Proper 27, Year C, Church of the Redeemer, Shelbyville

“They cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection” (Lk. 20:36).

“Children of God:” a phrase we’re very familiar with in the church, as in “you’re a child of God,” and “we’re children of God,” but which has an interesting genealogy. In our Gospel today, it’s a loose translation of the Greek, which reads “sons of God,” an expression reaching back to the very beginning … Read more

The Sunday after All Saints’ Day, Year C, All Saints’ Church, Smyrna

“I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Lk. 6:27-28).

The Feast of All Saints’ got its start as a celebration of the martyrs of the early church, a commemoration of the many people put to death in the persecutions under the Roman Empire. So many people were executed in so many places that there weren’t … Read more

Celebration of New Ministry, Kristine Blaess, St. Paul’s Church, Murfreesboro

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2).

There’s no doubt that this evening marks a significant event in the life of this Christian community. At a church like St. Paul’s, rectors are not called every day. When parishioners look back at the life of their church, they tend … Read more

Proper 25, Year C, St. Agnes’ Church, Cowan

“He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt” (Lk. 18:9).

Our Gospel today provides the frame for Jesus’ story: in other words, before we even hear the story of the two men praying, and start to guess at its meaning, the Gospel writer Luke tells us what it’s all about.  We don’t have to wonder for ourselves what’s going on. We know from … Read more

Proper 24, Year C, Church of the Messiah, Pulaski

“When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Lk. 18:8).

There’s a tentative quality to the question at the end of our Gospel, as if the questioner were not sure of the answer. Lawyers are taught not to ask questions in court when they don’t already know the answers. If you are trying to prove your point it’s good to know in advance what the answer will be, since it will … Read more

The Ordination of a Deacon, Wesley Hill, Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville

“The Lord will direct his counsel and knowledge, as he meditates on his mysteries” (Ecclus. 39:7).

Today our diocese gathers for the ordination of a new deacon, an action of the church that has significance for our ordinand (of course) but also for the church at large: in Tennessee and further afield, and especially in the seminary community in Ambridge where our friend Wesley Hill is a teacher and mentor. A celebration like this, of … Read more

Proper 23, Year C, St. Barnabas’ Church, Tullahoma

“Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” (Lk. 17:13).

If you’re an athlete you know about stance: that is, the standing position you assume that will give you the widest range and power as you begin to move. I’m not an athlete, so I don’t really know what I’m talking about, but the notion of a stance has wider applicability. St. Paul says in the First Letter to the Corinthians that when it comes to the … Read more

Proper 22, Year C, St. Bede’s Church, Manchester

“So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’” (Lk. 17:10).

Self-righteousness is rampant in the land. Security in one’s own convictions, and an equal and unassailable belief in the wickedness of one’s enemies, is widespread. We tend to congregate with the likeminded, siloed in by the same media and the same formative opinions. When … Read more

Proper 21, Year C, St. Michael’s Church, Cookeville

“No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent” (Lk. 16:30).

Jesus tells a story in our Gospel today: a parable about a rich man and a poor man, one of whom receives his reward in this life, and the other in the life to come. So far, so good: a study in contrast. Jesus, however, adds an additional point: the rich man neglected the poor man in this … Read more

Proper 20, Year C, St. Ann’s Church, Nashville

“If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?” (Lk. 16:11).

Jesus keeps coming back to “faith”: faith as the context of his healing ministry, as in the many miracles we find in the Gospels; and faith also in the context of discipleship, as when his followers ask Jesus to increase their faith (Lk. 17:5), which we will hear about in a couple of weeks. When … Read more