Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
5th Sunday of Easter
Acts 7:55-60; John 14:1-14

 

The Gift of Lent

February 26, 2017

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
The Last Sunday after Epiphany
Exodus 24:12-18; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Matthew 17:1-9

(Gospel Text provided below)

Today is the last Sunday before Lent… so live it up!

It reminds me of a t-shirt I saw on one of our family road-trips. By this time, we were in our teens, and headed to Idaho for a 6-day raft trip. One gift shop along the way had a t-shirt that read “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry, for tomorrow you may be in Utah.” If you’ll allow me Episcopal license, today that shirt might read: “Eat, Drink and Be Merry, for on Wednesday we begin Lent.”

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This presumes that Lent is a time of austerity and self-denial. Yet, as a teenager, I learned that Lent can also be a time to take things on. To make a commitment to do something you’ve been putting off, or to improve your well-being, or perhaps, to serve others in a more tangible way. This approach to Lent has been helpful for me, and was especially so during my first few months in Atlanta.

I came to Atlanta from Houston seven years ago to embark on a vocational transformation. I arrived in January with snow on the ground – did I mention I came from Houston? I’d left behind all that was familiar – my family, my friends, and a budding romance. So, while I was living into this new purpose for my life, it came with some losses, some sacrifices.

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I didn’t have a job, and wasn’t planning to get one before the start of seminary in August. I moved in January to get settled-in, and start getting to know the diocese I’d call home. As an introvert, though, it would’ve been easy to stay in the warmth of my house, with my dog and cat as constant companions. And as easy as that would’ve been, I knew it wouldn’t move me toward my purpose – to get to know the diocese that had welcomed me.

Fortunately, I received a gift just a few weeks after my move – the gift of Lent. That Lent became a season of taking things on.  Read the rest of this entry »

Rise Up!

January 29, 2017

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
The 4th Sunday after Epiphany
Micah 6:1-8; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Matthew 5:1-12

(Gospel Text provided below)

How about those Atlanta Falcons! It’s pretty exciting to see them headed to the Super Bowl. Now, I realize not everyone sitting here today is a football fan. And, even for those who are, I’d venture to guess that some of you may even be pulling for the Patriots in next week’s game. super-bowl-2017-top-five-upsets-of-all-timeThat’s okay. We’re Episcopalians. We don’t have to all like football, or even cheer for the same team. Our common life together isn’t grounded in football, or in loyalty to a specific team. Instead, it’s grounded in our shared belief in Jesus Christ. It’s grounded in prayer together as a community. It’s grounded in being sent-out together as the hands and feet of Christ in the world.

But before I get to that, let’s get back to the Falcons for just a minute. It’s been quite a season, that’s for sure. But like most successes in life, it didn’t just happen. Even more remarkable, it wasn’t just one or two stand-out players that got them where they are. It was a full team effort.

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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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