26 February 2012

Sermon for the 1st Sunday in Lent: "Baptized for the World that Is

We celebrate a baptism today!  [Name] receives the gift of baptism tonight.  Baptism is water joined with God’s promise, connected to the story of the flood by our reading from 1st Peter.  God is making a promise to [Name] tonight, a promise we are privileged to witness and which we will be pledged to support and cherish.  But this is not a safe, lovely promise of fuzzy rainbows, clouds and happy little cartoon Bible people.  God’s promise in baptism is perhaps best seen in what happens in our reading from Mark:  Jesus is baptized, and then is driven out into the wilderness.  When God claims us in baptism, God isn’t just inoculating us for the life to come: God is claiming us for the world that IS, now, a life in this time, in this world.  Baptism claims all of us into a covenant of steadfast love, God’s promise to God to have mercy, to forgive, to heal and to send us back out into the wilderness where the wild beasts live. 

21 February 2012

An Evening with Shane Claiborne

 Tonight I had the rare privilege of meeting and listening to Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistable Revolution, Jesus for President and Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals.  Here, posted without comment, are some of the many noteworthy things said throughout the evening.  What a night!

"This country spends $20,000 every second on war. Don't you think that's a little messed up?"

"We're gonna stop complaining about the church that we see and start becoming the church we dream of."

Quoting a judge who ruled in favor of The Simple Way against the City of Philadelphia: "If it weren't for people who broke the bad laws, we'd still have slavery."

"Everything in the world is going to push you away from suffering."

"How do we re-imagine our lives in the light of pain and suffering?"

[American soldiers in Iraq, asking why their Christian Peacemaker Team would want to go into Iraq to visit friends]: "No one crosses this border without a gun in their hands." [Response]: "Well, that's part of the problem, isn't it?"

Quoting Tertullian, "When Jesus disarmed Peter [at the garden of Gethsemane], he disarmed every Christian."


20 February 2012

Happily Weary, Ready for Rest

This seems to be the picture of a pretty happy guy.  Thankfully these days I'm the one who gets to be that guy in the picture.