Holy Surrender

During the summers of my undergraduate years, I taught swimming for the town I lived in. This was a great job for me back in the day. I enjoyed being in the water all day, truly enjoyed what felt like basically playing with the pre-schoolers who filled most of the beginner swimming classes. And luckily,…

Waiting for God

I often tell people patience is a virtue, and I don’t have any. Patience that is, not virtues. I, like many of us here today, I am not one who likes to wait. True to my type A personality, waiting feels like a waste of time. Time that I feel could be used for more…

Mary the Revolutionary?

So often we are called to serve justice. At Baptism, we vow to strive for justice and peace among all people and to respect dignity of every human being. In the Bible, justice is mentioned 194 times. In Psalm 72, the writer asks ‘Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son.”…

We Are All God’s Children

In the midst of the third and final presidential debate on October 19th Donald Trump captured the tenor of this whole election season when he responded to Secretary Clinton with “ I’m not the puppet, you are!” The exchange summed up how juvenile and petty the campaign has become on both sides. It also demonstrated…

God is Faithful

I grew up under the shadow of my older brother, to whom everything in life seems to come easily. In high school, he was an honor student, varsity athlete, and one of the “popular” kids. As an adult, Ken has seamlessly moved up the ladder of success in the field of finance. He has the…

The Higher Authority

Years ago, Hebrew National Hotdogs ran an advertising campaign featuring Uncle Sam smiling while holding a hotdog. The voice over discussed all the artificial ingredient the United States Food and Drug Administration allowed them to use to produce a hotdog. The tag line at the end was, “not us, we have to answer to a…

The Price of Inclusion

How many of us feel as if their heads are spinning after news broke that the Episcopal Church has been sanctioned by the Anglican Communion for moving forward on same-gender marriage. I suspect what really has our heads spinning is that most of us had no idea the primate’s meeting taking place in Canterbury. Now…

Not Everything Is Happy at Christmas

For the last few days there has been more excitement than usual around the Swan house. Its not just because the girls are home, but because the Power Ball, prior to last night’s drawing, was worth over 300 million dollars. 300 million is the breaking point for the Swan family to enter the lottery. Despite…

Entering the Promised Land

As anyone who has ever had to relocate knows, moving is never easy, even under the best of circumstances. Somehow, Maureen and I forgot that reality as we prepared for our move this summer. “What could go wrong?” we thought. “that a little extra planning couldn’t over come.” Once we knew we were coming to…

Service for All

Three years ago, I had the honor of baptizing a boy named Brennan. At the time, Brennan was six years old. Like most typical six year old boys, Brennan preferred recess and lunch over academics. He gave his mother a hard time when it came to eating vegetables, and he loved Taylor Swift. Actually, when…

They Got Mad At Jesus!

I am absolutely fascinated with this morning’s Gospel. Every time I read it, I just kept asking, “What did Jesus say that got the crowd so offended that Jesus could not perform miracles?” In another account of Jesus preaching, the people literally ran him out of the Synagogue, all because he had proclaimed Isaiah’s prophecy…

Can You See what God Sees

In November of 1989, one month after Chelsea was born, Maureen and I closed on what was the first and only house we have ever owned. The house was built in the late 20’s and was, shall we say, in need of some work. Well actually, lots of work! In fact, the house needed a…