Sep 12, 2021 |
Get Behind Me Satan| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Get Behind Me Satan
“ When we look at the people around us and we read about how we're supposed to love everybody. And then we look at the people around us when we hear Satan say, I mean everybody, but THAT person, we're not going to love them. Or, I could love them if they would just think like I think. I would love them. I could love everybody if they just got vaccinated. I could love everybody if they would just get on board with how I am, to which Jesus himself says, ‘Get behind me Satan.’ You are thinking about the world on your terms and not on God's terms. And this is so important. Not only that Jesus says that you are thinking about things on worldly terms and not on God's terms, because we know that we do that. But what Jesus says about it; he calls us Satan, or he recognizes Satan in our midst, and we got to hear that. We got to hear that we are capable of being adversaries to God's will, to God's work in the world. We have to see it, but also, we have to recognize that Jesus is saying, ‘get behind me’, not get away from me, not go away forever, or be banished. Jesus tells his disciple who has gotten out of line and says, do things my way, Jesus. No, you get behind me, from behind Jesus, You can follow. "
Sep 05, 2021 |
Who is Jesus in the Real World?| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Who is Jesus in the Real World?
"Jesus wasn't a rich person who decided to like poor people. He was poor. Jesus was not a person in the middle of society who chose to hang out with the people who are marginalized. Jesus was marginalized. Jesus was not a person in the middle of great privilege and wealth who just decided that it was cool to hang out with people who were on the edges of society. Jesus belonged on the edge of society... Last year we did a book study by Howard Thurman and the book was called Jesus and the Disinherited. It was the second time I'd read the book and apparently the first time I'd read it, I still hadn't figured it out. It took me until the second time and it's in the very first chapter of the book. Howard Thurman says, 'Jesus, isn't hanging out among the disinherited of the world. Jesus is the disinherited of the world.'"
Aug 29, 2021 |
Beauty and Love Endure| The Rev. Joyce Keeshin
Beauty and Love Endure
"Amid heartbreak there is light and love and deepest gratitude for the most precious earthly time we have. Whether it's at the time when life is ending. Or at the time life is beginning. Or at that unknown period in between. That gratitude for the life and the love that is at hand. Beauty and Love endure. So yes, there are evil forces in our world and evil thoughts and intentions born of pain, brokenness, separation from God and each other. There are those things that we can find in our own heart. There are those things. But let us bravely discern whenever we suspect evil, whenever we confront evil. Let us bravely encounter it. And especially when it's within us, let us call it out and let it go. Let us pray: Deliver us from evil. And also pray: Deliver the evil from us. Because it is only with God's help that we can find our way."
Aug 22, 2021 |
Talking About Evil| The Rev. Melanie W. J. Slane
Talking About Evil
"We often avoid talking about the armor of God because it sounds just a little too militant. We rarely sing, “Onward Christian Soldiers” or “Stand up, stand up for Jesus” because they arouse this ugly association with a Crusader mentality. We don't talk like that anymore because it forces us to own the horrors done on our behalf, by faithful followers who obliterated our brothers and sisters of Abraham in Medieval Times; who annihilated native peoples in this land in the name of discovery; who enslaved our siblings of color and who denigrate them still. We don't acknowledge the discomfort of the association because we prefer to focus on the nice pretty parts instead. Instead of saying no. Being a Christian soldier is not about destruction. It's about life."
Aug 15, 2021 |
Make the Most of Our Time| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Make the Most of Our Time
"To eat the flesh and to drink the blood of Jesus is language that helps us to understand our very nourishment. How we feed ourselves in our daily lives is meant to be centered in Jesus, in the God of love. Our very food and drink is love. Any wisdom we can get, it’s not by reading something or by going to all the right places. It is about constructing, building lives that are nourished, fed, the bread and wine of true and real unconditional love. How do we build our lives around the love that is unending? How do we make the most of our time? How do we make our life rooted and grounded in the love that creates all things?"
Aug 08, 2021 |
Strength for the Journey| The Rev. Melanie W. J. Slane
Strength for the Journey
"This reading from First Kings to me is what Eucharist is like. We come and we receive a gift that we need. When we've had enough, when we give up, when we can't do it anymore. All of this. All of this that's going on in the world. We can't do it anymore. And we put out our hands. We receive a gift of grace. We come here to be what we see and to receive who we are. The body of Christ. We gain strength for the journey in a shared meal, in a communion feast."
Aug 01, 2021 |
Thrust Into Uncertainty| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Thrust Into Uncertainty
"The testimony we have before us today and the testimony of our faith is sure and certain and clear and consistent. We hear time and again, as we did today, you will be thrust into places of uncertainty, discomfort, fear, and change. And in all of those places you will find God. You are not alone. We are not alone. We are not left to our own devices right now. In the times of great uncertainty and fear and change God, the God of love, the God of all creation, the God who great gathers all things up into heaven, is with us right now. Sharing life with us. And drawing us into deeper communion and connection with one another."
Jul 25, 2021 |
That's A Miracle!| The Rev. Joyce Keeshin
That's A Miracle!
The presence of Jesus in physical form, physical human form is a continuous miracle throughout the gospels. Jesus’ very being is a miracle, both transcendent and grounded all at once. And the path of love Jesus teaches us and invites us to enable us to bear witness, in our own days, to the miraculous nature of love.
Jul 11, 2021 |
The Voice of the Prophet| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
The Voice of the Prophet
"There's something really wonderful about saying, 'Oh yeah, God is love isn't that nice.' Without acknowledging that that means that if God is love and God has called me into life, into living, into being in this world that I am made for love. And then I’m meant to live in this world as if that's true. Well, that might require me to look at myself differently"
Jul 04, 2021 |
Along the way of Love| The Rev. Gary Lubin
Along the way of Love
"Then along the way of Love, we hear in today’s Gospel reading, Jesus sends out the 12 disciples to heal and teach like he had been doing. Then later on, Jesus sends out 70 more disciples to do exactly the same thing. So the Jesus love movement grew then and continues to grow even now because Jesus’ followers say and do something in the name of love and for the sake of love, even if it’s just a little thing. Just being grateful and faithful followers of Jesus persuade us to speak on God’s behalf to becoming a beloved community."
Jun 27, 2021 |
Unimagined Miracles| The Rev. Joyce Keeshin
“This is our very human dilemma, as people of faith. Like Jairus, we desperately want our loved ones to be healed. Like the woman, we want ourselves to be healed. We pray faithfully, and yet if we focus on what we think that healing looks like, we may miss the healing that is happening in our midst, the healing that already is.”
Jun 20, 2021 |
Peaceful Easy Feeling| The Rev. Melanie W. J. Slane
Peaceful Easy Feeling
"Sometimes my son's wisdoms wisdom falls short of his ancient namesake, who reminded us that humility is a flower which does not grow in everyone's garden. And what I realized in my son Aristotle's response was a real-life example of society and scripture in conflict. The world says to us, punch that storm in the face. But the gospel says to us, ask for help. The world says, be afraid. And the gospel says, keep the faith. The world says, take control. And the gospel says, some things are beyond you."
Jun 13, 2021 |
In My Mother's Garden| The Rev. Melanie W. J. Slane
In My Mother's Garden
"But in my mother's garden, the one that is wild and free with all the weeds growing in it, a conglomeration of cuttings from heirloom plants and pretty flowers from one daughter and hardy trees from another and exotic ground coverings from another and veggies to feed our friends and some flourishing throwaways that we rescued from the flower dump down the street. Among all of these, there in that place, the sign makes sense. Because that garden looks a lot like the world and that's where God is."
Jun 06, 2021 |
We Are Family| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
We Are Family
"But the power of family, the power of blood, can do so many things to keep us in its thrall and make us feel like we've got to stay in something that is unhealthy. We've got to put up with abuse. We've got to put up with being less than God has made us to be. And Jesus has a liberating message for us in those moments: That our true family, our true belonging, is found in the God who made us, and our siblings and parents are the people who understand that God is love. And the community that is built on the God of love is meant to become our family."
May 30, 2021 |
Three Persons, One Love| The Rev. Gary Lubin
Three Persons, One Love
"We are always becoming who we are destined to become. Your very being is a love prayer, melting away the restlessness of this life. And it's centered in God. In God. Of God. About God. For God. Enfolded, immersed in a love which cannot be broken by any dark power of hatred or violence in this world. Transcending inner and outer fear. Transcending anxieties. Transcending apprehensions and preoccupations. It is possible to live in the world yet not be part of it. To keep a loose hold on this world. To be centered."
Image: Icon of the Trinity by Ellen McGuckin. Used with permission.
Image: Icon of the Trinity by Ellen McGuckin. Used with permission.
May 23, 2021 |
What Does This Mean?| The Rev. Joyce Keeshin
What Does This Mean?
"Looking back at that reading in Acts, Luke writes, all were amazed and perplexed saying to one another; What does this mean? But others sneered and said they're filled with new wine. The Holy Spirit invites us to notice and witness with amazement, with wonder. Whether the Holy Spirit shows up as a dramatic force or a source of guidance and truth. Or as a surprise of a loved one at the door. Or as the gentlest touch in the anointing on the head of the newly baptized. In all of these expressions, we are invited to respond with wonder, with grateful hearts, with love."
May 16, 2021 |
The Exclusive Reality of Love| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
The Exclusive Reality of Love
"But after Judas’ death, the other eleven apostles get together. And they do something really beautiful. Peter says, you know Judas was one of us. He was one of us. He was part of who we are. And we actually can't go forward until we have another person to take that place because we are incomplete without Judas. Think about that for a moment. The beginning of this beloved community is founded in a place of love and respect and forgiveness and honoring of the place that Judas, of all people, had played in the life of that community."
May 09, 2021 |
Sing a New Song| The Rev. Melanie W. J. Slane
Sing a New Song
"God's love is not only like a father's love. God is also like a mother's love. Like the love of a sister, or a friend, or a neighbor. Or that old lady at church who plays peek-a-boo from the second pew. And yet, God's love is even more than this. God's love is like the gentle breeze on your skin on a hot August day. God’s love is an intricate snowflake on jet black hair. God's love is a cold drink of water for someone who has traveled many, many miles through desert lands in search of safety and sanctuary. God’s love surpasses our human understanding. And if we want our children to understand this, we must expand our language for God. We must open the gate of welcome to them and explore all that God has been, is now, and will be forever. For all of her children. How in the world can we expect to love one another as God loves us if half of us don't even see ourselves as made in the image of God?"
May 02, 2021 |
Founded in Love| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Founded in Love
"[W]e heard today that God is love and that those who love know God. And then when we love one another, we abide in God. Which is to say, we make our home in God and then God abides in us. Which is, of course, to say that God is making God's home in us and when we hear that this is true, then there is nothing else that can compare with this reality. God is love. This is a radical idea. A radical belief that God is love. It is not reasonable. It's not moderate, it's not something that you can stay calm, cool, and collected while receiving and trying to understand. It is inherently radical and changes your whole reality when you say God is love."