As you have all heard me announcing endlessly (and are still hearing, in reading this!), Bishop Dietsche will be with us this Sunday to preach, celebrate the Holy Eucharist and confirm two of our congregants. I have wanted to publicize the Bishop’s time at Holy Apostles, of course. And I have been repeating this announcement more than is usual because—just for one Sunday—we are changing the time of our worship to 4:00 pm. There will be no morning services on September 25, as we are hoping that everyone who feels comfortable worshipping in person will gather in community to greet Bishop Dietsche later in the afternoon….
A steward is someone who has been given the authority to oversee something for someone else. In other words, a servant, even though a steward my have control over people and resources.
Can you see the parallel between the master (Jesus and the steward (us) in our everyday lives? Are we not responsible for our families, and ourselves but ultimately answer to Jesus?…
As we go into Labor Day weekend, the traditional marker of the end of summer, it might be useful to reflect on the idea of having an annual Federal holiday to honor labor. The origins of the holiday have to do with the American labor movement, but I’m thinking more broadly about honoring the labor that we and those around us do — honoring it by taking time to rest.
And this brings me to Sabbath. One of the most frequently broken of the Ten Commandments is the commandment to rest once a week, to hallow the Sabbath day. That commandment smacks up against the Protestant work ethic that many of us grew up with – and God’s commandment has tended to lose that contest!…
Research and experience tell us that our brains stay young(ger) if we challenge them. In addition to getting enough sleep, eating healthily and exercising, we support our neural networks by doing something different, or something familiar in a different way. When our neural networks are strong and flexible, our focus sharpens, our memory improves, and our awareness expands….
…Our spiritual lives work in a similar way, I think. Trying a new form of prayer, or adopting a new spiritual discipline—no matter how small, even for some part of one day!—works our spiritual muscles. Even small shifts in how we live our faithfulness can lead to an expanded awareness of the holiness that surrounds us….
Sunday’s Gospel reflects on the woman who was crippled for 18 years. She had shuffled through life, head down, looking at people’s feet. Today we would probably call it osteoporosis, arthritis, or stenosis.
She is one of the most powerful pictures of faith in the New Testament. She attended Synagogue every Sabbath for those 18 years, and probably attended almost 1,000 services during that time. She has not been healed, yet she still believes in God.
She prays, but even when it seems like God isn’t going to answer, she remains faithful. She comes to services, in spite of the fact that no one would think a thing about her if she did not….
Because I am currently away on vacation , I turn this weekly meditation over to the Rev. Becca Stevens, the founder of Thistle Farms. Thistle Farms is a communal enterprise run by survivors of sexual abuse, trafficking, and addiction. In this passage from her book Practically Divine, Mother Becca reflects on the power of small actions offered in love.
This Saturday, August 6, is the Feast of the Transfiguration. This might be confusing to those of you who remember that we also talked about the Transfiguration back in February. The gospel reading for the last Sunday of the season of Epiphany is always one of the stories of the Transfiguration in Matthew, Mark, or Luke. But we also celebrate this amazing event every year on August 6. It is such a remarkable story that perhaps it’s good that we have two invitations every year to reflect on it!…
Over the past few years, we have all talked often of dire challenges near and far. Environmental chaos, virus related fears, economic injustices, the many “isims” that plague us and the violence thrumming through it all—there are so many categories of our humanity that cause us to worry that the very process of choosing where to look first can be overwhelming….
If your neighbor knocks on your door late at night and says, a friend of theirs has arrived unexpectedly, then asks to borrow some food as they have nothing to serve, would you tell them to go away as it is late….
…God is not like the resistant householder. We are more than welcome to ask for what we really need, and to keep on asking. Knock even when it seems heaven’s door is shut, and to keep knocking.
Prayer therefore must be an ongoing act of faith. God knows what we need before we ask. Each and every day, any time of the day or night, we take it to the Lord in prayer.
Praying helps US! God answers our prayers in keeping with what He knows, is best for us.
Take time to pray, asking God to guide you every step of the way, seeking His goal for all of us.
Octavia Butler was the first science-fiction writer to win the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. Commonly called the “MacArthur Genius Award,” these fellowships are dedicated to “celebrating and inspiring the creative potential of individuals through no-strings attached fellowships.” Butler’s creativity was unique. Blending social critique with visionary descriptions of alternate realities and possible futures both good and ill, her writing was profoundly prescient….
… There’s lots more to discuss in this challenging, brilliant novel. I hope you will join us from 10-10:45 or from 12:15-1:00 this Sunday to be part of the conversation!