Tuesday, February 18, 2014

And then it gets real...

So last week many were moaning and groaning after another snow break.  Arrgh.  But I am glad we had it.  I, and my family, are starting to feel the pull of having two busy, time-and-energy consuming jobs.  So, I was glad to have two days Thursday and Friday to play, sled, and just rest.  Once the weekend hit, I was able to see how I needed it.

Saturday we had our annual Vestry Retreat, and as I have mentioned, it was a blessing.  As energizing as it was, it did have a toll.  Coming home I worked, then reworked my sermon, and it was a good thing.  I am glad it was in the can and was able to have a few chances to go through it before Sunday.

Sunday morning I got to church at 7:50ish for our 9:00 am service.  When I bumped into our interim Rector I found that she had no voice.  A hushed whisper was all she could get out.  So, after celebrating twice the week before with her stable hand pointing directly to what I needed to say, I had the opportunity to do an entire service (sermon, announcements, and celebration of the Eucharist).  I am actually glad that I did not know in advance, so there was no time to fret.  I made a few mistakes, particularly after the Proper Preface (opening seasonal prayer) I skipped right over the Sanctus (Holy, holy, holy...).  That led to a few more hiccups, but I remembered the line in the historical documents of the efficacy of the Eucharist even in the unworthiness of the priest.  Hopefully that extends to first-time nerves as well.

I needed to do the Coffee and Conversation time as well, using an old favorite of The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde, and read it and talked about it for a few minutes.  A few actually became verklempt.  I know that  always do.

Moving into the second service, I felt much more comfortable, but it was tiring.  This time I had learned from all the mistakes, and did much better in round two.

I ran home, wrote a quick homily, and proceeded to pass out for about 45 minute, before I had to go back to church.

I arrived at 4:00 for our 5:30 service, got set-up, and then had an organizational brainstorming session for the Bluegrass Mass.  We came up with some great ideas.  The Bluegrass Mass went great.  It was fun, and for the 33 people there on our first 3rd Sunday service, I was pleased.

My wife came and picked me up, and we ran for a supper club that we had been invited to by folk in the church, and had a good time.  At 9:30, we had to duck out to get the girls home so they could go to bed.  School had been off for Monday, but they had to go after the snow days.  All in all, I had a wonderful, exhausting, encouraging, and empowering day.  I celebrated mass three times, solo.  I could not be more pleased, or more thankful.  Grace abounds, and I am enjoying the ride.

Tally of Eucharists so far: Feb 9 twice, Chapel at school once, Feb 16 thrice = Six Eucharists so far.  Not bad for a week and a half of being ordained a priest.  And I get to do it again tomorrow for Wednesday Quiet Service.  Thanks be to God.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

"But I Say To You..." Sermon Year A Epiphany 6

“But I Say To You”
Year A Epiphany 6
St. Thomas Episcopal

I think it is safe to say that few of us like to hear, “Don’t do this” and “Don’t do that.”  Really, once you get to be an adult, correction is not easy to hear if we are in the wrong, or if someone is treating us beneath our years, it can be outright annoying.

In the realm of moral ideas, growing up to be who our parents and our culture want us to be, we need to start somewhere, though.  We need to start out with the “Don’t!” commands.  Think about it.  One of the first words a child learns is “No!”  They learn it from hearing it over and over and over.  Then they flip the tables on us, and they start saying it.  They find their voice and the way they say it mirrors our our own corrective voices.  When we are starting out, we are looking for guidance.  We look for what it is we need to do.  How do get started?

We need the dos and don’ts to be sure we are coming close to being on track.  But with patience and practice, we become more sure of ourselves, and we can add subtlety and nuance.  We can finesse our practice to a place of mastery and self-expression.  This applies to most all activities, whether ice skating or even our ethics.  

Writer and philosophy professor Dallas Willard tells the story of growing up in Tennessee during the expansion of electricity under the Tennessee Valley Authority.  He remembers the family meeting with his parents and uncles and aunts where they all discussed whether they were going to bring in this new and potentially dangerous idea, electricity, into their homes and what it could mean, both the good and the bad.  One thing that they did realize was that it whatever it did bring, it would change everything.  He goes on to say that that last statement was more true than they knew.  After taking electricity on, it changed the rest of their lives.  The fears were forgotten because the new was so different and so much better that they embraced electricity with all their hearts.  He says the same is true for Christ and his teachings.

They change everything.  If we follow his way, truly and with our whole selves, things will be so much better and so different we cannot imagine going back to the way it was before.

James McClendon, theologian, in his Systematic Theology treatise called Ethics discusses how we live out this new life by looking at what sociologists teach us about game theory.  All games have rules.  We can follow all the rules, and we can even win a game or two without our heart even being in it.

When I am playing on the carpet with my daughter, playing a pretend game with legos or whatever, and when my eyes wander to the news or the Olympics, she knows.  “Dad,” she will deservedly whine, “play for real.”  One time she even took hold of my chin, turning me back to what we were supposed to be about.  It is not enough that I go through the motions, Jesus is asking that our heart be in the game as well.  He calls on us to invest our whole selves.  James McClendon calls this having a Lusory Attitude.  Lusory from the Greek lusos for game.  Rules are needed and important, but Jesus asks for something more, to play for real.

Think about it.  When our forefathers and mothers were beginning in their relationship with this wild desert god, they needed to know what were the basic expectations.  As a teacher I totally get this.  The first week of school is all about establishing boundaries and making clear expectations of what is to be and what the students are to be about in my classroom.  Here we do THIS.  Here we never do THAT.  I make my list and it gives a student the lines that they should not cross.  These commandments are a starting place.  They are good reminders of the BARE MINIMUMS.  If as a teacher I am still working on these at this point in the school year, here in February, something is horribly wrong.

In the Gospel reading from St. Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount section, Jesus is quoting the rules given by Moses, mostly in the Ten Commandments.  He does not deny or denounce them.  He gives this line “You have heard it said...”  He is very clear that that WAS the expectation.  Like Moses he has placed himself on another mountain and he is establishing his expectations and understandings for those that choose to take on his yoke of discipleship in their lives.  “You have heard it said...” he starts, “but I say to you...” he finishes.  Let’s look at these.

Jesus looks to our relationships, our commitments, and our vows.

5:21 "You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, 'You shall not murder'; and 'whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.'
5:22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, 'You fool,' you will be liable to the hell of fire.

Okay, I can imagine coming to Jesus.  I get to follow you right?  I’ve never killed anybody.  Good enough.  But Jesus does not want to settle, nor does he call on his followers to settle.  What are the slides that lead us to murder?  Anger.  Contempt.  It starts there.  Jesus is telling us, don’t even let it start.  You did not cross that line, but he warns us, do not takes steps down that path.  We have all been there.  Someone wrongs us, we want to wrong them back.  Eye for an eye.  Snub for a snub.  But Jesus tells us to hold on a second.  He recognizes that if we do not take care of these things it not only affects others, but us as well.  It even gets in the way of our dealings with God.

5:23 So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you,
5:24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.

Do you hear Jesus?  How we deal with each other is more important than our rites and our rituals.  Let me say that again so it is clear.  How we deal with each other is more important than our rites and our rituals. Why is it, do you think that we have the passing of the peace before we give our gifts to God, or we celebrate the Great Thanksgiving?  Christ wants us to be in a good place with those we can see and live with here on this plane of existence before we look to the next.  We hear coaches all the time yell, “Get your head in the game!”  Jesus calls us to get our heart in the game as well.

But our relationships with friends, enemies and strangers are not the only ones where Jesus reframes Moses’ teaching and raises the bar.

5:27 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.'
5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Lust affects us.  It affects the committer of said lust, and those in relationship with them.  Jimmy Carter was too honest in a jaded world when he alluded to this Scripture in his presidential bid.  He was an honest man who took Jesus’ teaching seriously.  The world, as usual, just did not understand.  Jesus uses hyperbole next to make his point.

5:29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
5:30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.

Now our brothers and sister who take the Scriptures literally, or say that they do, I notice that they are not one-eyed, or one-handed.  I think Jesus is saying here, like he was that we should leave our offerings at the altar, that we are talking about unbelievably serious things.  Like General Maximus said before battle in Gladiator, “What we do here today echoes through eternity!”  For Jesus, the battle was internal, not external.  Like the early Desert Mothers and Fathers who recited the entirety of the Psalms daily, the enemy is inside us, those things that keep us from God.  We show how different we are from the world by how we keep our promises.

Jesus’ first look at Vows are in his view of the importance and seriousness of Marriage.

5:31 "It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.'
5:32 But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Jesus recognizes that our first level relationships are foundational. It was a simple matter to divorce one’s wife.  Notice I said wife there, not spouse.  And there were rabbinic traditions that made it a hot debate, and for time’s sake will summarize it with “Any reason at all” vs. “Infidelity only.”  Jesus jumps in with the infidelity-only camp.  But he takes it further.  The ripples continue.  A clean certificate of divorce that allows women with little to no power in that society to go on and marry again is not so clean, in Jesus’ eyes.  It starts another slope that leads ultimately to adultery, and even more adultery.

Jesus again points his disciples to the importance of our actions and the smallest of things and the hugest points in directions away from what he is instructing us as most dear.  His call is for justice for all involved.  Both the man and the woman.  This is radical and transformative teaching in Jesus’ time, but too often it has led to even more legalism and heartbreak.  Jesus wants his followers in his way of connecting to God to involve all their relationships, and not just “go by the rules.”

A bit more on Vows: what about bearing False Witness?

5:33 "Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, 'You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.'
5:34 But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 5:35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.5:36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.5:37 Let your word be 'Yes, Yes' or 'No, No'; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Because we can dye our hair now, does not give us permission to lie.  Jesus says we do not need invoke divine wrath if we just tell the truth.  We swear to God when we need something beyond the apparent truth to be believed.  “Say yes, and mean it.  Say no, and mean it.  You, as my true followers, do not need to invoke anything further.”  There was a reason that the Quaker was used as a symbol on a can of oats.  What we say is in here is in here.  Period.  No further questions need be asked.  It is the same when a repairman’s truck or ad in the Phone Book has that Jesus fish, supposedly they are saying: “You can trust us.”  Sadly, to those outside the church, it could look and sound like a child saying, “I swear to God.”

This Jesus way of life is not easy, when it is done halfway.  If we hold on to our Anger, our power in our dealings and relationships, our need to be right or at least in charge, we are like if the Willards of Tennessee ran the lines out to the house and never plugged anything into the socket.  If we do not make the change all the way, it does us no good.  Is our head in the game?  Is our whole heart in the game?  Whose side are we on?

In the wisdom of our Apocrypha reading from Sirach:
15:15 If you choose, you can keep the commandments, and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice.
15:16 He has placed before you fire and water; stretch out your hand for whichever you choose.
15:17 Before each person are life and death, and whichever one chooses will be given.


Vestry Retreat... Ugh!

I know they have a reputation.  An annual required "get to know one another" bonding day for the church leadership when we all have better stuff to do.  Some people even admitted as much. But yesterday was different.  My only Ugh! was that we did not have more time together. 

We gathered, processed, planned, mapped out, and signed on for the next year of the church's life. And it was good. 

I am increasingly struck by what a great church I have been asked to serve. I am humbled. What a blessing to be a part. 

I also learned today what was the original ball that began rolling the process to get me to St. Thomas. God does work in mysterious ways. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

4 years in the making...

There are certain days for which we all must wait.  Our Driver's License.  Graduation.  Our wedding day.  Our firstborn.  Since I started as the Chaplain at Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School, I have been wanting to lead communion.  I could have on my Baptist credentials, as I still am ordained in the Baptist tradition, technically.  But I never did because I wanted to wait till I became an Episcopal priest so I would not have to make excuses, or bear false witness on myself.

Today, at long last, I was able to lead the students and teachers in chapel and celebrate the Eucharist.  It meant a lot to me.  I was not going to make a big deal about it, just do it and move on.   But the Principal got up afterward and announced that this was the first time I was able as an Episcopal priest to lead the communion.  The kids applauded.

Not what I wanted.  Definitely not what I expected.  But it was what it was.  For many of them, they have journeyed with me, going to interviews and taking my ordination exams vicariously.  They had heard me speak to how hard it was at times, and how much I was looking forward to today.  Today, a chapel service four years in the making.  I used Sunday's readings, Year A Epiphany 5, from Matthew 5: Jesus said, "You are the salt of earth...  You are the light of the world."  The kids were salt and light for me today, and my prayer is I was for them as well.  It was fun and simple, and beautiful.  Thank you, God, for letting me see it through.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

I am a Priest

Yesterday was a day I will never forget.  I received Holy Orders from Bishop Shannon Johnston, the Bishop XIII  of the Diocese of Virginia.  So many images from the day.

I was told at the Annual Council of the Diocese, that there would be an "ontological difference" after my ordination.  Someone immediately interrupted that comment, saying that the Episcopal Church was only affirming what God had already done a long time ago.  I have to say that both were right.  There was a dramatic feeling of the presence of the Holy Spirit confirming all the time and effort that had gotten me to this point.  When the Bishop pressed down and called on God's Spirit to fill me, with priests's hands surrounding my shoulders and back, I was surrounded with a feeling beyond words.  "Veni Sancti Spiritus" was ringing in me ears as the congregation sung.  I felt blessed; I felt changed.  I became a priest.  I did, however, recognize that this was not a new thing.  It was a different thing.  It was the next step on my journey.  It was the following of Christ's lead that brought me to this place, this time, this Church.  Thanks be to God.

I loved the music.  "I Will Arise" (my favorite hymn) was a song I learned at my high school in my a cappella choir, and have sung it at every ordination I have had.  (Three, if you are counting.)  "Over My Head" was a gospel hymn I learned at St. Andrew's (my home parish).  We had the choir from my school, Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal, and the choir from St. Thomas', along with St. Andrew's, Holy Comforter and Creator Episcopal Churches.  Also, the Bluegrass Band from our Bluegrass Mass, the Vasser Family Singers, joined in to make it an eclectic but fun service.

We celebrated the event with everyone afterwards at the reception, with it all happening so fast that I was not able to keep up with all of the conversations and dear, dear friends that had come out to support me from so many different areas of my life.  I loved it, but it was a whirlwind.

The family came home and collapsed, chilling out, and napping in front of the Olympics for the rest of the day.

I went to bed at 10, and was up early to celebrate for the first time in the Episcopal Church.  I celebrated at the 9 and 11 o'clock services.  We used some of the prayers from The Priest's Handbook for the Celebration of the First Eucharist.  At the first service I had a few hiccups that most would not notice, but I did.  Despite that, I cannot tell you how moving it was to affirm the Grace of God through word and deed.  I pronounced pardon at the sin of confession, praying for God's Grace to flow into me, and through me to all those that had sincerely prayed in repentance, and even more for those that did not.  I broke the bread and shared the cup, asking for God's blessing for all those that received.  I loved serving my wife, my children and my mother particularly.  And then I got to do it all over again at 11.  One lesson I learned was not to be timid.  God's Grace was sufficient and powerful, and God's Grace is not timid.  I learned much.  I received much.  Today was good.

One of the most moving parts of the whole weekend was Ben Campbell's sermon, reminding me of what I was doing and why.  In my heart is the altar of reconciliation, not an altar to appease an angry God, but an altar to transform the world through costly love.  An altar of reconciliation.  A calling by my friend Ben, a prophecy from God.  Lord, make me worthy and continue to shape me into the priest you would have me be.  Thank you, Lord, for the weekend, and thank you all who helped me get here.  Soli Deo Gloria.

Here is Ben's Sermon in Audio.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Holy Orders

This is the day. 
This is the day.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it. 

4 years getting "re-tread" and the day has finally arrived. Thanks be to God for the journey that got me here. To my wife Stephanie (happy birthday by the way!), the kids, our families and all the supportive and encouraging friends I cannot say thank you enough. I feel so blessed, and may it be a blessing as I serve Christ's church in my new order as a priest in the holy catholic Church.  Soli Deo Gloria!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

No longer like or as

I remember a phrase that my grandmother used to say when I got a cut, or a scrape, or a bruise.  "It will get better before you get married." Then she would kiss the boo-boo, give me a pat on the small of my back and move me on to something better than seeking attention.  The day before my wedding, I remember cutting myself shaving, and thinking to myself, "Don't worry, it will get better before you get married."  I heard it in my grandmother's voice.  Then it struck me, "NO, IT WON'T!  I will be getting married tomorrow and this will still be on my face tomorrow."

We are at that point with my ordination.  Tomorrow (Friday, the 7th of February) is the rehearsal, and the next day, God willing and people consenting, I will be ordained an Episcopal priest.  The next day I am set to celebrate my first Eucharist.  Busy, head-spinning weekend, and I am excited and nervous and running through everything line by line, but I find myself glossing over what I just read.  It is funny.  I have been to the dance before.  I have hands laid on me twice now, but I can honestly say this one feels different.  Truly.

It is not that I was not ordained by the wonderful Community of Grace Church in 1995, because I was and performed weddings, funerals, baptisms and all kinds things legally and correctly within the Baptist context.  6 months and change ago, I was ordained a deacon in the Episcopal Church and I have been leading and serving in a church since that time (and happily get to stay there, huzzah!).  But Saturday is almost like a coming of age ritual for me.  It is a realization of a drastic change in my understanding that started 10 years ago.  It is like I found a home that I did not know I was missing and I am starting to move in boxes and unpack and I actually get to call this space a home of my own.  I have put in the sweat equity and have no problem saying, "Yes, I am an Episcopal priest."  (Good Lord willing and the people consenting, of course.)

Today in my class we looked at the difference of similes and metaphors.  Similes are comparisons that use like or as to describe a relationship between two things.  Metaphors say This is That.  I feel like Saturday, the similes will be slipping away, and Rock is a Priest.  This is That.  It will be like a well-made suit slipping on after all the measurements have been made and because of the expertise of the craftsman it will fit just so.  Will there be alterations?  Probably.  There usually are.  But it is the difference of taking in three inches off the rack or bringing it in 3 mm from the master tailor.  It has all come together in this Now.  In this Here.  I am ready to start down this road.

I know that the following days and weeks will be crazy and stressful, but it such a blessing to be able to move into these roles.  I could not be more thankful for all the people who talked, corrected, cajoled, dismissed, encouraged, trained, bolstered, supported, fired, harassed, blessed, and loved me into the person I get to be.  And I am thankful for the journey, all the starts, stops, hiccups, and failures that have shaped me into the man and priest I am becoming.  Thanks be to God.  Soli Deo Gloria!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Candlemas: Bluegrass Mass "Offerings, Sacrifice and Rituals"

Here is the sermon for the Bluegrass Mass at St. Thomas on Candlemas (Feb. 2) 2014

Candlemas 2014, Bluegrass Mass St. Thomas
“Offerings, Sacrifice and Rituals”

Scriptures: Malachi 3:1-4 & Luke 2:22-40

We all have been recipients of offerings and sacrifice.  Our parents, I trust, gave their very best to our betterment.  My children bring the best as gifts and presents.  Heck, even my cat used to bring dead critters, a gift, a rather disgusting sacrifice and left it at the door.  Offerings, sacrifices and rituals often seem strange to those on the outside, but they are so important and transformative to those of us on the inside of the practice.

Tonight we celebrate Candlemas, an ancient celebration of the Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.  We could look at the why’s and how-come’s, but I would rather look at the broader picture.  Why do we even do all this?  Why do we do religion?  Take up offerings?  Spend our time?

Religion comes from the words to reconnect with God.  We re-ligament ourselves with God.  No matter your faith, we have ways of doing that, rituals that point us in a direction as a way of staying connected with the Mystery, the Eternal.

Joseph Campbell, eminent mythologist, reminds us that, “Ritual is an re-enactment of a myth.”  In a moment we will celebrate the Last Supper where Jesus remembered the ancient Exodus by having a Seder meal with his disciples, another ritual by the way.  We also remember the sacrifice that Jesus made the following day.  And three days later he rose again.  All these stories are woven together, and when we remember them in a physical form those stories mingle with ours.  We become those stories, and those stories become our stories.

We read of Mary purifying herself after childbirth, and coming to the Temple to sacrifice.  She was giving two turtle-doves in response to what had made her ritually unclean.  It hearkens back to ancient days when people thought that they had to feed their gods.  Did God need turtle-doves?  Of course not.  But God instructed Moses to instruct Israel to give a sacrifice so that there was no question.  One of the reasons we sacrifice is for us.

We do not bring animals to God any more, but we do bring money and time and give that over to God. Now, please, do not hear me saying we put money in the offering plate to get back from God.  God is not some Cosmic vending machine, put this in, get that out.  That is called Prosperity Theology, and we can point to many Scriptures that contradict that point of view.  However, we do sacrifice and give to God as a way of remembering that there A: There is a God, and B: God is not us.  

Think about the Sabbath day, the 7th day, the day of rest. God asks for our time. Jesus told us that, “Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27)  Now think about it.  Does God need for us to take a day off?  Really think about it.  Why do we need to have a Sabbath?   We need a way for us to say it is okay, that all is okay.  We do not need to worry, fret and work 7 days a week.  God needs us to clue in and have faith.  It will be okay.  It will all be okay.  Or as Julian of Norwich penned, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and manner of things shall be well.

It is not just our time.  It goes for our money today, too.  Why do we give a portion of our money to God?  What would God need our money for?  It is a statement of faith for us to share in what we have been given and worked hard for to say that we can get by on 90% or whatever it is because God is in control.  Now of course we want good things to happen.  We know that what we give pays bills, helps people, expands the work of the Church and helps spread goodness around the world.  But why?  I give because I need to give.  I need to make a conscious effort so that I have skin in the game.  God asks us to give because he knows that we need to do so.  For our sake.  Also, it is an invitation to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.  We are invited to help be a part of transforming the world along with God.  What an invitation!

Mary gave, and the gift she gave was the “if you cannot afford the real gift, give this minimum and it will be okay.”  Two turtle-doves was truly the least she could do according to the laws of Moses.

And while Mary was there in the Temple, God showed up.  Not in the ritual, but that is what got them there.  God the Spirit led Simeon there, and he prophesied that the promised day had arrived.

Anna, a widow who had sacrificed her life after her husband died, lived a life of worship and sacrifice by fasting, and she proclaimed that the Messiah had come.  

By being connected with God, not Religion, remember “reconnecting,” but by direct relationship Simeon had his greatest desire come true. By connecting through sacrifice and worship, the rituals of the Temple, Anna was able to prophecy that Jesus was the one for all who were looking for the redemption of Israel.

By Ligion and by Religion,  Simeon and Anna were able to present Jesus to his parents as being more miraculous than they already knew, and they were able to present him to all who would hear.  Joseph and Mary brought what they held most dear, their newborn son, and received gifts beyond their wildest expectations.

As we look to our times together, and all the stories we live into in our times together, help us stay focused on what brings us here, and what brought them there so long ago.  Jesus came into the world, and his light still illumines us today.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


A dear friend had a license plate, ICGODNU, and I was reminded of that in this report on Religious News Service on Broadway Church's exhibition of Portraits of Jesus.  I was touched and moved at how many ways people see Jesus.  When we see the human in the divine or the divine in the human, we are seeing Jesus.  Some of these images are controversial.  Some are comforting.

Tomorrow at church, we will be looking at our church.  Our annual meeting is our time to affirm and look forward.  I trust I will see Christ as I look out tomorrow, during the times of worship, during the times of voting, during my interactions with all my fellow brothers and sisters.  I hope that I see Jesus looking back at me.

Here is the link to Faces of Jesus.