Saturday, January 31, 2015

"The Upstart, Jesus," as Told by the Dramatist, Mark

Borrowed from "Getting to Know the Evangelists"
on the St. James Cathedral, Seattle website

I really like the Gospel of Mark.

Which means that I'm in luck, since this week's lectionary for the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany (Feb 1) is the second week in a row that we have a reading from Mark.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

"Hello My Name Is..." or, Can You Hang On? I'm Getting a Call

I need to give credit to for the generator

In a sense, this is the post where I get to act like Yoda, since he gave warning about giving into this particular set of feelings. If Yoda is any kind of reliable source, there are only bad things that come from giving into one's anger.

If you like this, it's a free download at FBCoverStreet

Saturday, January 17, 2015

"Respect Ma Authorit-ay!" or, There is a Prescription for Treating a Servant

UPDATE: After I made this post on my blog, a very well respected deacon-mentor of mine made a comment on the post and, to a certain extent, punched a lot of holes in what I presented. However, she is much more credible than me when it comes to describing the role of deacons in the current Episcopal Church... you may want to consider skipping straight to her comment... I think what she wrote is a lot clearer than what I wrote. 

A while ago, I was listening to a daily meditation from Pray As You Go, which is an incredible podcast resource for pray and meditation, if you have not encountered it yet (I have a little summary of it on my "Resources" page, or click this link to dive into PAYG on your own). But the meditation on the particular day I have in mind was based on Ephesians 6:1-9. Here is the text:

As for children, obey your parents in the Lord, because it is right. 2 The commandment Honor your father and mother is the first one with a promise attached: 3 so that things will go well for you, and you will live for a long time in the land.[a] 4 As for parents, don’t provoke your children to anger, but raise them with discipline and instruction about the Lord. 5 As for slaves, obey your human masters with fear and trembling and with sincere devotion to Christ. 6 Don’t work to make yourself look good and try to flatter people, but act like slaves of Christ carrying out God’s will from the heart. 7 Serve your owners enthusiastically, as though you were serving the Lord and not human beings. 8 You know that the Lord will reward every person who does what is right, whether that person is a slave or a free person. 9 As for masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Stop threatening them, because you know that both you and your slaves have a master in heaven. He doesn’t distinguish between people on the basis of status. (CEB)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Resurrection Stories from "Les Misérables," or, I'm Starting the Year with a Movie Review

So now that I've finished my first post of the year and announced that I'm reinvigorating the tone of my blog, it is time for something completely different: I'm going back to movie reviews!

Yes, yes, I'm going to review Les Misérables, even though it's nothing of a new premier. My wife and I sat down and re-watched it recently. I've always liked the 2012 movie (as well as the 10th and 25th Anniversary concerts), but the more I stay with the story and experience it, the more I realize it's got a lot to say about human suffering and redemption. It may be no surprise to some of you, dear readers; you may be way ahead of me on this one. But for me, it's the title itself; sometimes it's translated from French as The Miserable Ones, and sometimes it's published as The Victims or The Dispossessed, so these ideas of human suffering may be no surprise. But nonetheless, I want to write about the theme of redemption in the story because the process of discovery has been so profound for me.

Monday, January 5, 2015

What Is the Gospel News? or, Stuff I Will Be Blogging About in 2015

Here is my first post for 2015! That's very exciting, just simply out of a child-like glee for new and shiny things. However, this post is not going to be my "5 predictions for the Church in 2015," or "Here, before all my dearest readers, I resolve to do thusly..." The only thing that I'm going to resolve to do in 2015 is try to consistently write a "5," rather than a "4" in the year.

Although, that being said, I do want my first blog post for 2015 to set and reset the tone of my blog for the year. You all know, dear readers, that my blog is pretty churchy. I am guilty of these charges. And while I would not say that I am preparing to make a major tone shift, I think that there are repercussions that I want to embrace. What I'm talking about is being conscious and focussed on the gospel news in regard to what's on this blog.