Learning to see in new ways is one of the most difficult tasks of the transformed life. Old habits of selective vision, old choices about what to leave out and what to focus on tend to dominate us, even as we search for new ways of living that are in closer communion with the life of the Spirit. Transfiguration--that mysterious transformation of vision that is narrated in today's readings--is a radical, if brief, way of illumination.
With a government shutdown looming due to federal-budget deadlock, House Republicans are proposing a stopgap measure--not a compromise but a short-term enactment of the massive budget cuts passed last week by the House but dismissed by the Democratic-controlled Senate and White House.
It is 3:13 on Thursday afternoon and I still have eight sermons bouncing
around in my skull. I'm not so much worried about tomorrow, I'm certain
this Friday will have enough worries of its own. I'm not even worried
about Saturday evening's five15 because the conversation format means I
don't have to have one direction nailed down when the service starts.
"May I continue to find favorin your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly toyour
servant, even though I am not one of your servants." If you knew that
these words were from the Bible, but did not know the context, what
would you suppose they meant? In the Old Testament, Israel is often
"In the ordinary course of human affairs countries churn slowly.
. . and then there are moments of special upheaval, when empires depart, when
ideologies rotate. . . . India was in the midst of such a moment. The meanings of
destiny, family, love, class--of what it means to be Indian--were being defined
anew by millions of people, all at once."
Money and what we do with it--this sounds like an
even-handed way to determine ethical standards. But in these times of supposed
transparency, I can't figure out how a nation like the United States keeps
going when it has debt in numbers beyond anyone's ability to comprehend or even
pronounce. How many zeros?
When we say, with the author of 1 John, that "God is Love," what do we mean by this? According to this text, if taken quite literally, it is not simply that God loves whom God chooses to love, but God's essence is love.