Second Sunday of Easter, Year B, St. Bartholomew’s Church, Nashville

“Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you’” (Jo. 20:26).

Peace, the Hebrew “shalom,” is where everything is in its proper place; where everything is in right relationship with every other thing. Peace prevails when we are in the place we belong, and others are at home as well. Peace is not just an absence of strife, but rather a positive state of well-being and belonging. … Read more

Easter Vigil, Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville

“And God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also” (Gen. 1:16).

Recently, with fewer places to go, and time at home, I’ve become a more intentional observer of the heavens; what you might call a “casual astronomer.” At night, in winter, the Belt of Orion introduces you to the nearby stars, Betelgeuse and Rigel; Mars, with its … Read more

The Feast of the Annunciation, Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville

“When Christ came into the world, he said… I come to do your will, O God” (Heb. 10:4,7; cf. Ps. 40:8-9).

If you detected more than a breath of the Christmas season in our readings today, you are on solid ground: for today is the feast of the Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary, marking the beginning of Christ’s incarnation in the womb of his mother, nine months before his … Read more

The Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B, St. Bede’s Church, Manchester

“In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications… and he was heard because of his reverent submission” (Heb. 5:7-8).

Lent is a journey, one we take each year, from the beginning with Ash Wednesday to the ending before Easter Day.  This Lent the journey began in Middle Tennessee with sleet and snow, and it’s winding to its end with a beautiful rainy Spring. We also began this journey with the overhanging … Read more

Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B, St. Andrew’s Church, New Johnsonville

“By grace you have been saved” (Eph. 2:5).

“Amazing grace! how sweet the sound/ that saved a wretch like me! /I once was lost, but now am found, /was blind but now I see” (Hymnal, 617). You all know the hymn, an ever-popular American standard, even heard outside of churches. Not too many hymns can claim that. Old time Episcopalians have probably forgotten that it only came into our hymnal in 1982: before that, most … Read more

Second Sunday in Lent, Year B, St. Luke’s Church, Springfield

“No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God” (Rom. 4:22).

Faith begins with Abraham, as St. Paul describes it in our second reading from the Letter to the Romans: a sort of extended commentary on the legendary patriarch of the People of Israel. Abraham appears in our first reading from Genesis as well, where God changes his name from Abram, which means “exalted ancestor,” to Abraham,” meaning “ancestor of a multitude.” What’s interesting … Read more

First Sunday in Lent, Year B, Grace Church, Spring Hill

“He went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison” (1 Pet. 3:19).

The ancient Hebrews had a dim notion of the afterlife: literally dim, as they saw it as a shadowy and spectral place, hard to speculate about and not, generally speaking, a source of hope. The Psalter calls it “the land of destruction,” which is not too cheerful; then again, “the country where all is forgotten” (Ps. 88: 12,13). This last could … Read more

Last Sunday after Epiphany, Year B, St. Matthew’s Church, McMinnville

“As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven” (1 Kings 2:11).

We catch a glimpse of the prophet Elijah today, not only in our first reading but in our Gospel: one of two figures who appear at Jesus’ side at the scene of Transfiguration. Elijah, symbolizing the ministry of the prophets, along with Moses the law-giver, … Read more

Fifth Sunday after Epiphany, Year B, Church of the Holy Spirit, Nashville

“In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed” (Mk. 1:35).

The beginning of Mark’s Gospel, from which we read today, defines Jesus’ ministry. Here we see our Lord, in a brief period of time, engaged in the same activities that will mark the rest of his work. In the first chapter, Jesus heals the sick and casts out demons; he … Read more

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany, Year B, St. Peter’s Church, Columbia

“When the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught” (Mk. 1:21).

In our Gospel today, Jesus appears in the synagogue in a characteristic pose: that of a teacher, an instructor in the law and the prophets. Jesus is on his home turf in Galilee: not his hometown of Nazareth, but at the nearby, next-sized town, Capernaum. As I understand it, synagogue congregations did not depend on a settled ministry of preachers and teachers, but … Read more