Acts 15, 1-2 22-29 + Psalm 67 + Revelation 21, 10-14, 22-23 + John 14, 23-29
May 1, 2016 at Saint Peter & St William Churches in Naples, FL
Within the heart of every person, and in the memory of every culture there is a profound nostalgia for paradise. The creation and origin myths of every people describe our beginnings as a time when God and humanity dwelled together as one. Our own primordial tale in Genesis speaks to us of the peace of Eden, and it describes the relationship that existed between the creator and the creature. In those days God spoke to his creature face to face and there was no fear. The Bible tells us that God walked the garden in the evening to talk with his beloved creatures. … more »
Acts 14, 21-27 + Psalm 145 + Revelation 21, 1-5 + John 13, 31-35
April 24, 2016 at Saint Peter & St William Churches in Naples, FL
The fragment of John’s Gospel we open today cuts through the complexity of human nature and the mixed motives behind everything that we do as it unfolds for us the meaning of glory and love.
There seem to be five kinds of love.
The first is utilitarian. We love someone because they are useful to us. It is obviously more love of self than of another. It says, “I love what you do, but I don’t love you.”
The second kind is romantic love. It is a kind of affection we feel because of the pleasure another gives us. … more »
Acts 13, 14-52 + Revelation 7, 9-17 + John 10, 14-30
April 17, 2016 at Saint Peter & St William Churches in Naples, FL
Not too many years ago I was presiding at a funeral for man I had come to know during the last few months of his life. He was very ill, but taking his time about surrendering to the arms of mercy. It was my privilege as his pastor to share some time near the end of journey getting to know him. We prayed, we talked, laughed, and cried a few times. There were great stories shared between us, and then it was time for the funeral. A business associate and golfing partner stood up to give a “eulogy.” I sat for what seemed to be about an hour and half as the gentleman, with all good intentions, told the congregation about all the things his friend had done and accomplished in life. … more »
Acts 5, 27-32 + Psalm 30 + Revelation 5, 11-14 + John 21, 1-19
April 10, 2016 at Saint Peter & St William Churches in Naples, FL
With Peter before us today, the Gospel affirms that strength and weakness can be found in the same person, and I suppose that is good news for all of us. The weakness of Peter is there all along and it is unmistakable, but Christ sees Peter’s strength and that too is good news for us because Peter is not the only person in whom there is strength and weakness. As we gather here today, we can only hope that Christ sees some strength in us as well.
There is a pattern to Peter’s experience with Christ that we might refer to as: “Call, Fall, and Re-call.” That first call occurred as Jesus was beginning his ministry. … more »
Acts 5, 12-16 – Psalm 118 – Revelation 1, 9-11, 12-13 – John 20, 19-31
April 3, 2016 at Saint Peter & St William Churches in Naples, FL
It is a world of wounded people who have celebrated Easter this year. Wounds are everywhere from Belgium to Paris, from Boston to Pakistan where Christian children celebrating Easter with their families are killed by a suicide bomb. These atrocities bogle the mind and tear at our hearts with the risk that we become numb to all of this and cease to stirred and troubled closing ourselves away from one another. All the while in the background multitudes of Syrian refugees flee their homes to be met by hostility and barbed wire. This church is full of wounds too, perhaps not as dramatic or violent, but there are wounds in every one of us. … more »