Fifth Sunday After Trinity – Church Back Home- July 20, 2014

Along with the Eucharist, a pair of readings that belong together. The Epistle is a continuation from the thoughts of last week’s Gospel. And this week’s Gospel shows what can be.

We all know people who seem to be living a daily “soap opera”, and how much do they accomplish for themselves, or for anyone else? But if we understand what love and compassion are all about, we can get things done. And speaking of that, see how Simon Peter is called in the Gospel!

Fourth Sunday After Trinity – Church Back Home- July 13, 2014

And here in the gospel lesson, we have what might be considered both a promise and a threat, depending on what people do with it. And, like so much, it can apply to us today, virtually every day.

A simple question which some might not like having to answer: Are you willing to be measured by the same measuring stick which you use to measure others?

All that, and Holy Communion too!

Third Sunday After Trinity – Church Back Home- July 6, 2014

Along with our Holy Communion, a pair of readings that challenge us, because they deal with issues we face every single day. We begin with hearing the need for humility, and we end by seeing examples of people (scribes and Pharisees) who are so devoid of humility that they criticize Jesus for ministering to the people who need him most!

There’s a lesson for all of us here, including me!

I wish more people would get this.

This is part of what I see the UEC as being about.  It doesn’t really have any effect on anyone who understands the blessedness of minding one’s own business and understanding how much we might not know.

Christianity Does Not Teach Hate!
Genuine Christianity Does Not Discriminate Against Other Faiths!

1. Psalm 95:3 “For the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods” shows that King David recognized and respected other gods.

2. Matthew 22:37-39 is Jesus’ two great commandments which he says sums up the Old Testament (“On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”). This frees people from the complicated rules of the Old Testament which had come to be so complicated that they were impossible to completely follow.

3. Acts 10:47 “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?” is the conversion of Cornelius, a Roman Centurion, and the decree that gentiles who become Christians do not have to also become Jews or be under the Old Testament.

4. John 4:40 Samaritans asked Jesus to stay with them, so he stayed in Samaria two days. Samaritans were below the bottom of the Jewish social order and were considered “dirt under everyone’s feet”, but Jesus had no problem ministering to them and more.

5. Jesus says: “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold”. Who would dare presume to know who those others are or are not? And might Jesus be smart enough to present himself to those other people in a form which would be relevant and respected by them, such as Mithras, Baldur, or Amidhaba?

6. Matthew 8:5-13 is the story of Jesus healing the servant of a Roman Centurion, an officer in the occupying army and undoubtedly a Mithraist, since that was the Roman army’s official religion. Not only does Jesus speak well of the centurion’s faith, he also in Verses 11 – 12 speaks of how many will come together, and who will not be so blessed.

7. John 16:12 “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” As Jesus prepares to ascend, he says there is more to tell the disciples, but they are not yet able to handle them. However much can be said for the Bible, it does not contain everything Jesus wants us to know, and He himself said so in John 16:12!

8. Acts 5:34-39 is the warning of Gamaliel. He outlines the numerous other leaders and movements who have come and gone, and points out that if God is behind Jesus followers, not only will they not be able to stop them, if they try they might be guilty of fighting against God.

9. Matthew 12:31 warns of the consequences of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, the one and only sin which cannot and will not be forgiven. In this instance, it is in response to some Pharisees accusing Jesus of using devils to cast out devils.

St Peter The Apostle – Church Back Home- June 29, 2014

Here we see not only how Jesus came to give St Peter for a special role, but what God had to do to bring it off. The Gospel tells of how Peter’s destiny was revealed to him, and the Epistle shows what had to be done to allow it to happen.

And the lesson here might be evident to some of us. If God has a real intent, is anyone going to be able to stay in God’s way?


A Sense of Direction


I recall when I first felt the possibility of taking something underground.  It was in 1978, the beginning of the faction fighting in the Protestant Episcopal Church, and my being in the wrong faction prevented me from being allowed to study for ordination.  I happened to have an opportunity to meet Bishop Morse, who was heading one of the first groups to leave PECUSA.  When I mentioned the meeting to Colonel Kingsley (a Protestant chaplain who was rumored to have once been Anglo-Catholic), he immediately warned me that I would not be allowed to hold any service on base without his permission.

I had already learned what it was like to be laughed at by a Base Chaplain because I was an Episcopalian.  And after that incident with Colonel Kingsley, I would learn even more of what it was like to be kept from the sacraments.

And then, I was reminded what there were those who made me seem fortunate by comparison.  True, Colonel Kingsley could have tried to court-martial me for saying Mass.  But when I began my cyberspace ministry I found people were listening in places where I would be put to death for saying Mass.  And in between, there are the people who don’t have an appropriate church within reasonable traveling distance.

And, we must not forget,  there are those who are in active service to their country who do not have access to a chaplain of an appropriate denomination.  Even the Roman Catholics have a problem there, and they actually have an Archdiocese of the Armed Forces with full authority to act!

So, I think it might be a good idea to be explicit about doing something!

Bishop Cal