A Sacrament of Love

March 28, 2013

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
Sermon on John 13:1-17, 31b-35, given while serving as Deacon & Seminarian

Maundy Thursday 

Exodus 12:1-14, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 & John 13:1-17, 31b-35

When I was young, I used to go over to my Grandma Caldwell’s house, my mom’s mom, to spend the night. She and I would spend time together baking cookies or gingerbread. In the morning we’d often listen to Bible-quiz shows on the radio – having grown up Baptist, she knew a lot of the answers. As I got a little older, she’d play Elvis Presley records on the stereo… I think it was his gospel music that hooked her, but I preferred dancing around her small living room singing “Blue Suede Shoes.”Grandma Caldwell

Now, Grandma Caldwell didn’t drive a car, so when we needed to get something for our latest recipe, we’d walk to a nearby store. I don’t think Grandma did a lot of walking, considering she was in her seventies, but the walking she did do, took a toll on her feet. So, it wasn’t uncommon as she was lying down to take a nap (which she invariably needed during my visits), she’d ask me to rub alcohol on her feet, and I was happy to do it.

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Digging for Life

March 3, 2013

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
Sermon on Luke 13:1-9, given while serving as seminarian

Lent 3 – Year C (RCL) 

Exodus 3:1-15, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 & Luke 13:1-9

Some of you may remember the movie Julia. The film is based on a true story that traces the lifelong relationship between playwright Lillian Hellman, who is played by Jane Fonda, and her friend Julia, played by Vanessa Redgrave.

Although the film was released in the late 1970’s, I didn’t actually see it until many years later, when I was in my 20’s. What I especially connected with in the movie was the stark contrast between Lillie and Julia. Their personalities and world-perspectives were completely different from each other. Elements of those differences reminded me of the contrast between me and my best friend at the time.

Julia was a visionary and consummate risk-taker. When she reached college-age, she left the U.S., traveling to Vienna to study with the likes of Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein. While there, she was compelled to a live a life that confronted the injustices she saw in the world around her. I remember, that as I watched the movie, Julia’s strength and conviction reminded me of my best friend. Although she didn’t move overseas after college, she left our hometown of Houston, and forged a less conventional path. She was not constrained by what others thought, but instead blazed the trail her heart defined.

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