it has only been partially successful.  For many, Christmas is still like a pagan festival, not a celebration of the most important moment in all of history.
So many of …
Christmas Eve, Year A; December 24, 2015Episcopal Church of the Ascension The Power of The IncarnationThe Reverend Dr. Howard J. Hess
I. Introduction. It is the best of times; it is the worst of times. So opens the introduction to Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Sydney Carton, one of the main characters of the novel, has hatched a clever plot to switch places with a condemned friend in 18th century revolutionary Paris. The city is in turmoil and by doing so he seals his own death. Carton asserted: “It is a far, far better thing than I have ever done before.” And as the story makes clear, this sacrifice is quite surprising becauseCarton was a self-absorbed, profligate man. What is it that allows Carton or any of us to transcend our own instinctive self-interest in order to make true sacrifices for others? Dickens’ answer, as evident in so many of his stories, including A Christmas Carol, is having an encounter with love that results in a willingn…

Comfort, O Comfort My People

The Rev. Amy Hodges Morehous Advent II, Year B December 7, 2014

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins.   (Isaiah 40:1-2)

Comfort my people, says your God. Comfort. It has been a hard few weeks, I think. Hard news close to home this week, with the school bus crash, and three lives lost too soon. We all want to live in a world where children are safe always, a world where they can grow into the promise they represent. If we've even glanced at the news, we've seen the social and civil unrest across the country these past two weeks. People across our country are hurt, and angry, and questioning. And those are all on top of the individual burdens we already carry - the worries about our children or our parents or our jobs or our money, the family stuff we all wade through at Thanksgiving, the many stages of gri…