Notes from Home – April 10, 2020

Dear friends, I’ve been teaching a meditation class during Lent. This past Friday, we had our last class together. During our check-in, one of my students said that she has been encouraged and heartened by the level of forbearance, forgiveness, and grace that is being shown among coworkers in her place of business. These are … [Read more…]

Notes from Home – April 3, 2020

Dear friends, Sunday is the start of Holy Week, which begins with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and ends with his betrayal, arrest, and death. No other week in the church year carries us through a more bewildering array of emotions: the joy of Jesus’ public embrace of his Messianic calling, the suspense of the … [Read more…]

Notes from Home – March 27, 2020

Dear friends, As more and more of us begin to live under shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders being issued by counties and municipalities, I pray that each of you remains safe and well. “Safe and well” is a phrase I find myself using multiple times each day: when I speak on the phone to my family, … [Read more…]

Matthew 5:38-48: How To Pray for an Enemy

Today’s Gospel lesson is full of some of the hardest teachings in the Bible: Turn the other cheek Give more than what is sued for Go the second mile Give to everyone who begs from you Do not refuse one who wants to borrow from you Love your enemies Pray for those who persecute you … [Read more…]

Matthew 5:17-37: Traditions, Traps, Transformations: Spirit of the Law

In his teaching on the Sermon on the Mount, the Franciscan priest and contemplative Richard Rohr gives a beautiful and compelling framework for understanding Jesus’ words in today’s gospel lesson: traditions, traps, and transformations. Simply stated, Jesus offers his disciples a warning and an encouragement on three laws: do not murder, do not commit adultery, … [Read more…]

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21: The Hidden Meaning of Lent

An old saying goes, “If you give someone a fish they eat for a day. If you teach someone to fish they eat for a lifetime.” There is a lot of wisdom in this saying. It is wisdom that points to the importance of self-development, of addressing the root causes of poverty, and of mending … [Read more…]

Matthew 17:1-9 Rise, and do not be afraid

Moses met the living God in the burning bush and in the devouring fire on top of Mount Sinai, and both times, it changed him. The first time Moses met God, he resisted the changes he was called to undergo. Remember? God asked him to liberate the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt, and … [Read more…]

Matthew 5:13-16: Being Salt and Light

I want to start by giving you some literary and geographical context for the Sermon on the Mount, which is contained in chapters 5, 6, and 7 of Matthew’s Gospel. Literary context: In the chapters leading up to the Sermon on the Mount: Jesus is born Herod tries to kill Jesus but his parents escape … [Read more…]

Matthew 5:1-12: Blessed Are You

Take a moment to think about your blessings, to count your blessings, as the saying goes. You might even jot them down in the margins of your bulletin. In the next minute, list silently in your head or in writing in your bulletin all of the blessings you can think of. {Give folks a minute} … [Read more…]