Back in my parish priest days, I would occasionally say in sermons or classes, “There are no saints of the status quo.” What I meant by that is that nearly all the people we remember and commemorate as saints are people who, in some way, rocked the boat.
Charles was martyred so that Anglican Christians would still have bishops (and the whole three-fold ministry). In other words, this martyr valued the Gospel and the church more than his own life. He is a witness for us. That is what a martyr is, after all.
The truth is, scriptures like these were not written for comfortable people. They were not written by comfortable people. These scriptures have nothing whatsoever to do with comfort. This week, we can’t look away. And we shouldn’t look away from the message of grace and mercy that the Gospel has for us.
I realized I had never posted much about the last book I wrote with the Rev’d Melody Shobe, Faithful Questions: Exploring the Way with Jesus. So here is a sample chapter on prayer.
A 2014 survey shows that we Americans are not praying the way Jesus taught us to pray. Instead, we mostly pray for ourselves and our own personal needs. But that’s not how Jesus taught us to pray.
I was delighted when Cambridge University Press asked me if they could send along a review copy of George Herbert: 100 Poems. While an ebook is available, this is one to own in paper. Keep it at your bedside for morning or bedtime reading, or perhaps leave it at work for mental excursions into rural England during your breaks.
Sometimes, I think we confuse the work of the church and the work of disciples. The church — literally, the ekklesia, the community — is found where Christians are gathered. The work of the church is to offer prayer and praise; to proclaim the Gospel; and to promote justice, peace, and love.
I’m interested in what I see as an inherent invitation to empathy in the way the vote results were made known. I’m also intrigued by some of the responses I saw to the final result.
I’d like to offer a few thoughts and reflections from my time at the recently concluded General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada.
There’s not a wrong way to pray. Have a look in the scriptures, and you’ll see people praying all kinds of ways — and you’ll see folks who fail to pray very well at all. St. Paul exhorts us to pray without ceasing, but that prayer can take many forms. For some people, the daily office works brilliantly. For others, contemplative prayer is where it’s at.
Jesus taught us to love everyone, and whether or not we like them has no bearing on it. Christian love is not about emotions, it is about grace. Christian love does not come with a Hollywood soundtrack, but rather with the sweaty brow of hard work.
In an annual tradition, here is the customary Epiphany Proclamation, to be read out at services today and shared with the faithful. Since I am not serving in a parish, I am pleased to share this with you, dear reader, here on 7WD.