October 2: The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

Maintaining hope believing and proclaiming that the Kingdom of God is at hand feels daunting. Following the directions Jesus gives us for our work even if we boil it down to simply though it’s far from simple loving God, loving our neighbor, and thus changing the world, it’s a heavy task….There are mass shootings, racial reckonings on the horizon with signs and portents already at play, and heading into another fall and winter so more indoor time with the plague of COVID19 surrounding us. I’m pretty sure we too would be forgiven for saying to Jesus “Increase our faith!”

September 25: The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

As Fred Craddock summarizes the core of this parable, “wherever some eat and others do not eat, there the kingdom does not exist, quote whatever Scripture you will.” That’s a hard message for me to hear not just knowing about the systems in place that lead to hunger and homelessness in King and Snohomish Counties, but also the way the United States is the wealthiest country in the world and yet there are people starving domestically globally. I’m a part of this society I’m a steward of the wealth that this nation holds and hoards, if only a fraction compared to others.

September 18: The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

It’s possible that Jesus is suggesting – as later church writers wholeheartedly proclaimed – that this level of wealth is just bad. The common parlance today including by the children of Patagonia’s founder is “Every billionaire is a policy mistake.” Jesus may be saying that they’re moral mistakes as well particularly with counties, towns, and countries domestically and globally not having reliable access to clean drinking water and people being lied to about having jobs waiting only to be dropped off on an island. While Jesus is challenging this issue he’s continuing to invite us to do something, like I talked about two weeks ago..

September 4: The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Following Jesus and working for justice aren’t weekend warriorships of protests and counting arrests for civil disobedience as badges of honor. Changing policy takes networking and relationship building. Passing legislation is a slog that takes organizing and growing movements one by one. Growing into the full stature and likeness of Christ is looking at the end of the road and only seeing the Cross.

August 28: The Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

We can say the right prayers; we can have the right formularies; we can have the right pattern on our vestments; we can have the right amount of collaboration in worship planning; but as St. John Chyrsostom said, “If you cannot find Christ in the beggar at the church door, you will not find Him in the chalice.” These are things we all need to work on.

August 14: The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

Every day brings new opportunities to answer that question to answer how we’re going to follow Jesus. In warning that he brings division, Jesus isn’t saying that that’s his mission. He’s saying that for those who follow him, there will be breaks or stresses in relationships even within families. This is not Jesus giving permission to be jerks because we’re so sure that we’re right so we need to cut people out or have them cut us out because we’re so insufferable…That’s where Jesus prods us today, telling us that following him will upset the apple cart and that the rest of the parade won’t like the beat we’re following. In the fullness of time God’s reign, which is at hand will be truly established and there will be peace.

July 31: The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Paul tells the Colossians and us that through our baptisms, we can’t be hopeless. “If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”