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Showing posts from January, 2007


Most of us are familiar with the term 'orthodoxy' which means 'right knowing'. As you can see, therefore, orthopraxy (roughly translated) means, 'right living'. There are some people that emphasize one over the other but, being an good Episcopalian, I believe that we need both. And I think most of us would agree.

But, for this post, I want to emphasize orthopraxy. If you have been a reader of this blog for awhile, you may have noticed that I emphasize this a lot. There is a reason for that. Where I come from, there is an over emphasis on orthodoxy (right knowing). Of course knowing rightly about God, Jesus, etc. is important, but at what cost? To often, in my experience, the cost is separation from the people and creation that we are to be 'saving'. (I know that Jesus does this but more often than not he seems to work through his people to accomplish this task.)

It has become blindingly clear the last few years that the church is in serious need …

Sign Post

The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee.  Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration.  The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”  “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied.  “My time has not yet come.”  But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”  Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing.  Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons.  Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.”  When the jars had been filled, he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.”  So the servants followed his instructions.  When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over.  “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said.  “Then, when everyone has…

Coming Through Chaos Out Into New Creation

Matthew 8.23-27. Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!”

John 6.16-21. That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!” Then they were ea…

New Wineskins

Mark 2.18-22. Once when John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, some people came to Jesus and asked, “Why don’t your disciples fast like John’s disciples and the Pharisees do?”Jesus replied, “Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. They can’t fast while the groom is with them. But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.

“Besides, who would patch old clothing with new cloth? For the new patch would shrink and rip away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger tear than before.

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.”
This passage has always stumped me. I never got what the parables meant. Oh, I've been told a couple of different things, but they never really rang true.

Until now.

This morning as I was going through the Morning Office, this passage was our Gospel reading. As I alm…

WDJD and Confirmation Class

For a little while now, our Sunday School class (is it just me or does there have to be a better name!) has been asking the question 'What does God care about?' This mornings class, Fr Dwight had WDJD -- What Did Jesus Do? -- on the board. In the past, we looked at what God had said through the prophets about what was important and this morning we turned to Jesus to see, not what he said, but what he did and how that lined up with what we read in the Old Testament. We started in Matthew 8.1 and we every section seemed to be about rebuilding community. From the various healings he did to the calming of the sea to the deliverance of people 'possessed be demons'. In each case, the 'symptom' was like a picture of what was going on in the world around him. It seemed like people couldn't do and be what they were longing to do and be because of their being separated from the community. And this is exactly what we were seeing in the prophecies of the Old Tes…