Archive for the ‘Easter’ Category

Love one Another. 5-5-2024

Friday, May 3rd, 2024

I have a truly sad story for you today. Couple of years ago, I was
called to the cemetery to officiate at the burial of a woman who had
no parish priest. She was very old – 97 – and had been active to the
end. But when the hour for the service came, there was only one
mourner, her 75 year old son.
“Tell me about your mother, “I asked. “She must have been a
positive, energetic woman to have lived so long entirely on her
“No,” he said, shaking his head. “She was difficult. She had
no idea how to love. She was never abusive to me; she was just
nothing to me. And now she is gone.”
And so he cried for what might have been, could have been,
should have been. He cried and spoke softly to himself the
saddest words in our language, “Too late.”
Too late! May none of us ever have to speak those words. But
how can we avoid it? There’s only one sure path and Jesus laid it
out for us his gospel: “Love one another as I have loved you.”
A simple formula for a life without regret. And yet we
misunderstand it all the time. We keep confusing the cheap
imitations with the real thing. Infatuation, sentimental tears, the
teenage crush, a passionate song, that warm and cozy feeling – all
very nice, but they’re not love.
To love is to give a piece of one’s heart and not take it back.
Love sticks around in the good days and the bad ones. It does
what needs to be done in tiny pieces and can be done even by the
smallest of us.
Love has its bad days when its heart is cold and there are few
cheery thoughts to warm it. But even then, love does not falter,
and does not take back that piece of the heart that it gave away.
Love’s work is never done, but its yield is never ending.
True love will never have to speak the words, “Too late!”
Long ago Jesus our brother gave his whole heart to us once and
for all. May he help us to give our hearts to one another and never
take them back. May he help us never have to say: – “Too Late /
Too Late!”
Let me close with this:
The bumper sticker said:
So I SMILED all day long…
And people thought I was acting a little weird.
The bumper sticker said:
So I HONKED…And the policeman said I was disturbing the
The bumper sticker said:
So I WAVED with both hands, lost control of the car, and
crashed into a TELEPHONE pole.
If I cannot SMILE…or HONK…or even WAVE…
How will Jesus KNOW I love him?
Mere smiling or honking or waiving is too EASY!
IF you really want to love Jesus, you must love one

You Come Back Now. 4-28-2024

Friday, April 26th, 2024

Sam is a great kid, but Sam is the only kid he knows that goes to
church. But Mom insists.
Mom is a writer. In Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith,
Mom explains why she wants her poor little Presbyterian church to be
part of her son’s life:
“I want to give him what I found in the world, a path and a little
light to see by. Most of the people I know who have what I want—
which is to say, purpose, heart, balance, gratitude, joy—are people with
a deep sense of spirituality. They are people in community, who pray,
or practice their faith…They follow a brighter light than the glimmer of
their own candle.”
“When I was at the end of my rope, the people of St. Andrew tied a
knot in it for me and helped me to hold on. The church became my
home. They let me in. They even said: You come back now.”
Sam was welcomed and prayed for at St. Andrew’s seven months
before he was born. When I announced during worship that I was
pregnant, people cheered. All these old people, raised in Bible-
thumping homes in the Deep South, clapped. Even the women whose
grown-up boys had been or were doing time in jails or prisons rejoiced
for me…Women [who] live pretty close to the bone financially on small
Social Security checks…routinely came up to me and stuffed bills in my
pockets—tens and twenties…And then, almost immediately they set
about providing for us. They bought clothes. They brought me
casseroles to keep in the freezer. They brought me assurance that this
baby was going to be part of the family.
“I was usually filled with a sense of something like shame, until
I’d remember that wonderful line of Blake’s—that we are here to learn
to endure the beams of love—and I would take a long breath and force
these words out of my strangled throat: Thank you.”
Today’s Gospel calls us to realize the connections between Christ
and us and between us and one another. On the night before he died (the
setting of today’s Gospel) Jesus reminds his disciples of every time and
place that, in his love, we are “grafted” to one another in ways we do not
completely realize or understand. As branches of Christ the vine, we are
part of something greater than ourselves, something which transforms
and transcends the fragileness of our lives. May our families,
communities and parishes become extended branches for all of us who
struggle to realize our own harvests of joy and discovery, of grace and
I close – “When I was at the end of my rope, the people of St.
Andrew/the people of san carlos tied a knot in it for me and helped
me to hold on. The church became my home. They let me in. They
even said: You come back now.”

Listening for the Lost Child 4-21-2024

Saturday, April 20th, 2024

For any parent, there is nothing more terrifying than to suddenly
discover that your child is missing. You are at the mall or the beach or
the park—one moment the child is grasping at your pant leg; a second
later the child is nowhere to be found.
In your fear and panic, you shut out every noise, every distraction
demanding your attention – you focus totally and exclusively on finding
your child. You begin frantically looking, running down aisles and
alleys, questioning everyone, checking every possible hiding place.
Nobody gets in your way; nothing slows you down. You become so
caught up in your search for your child that you manage to shut out
everything else in sight for that glimpse of his baseball cap or her yellow
sweater; you are so focused in your search that you tune out every sound
and noise so as to hear the words your heart aches for: “Mommy!
Daddy! I got lost.”
In today’s Gospel, Christ assures us that his voice can be heard
above the noise and din of our lives, offering us peace, wisdom and
guidance if we listen purposefully and attentively. When our spirits
ache over love that has been lost, when we lose our moral and ethical
way, when we feel our footing slip beneath us as we try to navigate life’s
twists and turns, Christ’s voice can always be heard if we listen with
hope, with conviction, with faith. Like a lost child’s voice to frantic
parents, the voice of Christ calls out to us above our desperation and
fear, to guide us, to support us, to prod us on our journey to the dwelling
place of his Father.