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The Chalice
Friday, August 05 2022


In the last few weeks, we’ve heard some of the greatest hits in our gospels: the Good Samaritan, Mary and Martha, the Lord’s Prayer. Summer gospel readings are some of the great stories of Jesus’ life. The message behind each one of these gospels is that Jesus is giving us his tips for living a fuller, more present life. In our gospel this week, we are three chapters into Jesus’ travel narrative. His disciples are just getting past the honeymoon stage of the idea of going from place to place and they’re focusing on things of this world: the temporal, rather than things eternal (as last week’s collect stated). If given the choice between the two, the human inclination is to trust in things seen rather than unseen. 

Karoline Lewis is the chair of Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She wrote an article about ten years ago about this Sunday’s gospel that caught my attention. The way she put it, is that we would rather put our trust in “achievements, acquisitions, and assets.” At least, that is our inclination as human beings. She writes at length about the overall theme of this passage: “fear, treasure, and being prepared.”

In my homily from last week at St. Luke’s, Sea Cliff, I talked a bit about our needing to be prepared and what that looks like for each of us. I tend to live day to day - even hour to hour. My schedule is jam packed with productivity: meetings, check-in’s, office organizing, and paperwork. I tend to forget how important it is for one to be present in the moment. That is why I emphasize how important the daily office is, as I tend to forget it myself! 

Every weekday morning, a group of approximately fifteen of us gather on Zoom to pray Morning Prayer together. If interested, reach out to Fr. Duncan or myself. We’d love for you to join our worshiping community. We have a coffee hour social afterwards that isn’t necessarily the most productive part of my day, but really does recenter me on who I should be focused on - the people of God. I also have been pushing for weekly Noonday Prayer and Choral Evening Prayer (Evensong) on a monthly basis. This discipline of praying grounds me. It helps me to be alive. 

What grounds you? How are you preparing yourself for life? For death? How are you living: for the things of this world or for your spirit and communion with God? How are you recharging this summer? How do you honor your achievements, acquisitions, and assets, while not overly dwelling there with them? Are you following Jesus’ tips for living? As our collect calls us to this Sunday, may we be enabled to live.

Your sibling in Christ,

Fr. James

Posted by: The Rev. James E. Reiss AT 01:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
St. John's Episcopal Church
12 Prospect St. | Huntington, NY 11743 | PH: (631) 427-1752
Sunday Services at 8 AM and 10 AM
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