Monthly Archives: March 2017

Fourth Sunday of Lent — Dr. Joel Marcus

Gospel: John 9:1-41

Collect: Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

BLINDNESS AND SIGHT

 The story of the man born blind in John 9 is one of the most artistic compositions in the Gospels. John loves to set up a story as he does here: to show Jesus confronting a single representative individual with his incomparable claims about his own person. Think of Nicodemus in chapter 3. Think of the Samaritan woman in chapter 4. Think of Doubting Thomas and Mary Magdalene in chapter 20. And then think again about our story of an unnamed blind man in chapter 9. Continue reading

Third Sunday of Lent, Yr A–The Rev. Karen C. Barefield

John 4:5-42

O God of mercy, lead us into the way of all truth,
comfort us in our sorrow
and bring us to life everlasting. Amen.

The day was unbearably hot…
the sun directly overhead…
the heat was absolutely oppressive at this noon hour,
even the scorched earth begged for just a drop of water.

At this hour there are no locals to be found.

All the women know to come early in the cool of the new dawn to draw their water for the day.

And all those who missed the morning cool will just have to make do until evening when the sun begins to set and loses its heat once again.

However, one woman – a Samaritan woman – specifically chooses this time to come to the well.

Continue reading

1st Sunday of Lent, Yr A– The Rev. Karen C. Barefield

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
Matthew 4:1-11

In the name of the one, holy and living God:
who was, and is, and is to come. Amen.

I have heard the story told that there is a village somewhere on the African continent where if someone in the village commits a crime, that person is brought into the center of the village while all the villagers gather around them.

And then the villagers proceed to tell this person all the good things about them.

They embody an infusion of love to counteract the destruction of sin.

Today, on this first Sunday of Lent, we hear the story of Jesus being led into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil.

But let us remember that before entering the wilderness, he is first claimed as God’s beloved at his baptism.

Just as we have been! Continue reading

Ash Wednesday, Yr A–The Rev. Karen C. Barefield

Joel 2:1-2,12-17
Psalm 103:8-14

In the name of the one, holy and living God:
who was, and is, and is to come. Amen.

Blow the trumpet in Zion!
sound the alarm on my holy mountain.
Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sanctify a fast;
call a solemn assembly;
gather the people. (Joel 2:1; 2:15)

On February 7th Bishop Anne sent out a Lenten letter, which began with this passage from Joel.

I will not read her entire letter but do want to share some of it with you…in part because she is our bishop, and I think it’s important to hear what she has to say…and in part because she speaks so clearly with spiritual wisdom and guidance for these times:

“Dear People of God,

“Lent is fast approaching. And I use the word fast intentionally.

Continue reading