The Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year A, St. James, Dickson & Calvary Church, Cumberland Furnace

“He said, ‘Lord, I believe.’ And he worshiped him” (Jo. 9:38).

At this point in Lent, with a couple more Sundays to go, it might be a good idea to surface briefly, take stock, and remember what the season is all about. Penitence: yes, absolutely, starting with a strong Ash Wednesday and continuing on. During this season we’re called to “self-examination and repentance”; to “prayer, fasting, and self-denial”; to “reading and meditating on God’s holy Word” … Read more

The Third Sunday in Lent, Year A, Grace Chapel, Clarksville & St. Luke’s Church, Springfield

“Oh, that today you would hear his voice” (Ps. 95:7).

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today”: this aphorism is attributed to Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, who was fond of sayings like this. Some of this folk wisdom he put into Poor Richard’s Almanack, like “You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again”: a variant on the theme with a warning for procrastinators. Personally I like … Read more

The First Sunday in Lent, Year A, Trinity Church, Winchester & Christ Church, Alto

“For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19).

Music often has “movements”, a self-contained section within a musical work that can be performed on its own, but which really requires the other movements of the musical composition for a complete performance. Often the movements contrast in their tone, variations on a theme if you will. A … Read more

The Last Sunday after Epiphany, Year A, St. Peter’s Church, Columbia

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there” (Ex. 24:12).

A “mountaintop experience” is a significant life-changing event. The phrase conjures up the notion of a journey, since people don’t usually live on top of mountains: in order to get there you need to move from where you are to where you need to be. Mountaintops also increase our range of vision: you can see further and perhaps even see … Read more

The Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C, St. James’ Church, Sewanee

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48)

There’s a scene in one of the final seasons of The Sopranos, HBO’s hit TV show from the last decade, where Tony Blundetto, Soprano’s cousin and part of his criminal crew, has killed the brother of mobster Phil Leotardo in reprisal for the murder of one of his friends. Leotardo wants his own vengeance: “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” … Read more

Bishop’s Day with Vestries, Wardens, and Treasurers, St. Paul’s Church, Murfreesboro

“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).

Our reading from the Letter to the Hebrews today gives us a collection of “faithful figures” from the Old Testament: Abel, Enoch, and Noah, all commended as examples of faith. If you follow along in this chapter others appear, some well-known and others more obscure: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the patriarchs of course; Joseph and Moses (the Egyptian connection); … Read more

The Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C, St. Matthew’s Church, McMinnville

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

Jesus has a lot to say about forgiveness. In the Sermon on the Mount the subject has a prominent place, not least of all in the Lord’s Prayer that … Read more

Bishop’s Visitation, St. Mary’s Convent, Sewanee

“Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Gen. 2:7)

I remember the class for expectant parents that we took in the weeks before the birth of our first child. Mind you, I don’t remember much of the wisdom that was imparted there, but I do remember our instructor in breathing techniques during labor. She invited us to … Read more

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C, Church of the Holy Trinity, Nashville

“You are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14).

These are hard times for a church called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Staleness is rampant: the stale and insipid “same old same old” of sin and death, of hate and fear. Salt is supposed to liven things up. Salt is also supposed to preserve things; but in a time of “tear down” it’s hard to build things … Read more

The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C, Church of the Redeemer, Shelbyville

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matt. 5:8)

People and organizations sometimes talk about their “core values”: that is, their “fundamental beliefs”; “guiding principles that dictate behavior and action”; what allows them to tell right from wrong (Yourdictionary.com). I like the definition that one business web site offered: “A principle that guides an organization’s internal conduct as well as its relationship with the external world” (Businessdictionary.com). At his last press … Read more