“So, you are a king?” In a passion story we read in John’s late gospel, Jesus appears before Pilate, and Pilate asks him this question. I can almost see him sniggering as he asks it, Jesus replies, “My Kingdom [my Empire] is not in this world.” Pilate later asks him what is the truth, and Jesus remains silent before him. Oh, I think there was a lot he might have liked to say to the Governor, like “My People, My movement, my Empire, my Church will bury your Empire — and it did. And it will bury every empire, when all is said and done.Read More →

In the Episcopal Church, a preacher has five options. He or she may preach on the gospel pericope, as is most common; or on the Hebrew Scripture passage or the Psalm or the New Testament passage, or else the Collect. The “collect” is the opening prayer, proper to the day, which sums up the themes of the Scriptures we will hear and study in worship. Today I choose to address today’s collect which sums up our approach to holy writ: to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the Scriptures. Let’s unpack that. To begin, let’s ask: what is the Bible? It is a collection ofRead More →

In today’s pericope, {Lk. 20: 27=38] Jesus is quizzed by Sadducees, members of one of the prominent religious groups. They only accept the first five books of the Jewish Bible and, so, do not believe in afterlife. For them, one’s immortality is living on through progeny and good deeds. So they pose a ridiculous question to Jesus, trying to make him look foolish. A woman has been validly married seven times and dies; who is her husband in the world to come? Jesus basically replies that, if they knew what they were talking about, they wouldn’t ask such a stupid question. He explains the obvious,Read More →

My most-preferred story for All Saints tells of a rector of an All Saints parish who conducts a church tour for young children. He shows them the lovely stained-glass windows in the nave depicting various Saints, and the rest of the building. Then q&a follow. When Father asks a little girl who a Saint is, she replied “One of the ones the light shines through.” A perfect definition! We are all called to be saints and there are many saints throughout time who have served without recognition, but there are some whose surpassing love and dedication as outstanding servants of Christ leads to canonization. TheyRead More →