July 2017 Convocation Newsletter
Silence is difficult to bear – and God seems to be good at it. In fact, it appears that silence is God’s preferred language. Before anything else existed, before God spoke anything into being, there was silence. Before the first sounds of cleansing fire, the whisper of wind in the trees, the murmur of water or the groan of rocks shifting with time, there was only silence. There was only God.
In today's reading from Romans, Paul raises the issue of the law versus faith. And, this of course, is a theme of the Protestant Reformation, and in particular, the thought of Martin Luther. The law seems to be in the writings of Paul, a way of death, something that condemns us, as we cannot keep it. And, on the other hand, justification by faith gives us a new way to live…a way forward that is open to us by believing and accepting that Christ died for our sins that we might be free from them, that Christ rose from the dead, that we might be free from death. All of this, I don’t want to deny, but I want to go a little further in the question of law versus faith.
La prima Domenica di Quaresima è sempre dedicata alla storia delle tentazioni di Gesù nel deserto. Dopo essere stato battezzato, Egli viene trasportato dallo Spirito nel deserto. Tutti e tre I Vangeli raccontano la storia, solo che il Vangelo di Marco è il più breve. "Subito dopo, lo Spirito lo sospinse nel deserto; e rimase nel deserto per quaranta giorni, tentato da Satana. Stava tra le bestie selvatiche e gli angeli lo servivano (Vangelo secondo Marco 1:12-13 NR06)". Matteo e Luca aggiungono le tre famose sfide del diavolo che Marco omette. Perchè? (Sermon also in English)
The first Sunday of Lent is always devoted to the story of the Temptation of Jesus in the desert. After John baptizes him, Jesus is pushed out into the desert by the Holy Spirit. All three Gospels tell the story, although Mark is the shortest. "Subito dopo, lo Spirito lo sospinse nel deserto; e rimase nel deserto per quaranta giorni, tentato da Satana. Stava tra le bestie selvatiche e gli angeli lo servivano. (Vangelo secondo Marco 1:12-13 NR06)" Matthew and Luke add the famous three challenges of the devil, which Mark omits. Why?
Today is one of the great feasts of the Church, the feast of the Transfiguration. It is such a great feast that we celebrate it twice in the church year -- a second time in August. But the last Sunday in Epiphany is always the feast of the Transfiguration. It is about this extraordinary story that we have just read in Mark’s version of the Gospel. Jesus takes the three disciples who are closest to him and takes them up on a high mountain where something happens. Jesus ‘morphs’ in front of them. Rather, we use the word ‘transfiguration’ which is the Latin translation of the Greek word which is metamorphosis. And what does Jesus become?
Partnerships and investment, especially in supporting faith-based grassroots work, hold the key to lasting peace in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, a United States interfaith delegation heard repeatedly from religious leaders with whom they met during a Jan. 18-26 pilgrimage in the Holy Land. The 15-member delegation of Jews, Christians and Muslims from the U.S. found this prevailing message in all their conversations, whether with rabbis, kadis (Islamic judges), priests or bishops.
St. George's Cathedral Jerusalem. I am here as part of an interfaith pilgrimage, with a group from the U.S. composed of Jews, Muslims, and Episcopalians. We are here to meet God in one another and in the midst of the Abrahamic traditions we share. We have spent the last week in conversation with people who are working to build bridges and make peace. We have remembered that the work requires vulnerability, and a willingness to make space where God might enter and make peace in us and in the world around us. Listening deeply to the story another person tells is an essential and holy way of opening that space. What does that require of us?
La vidéo de l'attaque contre Charlie Hebdo montre l'image la plus choquante de cet abject attentat: l'exécution à bout portant du policier Ahmed Merabet. Le monde entier l'a visionnée. Touché par une balle, l'agent Merabet tombe par terre. Un des assaillants court vers lui, exprès. Merabet soulève un bras, on peut l'imaginer dire "non". Mais son meurtrier n'a aucune pitié et lui tire froidement une balle dans la tête. Et les deux lâches retournent à leur véhicule en se félicitant de leurs actes immondes.