Have you ever noticed that when you get together with your family and start telling stories about when you were growing up, or what happened years ago, the same events sound very different as different people tell the story? Depending on who's describing it, the guy who used to live across the street was a scrooge or a saint; or moving from one town to another was either a disaster, a wonderful escape, or a thing indifferent, hardly noticed: same event, different points of view.Read More
(Pause for silence)
That's it, isn't it? That absolute quiet. Let's try that again.
It's the week before we celebrate Christmas; why are we hearing this story now? I mean, often the lectionary cycle presents the life of Jesus in slightly rearranged ways, but his conception a week before his birth? Shouldn't this reading have come back in March? Heck, there's even a feast day for it: March 25—the Feast of the Annunciation. Well, yes, probably, but that would have interfered with the Sundays in Lent and the story arc leading to Christ’s death. To say the least, the Church’s reasoning sometimes seems very arcane.Read More
Do you think John the Baptizer was mentally ill? Do you think maybe Jesus’ family said on occasion, “Cousin John is a bit odd, bless him!” We now know that one in four people will experience a mental health problem. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can affect anyone at any time, and it’s likely that many people in our congregation have been affected. So why not John?
I’m going to follow that excellent pageant with a quote—from a somewhat unexpected source, but that’s par for today, right? It’s from a book you may have read to some young person in your life, or that you may remember from your own childhood. The book is by Dr. Seuss, and the title is
One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.Read More