The Good News

This Sunday our readings confront us with the uncomfortable reality that the good news causes division and conflict (Luke 12). Of course the good news brings reconciliation, healing, peace and joy to the whole world. But the love of God made known and incarnate in Jesus also compels us to seek reconciliation, healing, peace and joy in the name of Christ for every human being and indeed for every creature.

Be ready for His return

This Sunday the Gospel warns us to be ready at unexpected times for the return of our Master (Luke 12). If we are reaching for some example of what this readiness looks like we might turn to the words of the prophet Isaiah.

“Cease to do evil. Learn to do good.  Seek Justice.  Rescue the oppressed.  Defend the orphan.  Plead for the widow.” (Isaiah 1)  But if we are expecting these actions to have some predictable effect upon our lives, we are likely to be confused and disappointed.  This is because while we must try to live in readiness for the master’s return, we have to be prepared to persevere in his absence. The absence of the master leaves open the possibility that our efforts to live in obedience to the master will not receive the immediate reward we should expect.  Sometimes those who do evil will prosper. 

Bands of Love

When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.

The more I called them,
the more they went from me;

they kept sacrificing to the Baals,
and offering incense to idols.

Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
I took them up in my arms; 
but they did not know that I healed them.

I led them with cords of human kindness,
with bands of love. (Hosea 11:1-5)

The message of Hosea is even more striking than that of the other prophets when it comes to family and bodily metaphors. God's message to Hosea is that God's people have betrayed the familial relationship in choosing to follow other gods. We too follow other gods, sometimes harming others with our greed and misuse of others, and sometimes only harming ourselves. Regardless of how we get into sin and separation from God, getting out is always as easy as turning toward God's mercy. The God who led Israel with "cords of human kindness" will lead us back as well.

Our heroes

At the July meeting of the Vestry, Charles Kinney shared the following reflection:

Dear Friends, 

Several weeks ago as I considered what might be an appropriate reflection to discuss with you tonight, I remembered that my Dad had written a letter to my immediate family and me two weeks before he died in Sept. 1996. Unable to recollect his precise words, I thought that I should dig it out of my files to see whether he had any pertinent advice on how to live life better. I was able to retrieve the three-page hand-written letter from the chaos of my correspondence, and I read and re-read it carefully.

Put on your Martha shoes!

This Sunday’s story about Mary and Martha has sometimes been interpreted as the acceptable range of discipleship for women – either Martha - servant hospitality or Mary -contemplation.  But we are far beyond identifying or limiting discipleship roles by gender. Likewise, we are beyond hierarchical, or competitive concepts of discipleship. While Jesus says Mary has chosen the better part,  we don’t need to thumb our noses at servant hospitality.  

"Walk in Love": a podcast from Episcopal Migration Ministries

This week we are sharing a podcast from Episcopal Migration Ministries. It's called the "Walk in Love Border Tour". Here's more about it:

Allison and Kendall recently had the opportunity to join the Diocese of West Texas for their Walk in Love Border Tour. The “Walk in Love” border tour highlighted some of the Episcopal ministries and humanitarian efforts in south-central Texas. The May 15-17 tour of Texas began in San Antonio and made stops along the U.S.-Mexico border in Roma, McAllen and Brownsville.

Episcopal Church response to crisis on the border

July 2, 2019

Over the past several weeks, The Episcopal Church has responded to the reports of inhumane conditions for children and other asylum seekers in government custody in a number of ways. This response includes calls for donations and goods from Episcopal dioceses on the border, prayers for those seeking safety, efforts to engage in advocacy, and pastoral messages from bishops around the Church.

The Good Work of God

This weekend we give thanks for the birth of Anna Krista Petrova, the Baptism of William Daly, the safe return of our 17 J2A pilgrims, and for those people who have supported, encouraged, and inspired us on our journey.  We are so proud and happy to have the opportunity to be of support to others on their journey, too.

To Be a Pilgrim: Seeking God and Finding Christian Life

As I’ve been preparing to lead our group of youth and adult pilgrims to Banff this week, I have had the famous English hymn “To Be a Pilgrim” going through my head. Despite its 17th century protestant themes (it’s from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress of 1684), the hymn is useful for thinking about pilgrimage beyond the specific allegorical story for which it was composed. I think it is useful for meditation on the Christian life as pilgrimage from where we are to where God is.

Summer Music at St. Luke’s: An Introduction to Our Guest Organists

Every year as summer approaches and the activities of the school year come to a halt, there is a discernible change in the DC and Alexandria region. Downtown neighborhoods are filled with families who go out to enjoy the beautiful weather on the weekends. Friends share summer vacation plans and meet up for picnics and music in the park. And eventually, the constant traffic we are all so accustomed to becomes a little less congested as people leave town or just slow down. Summers in our area are a special time, when the everyday pace of life slows a bit, and we’re invited to spend a little more time noticing God’s beauty all around us, in the quiet moments of leisure, the laughter of children playing, and the blooming flowers of summer.