Showing posts from January, 2018

Setting Us Free to See

“Setting us free to see”
The Rev. Canon Patricia M. Grace
Epiphany IV – Year B Mark 1:21-28
Church of the Ascension January 28, 2018

My uncle, my dad’s brother, Charlie, was born in 1939.
His would be a hard life – and everyone knew it from the start.
Because Charlie
was born with Down Syndrome –
which meant he would look different than others,
suffer from a variety of physical complaints like heart defects,
as well as many learning disabilities.

On the day of his birth,
the doctor advised my grandmother to put Charlie away –
he told her to hand over her baby to an institution
and forget about him.
That doctor saw him, not as a her newborn son,
but a problem to be dealt with.
My grandmother declined to do that –
choosing, instead, to take him home;
to feed him for weeks
multiple times a day with a medicine dropper…
because he could not seem to learn to suck.
Several years later,
when he was about four -
he proved to be a handful…
mostly, because my grandparents were loath to correct o…

Justified by the Nature of God

“Justified by the nature of God” The Rev. Canon Patricia M. Grace Epiphany III – Year B Jonah Church of the Ascension January 21, 2018

Brothers and Sisters, today we’ve been shortchanged by the Revised Common Lectionary. Because we get only a wee snippet from the Book of Jonah in our Old Testament reading… Well, I am fixing to remedy that – because this is a book that contains an ancient story, which has great relevance for our current times.
Most of us know a little about Jonah – the prophet who spent three days in the bellyof a great fish. But the story begins long before that event.
God directs Jonah, a prophet, to go to the people of Nineveh, and warn them, that if they do not forsake their evil ways, God will deal with them as they have dealt with others and will destroy them and their whole city. What’s not so clear in the text is that Jonah detests the people of Nineveh… they are Assyrians, a people who boasted of long history of cruel abuse and oppression