“If we think about it much at all, the Book of Revelation gives us some pause and discomfort as well-behaved, reserved, decorous Anglicans. Filled with strange images and stories, it’s all a bit too hallucinatory to be entirely comfortable for us. This, it would seem, is the stuff of holy rollers and snake handlers. So how on earth—or heaven, for that matter—are we to understand this book and its messages?”
Kate’s sermon charged us all to follow our recently-confirmed students’ example: “Explore your faith. Don’t let faith be just a creed that you mutter on Sunday. Keep learning. Keep challenging your clergy with interesting questions. Ask your friends and family about their faith. And if you find a question you can’t answer, keep looking.”
Search finalists, confirmation, and more; click here to read the May issue of The Good News.
“I’ve always felt some sympathy for poor old ‘Doubting Thomas.’ I’ve always had the suspicion that Thomas, in this story, is the one who’s in the right. Out of all these disciples who have seen Jesus, Thomas alone is singled out: ‘Have you believed because you have seen me?’ You can picture Thomas's response. ‘Who, me? What about these other tens guy?’ Poor Thomas.”
“Easter rocks. Easter is a cool holiday. And no, not all holidays are cool. I think we can all admit that Trinity Sunday is boring. Labor Day celebrates work. But Easter—Easter we celebrate Jesus’ victory over death itself. That is boss! That’s enough to make anyone say, ‘Alleluia!’ But did you notice—nobody actually says that in the gospel that we just heard? There’s not even a tasteful Episcopalian ‘woohoo!’ You get the picture that what we think when we picture that empty tomb is not what they thought when they saw the empty tomb.“
“This Gospel we hear, year after year, is an extraordinarily rich one. Today, I would like to stop and linger on the encounter between Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea, and the rabbi Yeshua ben Joseph, as they would have known each other. This is a story set in a particular time and place, but one that I think is remarkably applicable to our time. It’s a story of an encounter between two kinds of power, and two people who had very different understandings of the nature of the universe and this world and the humans who inhabit them…It is a story of a tyrant and a bully confronting something he cannot understand. It is therefore a story for our time.”
“It would be completely understandable to me if the whole bizarre foot aspect of tonight’s gospel distracted you from the meaning behind the footwashing, but I hope you will just power through the weirdness because the significance of the gesture just can’t be overstated: it might define the essence of Christianity.”
“If Easter is just a fairy tale—if Jesus’ death and resurrection is just a parable from which we have to extract some kind of spiritual or ethical meaning—then I’m not sure that Palm Sunday is worth celebrating with a parade. But if Jesus is our Harry Potter—if Jesus is the one who faces his own death to free us from Death—then Palm Sunday is final opportunity to cheer him on.”
“So, I am a huge fan of both the Marvel and DC universes. I know that makes me anathema with certain purists everywhere, but I cannot choose between Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman. They’re both awesome…And given the gajillion dollars people have spent on DC and Marvel films, I’m clearly not the only one who likes superheroes and supervillains…Well, I think maybe John the Evangelist was also a fan of superheroes and supervillains.”
Easter Flowers, Holy Week worship, children’s choir, and more; click here to read the April issue of The Good News.
“If you’re in Sunday School normally, what do you call that? ‘The Loving Father,’ I love that. What did the rest of us learn the title of this was? ‘The Prodigal Son,’ exactly. And how fitting is it? It’s not really the prodigal son’s story, is it? This is a parable about a dutiful son. But of course the younger son got the title, just like he got the party, and the fatted calf, and the ring and the sandals and the father’s love and attention. Is that fair? No! Admit it! It’s not fair at all.”
“In thinking about humility, I was remembering the personal experience I had at the gym with a muscle-bound personal trainer trying to sell me on getting a ‘Fit 3D Scan.’…I explained to my friend that I already knew that I had an unrealistic body image; I also think I’m smarter than I am, kinder, more generous. This web of self-deception is precious and dear to me! I did not get that scan. On the other hand, I do believe that God scans me inside and out. But that’s different, because I know that God really loves me.“
“When I think as an American about these acts of explicit white supremacist violence—about Christchurch and Charlottesville, Pittsburgh and Oklahoma City, Charleston and Birmingham—I have to admit that I also think as a Christian about St. Paul’s words in today’s reading from the letter to the Philippians.”