Archive | December 2009

Don’t Be So Sure

Third Friday in Advent

I, the LORD, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go.
                                                               Isa 48, 17

 It would seem, by the light of this passage, that the path of discipleship is both simple and easy.  God is our teacher and our guide.  All we have to do is trust God and everything good will come our way.  If good things don’t come our way, it’s our own fault.  We must not be trusting.  We must not be following.  We must not be obeying.  If we’re not enjoying good things, the problem can’t be God.  The problem must be selfishness and sin.   Read More…

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When Eyes are Opened

Talk Given at Our Advent Mini Retreat, 2009

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:

“Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you.” 

So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh, according to the LORD’S bidding. Now Nineveh was an enormously large city; it took three days to go through it.  Jonah began his journey through the city, and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,” when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.    Read More…

Give Hope A Chance

Second Saturday in Advent

Judges 13, 2-7, 24-25;  Psalms 71 3-6, 16-17;  Luke 1, 5-25

 

On you I depend from birth;

From my mother’s womb you are my strength;

Constant has been my hope in you.

Ps. 71, 6

 

What an extraordinary claim the psalmist makes!  He asks us to believe that he had hope in God before he was trained in religion, before he learned to speak, even before he was born.  He claims to have had hoped in God when he smaller than a bug – without even that much faculty.  If you’re even half-awake when you read this passage, you realize that a literal interpretation of the verse makes it utterly and hopelessly absurd.  He hoped in the LORD from his mother’s womb.  Really?  It’s the kind of thing that we can forgive our ancestors for believing; but it’s the kind of thing that those of us who understand how nature actually works should regard as a fanciful fairy tale.    Read More…