In a bit of a jab at my bishop and my diocesan communications director, who assigned an impossibly obtuse phrase of our Apostles Creed, I have composed on the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas blog a post which uses The Princess Bride and Monty Python and the Holy Grail as its primary texts to explicate this affirmation. find it HERE
It is because of my grandfather’s death that I stand before you this morning.
During a particularly difficult moment in my ministry, my grandpa Chuck, after whom Charles is named, fell ill and breathed his last. We were living in South Carolina at the time, far from snowy Minnesota, but I still visited him a few times in his last weeks and was even there to give him last rites the day he died.
Back home, I was struggling with my call, feeling stonewalled at every turn, denied at every door, frustrated with pouring so much effort into what seemed like a bottomless chasm. It was more than exhaustion, or a period of thankless plowing through; I was suffocating, like a flame submitted to a snuffer, gasping for enough air to keep breathing. In some ways my depression felt very much like death. Continue reading →
This sermon is offered as part of the Eastertide Sermon Series at Evensong here at Trinity, exploring facets of Jesus’ resurrection. Today I preach on the resurrection as hopeful; using as my focus a line from the Te Deum, which was just offered by our choir: Jesus “overcame the sharpness of death.” Continue reading →
“Every branch that bears fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
Look at the stained glass windows around you this morning. They’ve been given at various times for various members of the community, and as any chorister will tell you, they’re a symbol of how God’s light shines through each of us. As we look closely at the passage from the Gospel of John this morning, I want to offer these to you as a metaphor for God’s work in us as we consider what it means to be pruned, and where exactly the Good News is in the revelation that we should expect spiritual amputations. Continue reading →