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    The War Within

    If you have been around children for any amount of time, you’ll know how this story goes.  Being a fun-loving parent you decide to give your two sons a whiffle ball and bat.  That should be fun, right?  For a while the game proceeds pretty much as you expected.  But sooner or later, you have to leave the game.  You’re gone for just a few minutes when you hear crying.  You rush to the scene to find one boy holding the whiffle bat and one holding his forehead crying.  You say, “What happened?”  The one holding the bat says what?  “I don’t know.”  The one holding his head says, “He…

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    Race, Repentance, and Reconciliation

    Like so many people, I have been watching our national conversation on race these past few weeks.  I use the term “conversation” very loosely, because there really hasn’t been much conversation.  While it seemed for a brief moment there was incredible, cross-racial, bi-partison outrage at the death of George Floyd,  the powers that be were never going to let that stand.  Seeing their time had come, activists began hijacking our unity, driving a wedge between us until we began to see one another as co-conspirators and collaborators in racial unrest –thereby, once again, sending us into an endless cycle of blame, virtue signaling, lecturing, and condemning.  All too often church…

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    Remember Who You Are: Our Identity in Christ

    Introduction We hear a lot about identity these days.  In some ways I think we are encouraged, if not downright pressured to identify with some group or another.  Some people identify themselves by their heritage.  Others may identify themselves by their political affiliation or lack of one.  Still other people may identify themselves by their sexual orientation or by their ethnicity.  Many people identify themselves by their achievements or their career, while others may identify themselves vicariously through their spouse or children. We may be able to relate with the comedian Lily Tomlin who once said, “I’ve always wanted to be somebody, but I see now I should have been…

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    Meeting Mary in May

    For many Anglicans, the topic of the Blessed Virgin Mary generally elicits a number of questions or perhaps even dis-ease.  Many former mainline Protestants and Non-Deominational people who discover a home in the Anglican Church are sometimes taken aback with talk of Mary.  In our liturgical calendar we observe March 25 as the Annunciation of the Lord Jesus to the Virgin Mary, which is a celebration of the visit of the Angel Gabriel to Mary (Luke 1:26-38).  We also have May 31 which is the Visitation of the Virgin Mary to Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-45) and August 15 is the actual feast of of St. Mary.  In the Evening Prayer office…

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    Hope Along the Road

    It was just 7 miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus. To the 1st century mind, it was a quick trip you could easily do in a couple of hours.  The dusty road would have been busy on this, the first day of the week following Passover.  There were children running and laughing and playing.  The adults walked in small processions of families and friends. But Cleopas and his companion, which scholars say might well have been his wife Mary, walked with a particular heaviness of heart and mind.  In some ways you can imagine that they were dragging themselves to Emmaus, preoccupied with their sadness, frustration and disappointment.  They were followers…

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    Plagues, Prayer Books, & Biblical Lament

    I have been pondering our response as the Body of Christ to the current pandemic of COVID-19 and how similar things were faced by our Anglican forebearers.   A couple of weeks ago I posted a prayer from the 1789 Book of Common Prayer which read: ALMIGHTY God, the Lord of life and death, of sickness and health; Regard our supplications, we humbly beseech thee; and; as thou hast thought fit to visit us for our sins with great sickness and mortality, in the midst of thy judgment, O Lord, remember mercy. Have pity upon us miserable sinners, and withdraw from us the grievous sickness with which we are afflicted. May…

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    We Never Have to Wonder

    As an Anglican Priest I’ve been at the bedside of the dying.  I’ve been in the Emergency room with the doctors as they worked feverishly to fight back the specter of death.  I’ve sat with the grieving widow whose world has collapsed at the passing of her husband.  I’ve baptized a couple of people on their deathbed.  And I’ve seen grief collapse more than one mother to the ground.  As a priest, this is part of the calling.  It’s a hard privilege.  We are invited into the most painful and sacred moments of life.  It is never easy.  I can also tell you that it does not get easier (after…

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    The Centrality of the Eucharist in Times of Crisis

    As concern grew over the spread of the Coronavirus, churches began to look for ways to faithfully respond.  We were no different.  We prayed and discussed the best way remain to faithful in the midst of not only the threat of the virus itself, but also the almost palpable sense of anxiety, fear and panic that were being experienced by many people. On the one hand, we understood why churches were closing their doors but there was something troubling about it as well.  In this hour of great unrest, there seemed to be little theological reflection about how our response (or lack of it) bore implicit witness to what we…

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    Reflections in the Midst of the Coronavirus

    When this Lent began on Ash Wednesday, I had no idea that by mid-lent we would be forced to close the doors of our church and we all would be hunkered down in a quasi-self imposed quarantine.  Terms like “social distancing” and “safe at home” had yet to be in common usage.  While I had a few friends who were sounding the alarm, like many people I was skeptical.  How many times had we heard this before?  I’ve been through a number of supposed epidemics, most of which turned out to have minimal ramifications.  I even had H1N1 about 10 years ago! With the trust-level of the media being at an…

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    Modern Christianity: Ideology or Theology?

    The public square, the Wittenburg doors of today, are found squarely in the realm of social media.  There one can find a ready discussion on most any topic, day or night.  Despite the rise of a more secular society, social websites are replete with religious and pseudo-religious discussions, debates, and arguments. One night while scrolling through a particularly heated (and seemingly endless) debate that had caught my attention, I began to notice a trend in the thread.  Christians were sounding like ideologues.  This can come in many forms but it’s very noticeable when the Gospel is swapped for civic religion or nationalism, moralism, race, or environmentalism.  I started to wonder,…