Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
15th Sunday After Pentecost – Proper 17
 2:4-13; Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16; Luke 14:1, 7-14

(Gospel Text provided below)

At the beginning of the summer, as we began our journey through Luke’s gospel, I said that if I had to pick a movie genre that best fit this gospel, it would be “supernatural.” Face it, the book is full of angels, healings, super-natural stuff, the whole bit. The gospel story on that day was about Jesus raising a man from the dead and it was told in only five verses.

I compared this matter-of-fact telling of the story to John’s elaborate gospel story about the raising of Lazarus. I explained that this difference in emphasis points to each author’s purpose for their gospel. John’s gospel is providing evidence in order to bring people to belief, or to reaffirm their belief, in Jesus as the Messiah. By contrast Luke’s telling isn’t intended to convert people, but instead, to shed a new light, a particular light, on Jesus’ message to an existing early Christian community.[i]

hungry-filledLuke provides an intentional message of salvation – a salvation that upends the status quo of his time. Jesus declares a ministry oriented to those without power.[ii] Where the lowly are raised up and the powerful brought down. Even more, Jesus is trying to remove those things that divide people, and restore those who have been excluded – the poor, the ill, the marginalized and the oppressed – and bring them back into the community.

At the risk of being a broken record, we see the same message from Jesus in today’s gospel lesson.   Read the rest of this entry »

The Cauldron’s Call

August 14, 2016

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
13th Sunday After Pentecost – Proper 15
Isaiah 5:1-7; Hebrews 11:29-12:2; Luke 12:49-56

(Gospel Text provided below)

This Sunday morning we find ourselves just past the midway-point of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. I grew up watching the Olympics, and have been watching more than my fair share this year. I can pretty much watch any event, but the one that has taken most of my attention so far, besides watching the amazing U.S. women’s gymnastics team, has been swimming.

Katie Ledecky at the age of nineteen is a swimming phenom. Her strength is long-distance races, and she holds the world-record in the 400, 800, and 1,500 meter freestyle. When she races, her goal isn’t to beat other swimmers. Her goal is to beat herself – to BEST herself. She keeps beating her own records, including this past Friday night in the 800, when she beat her own world record by almost 4 seconds – proving that she’s not content to just hold onto what she’s already accomplished.

Leah Smith, after finishing 2nd behind Ledecky in the Olympic Trials last June said, “I’ve never been able to see her feet before. That was exciting.” This has become the new measure of success when competing with Ledecky.[i] What’s more, Ledecky just goes about her business in a quiet and humble way. No grandstanding, just focused on doing what she is purposed to do.

Ledecky pic

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