Thursday in the Seventh Week of Easter, Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville

That night the Lord stood near him and said, ‘Keep up your courage! For just as you have testified for me in Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also in Rome’” (Acts 23:11).

Little did we know in January, when we celebrated our annual convention under the theme, “You will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8), exactly the sort of witness we would bear in the Diocese of Tennessee, in the weeks that followed. In company … Read more

Ascension Day, Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville

When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9).

This detail, from the Acts’ account of Jesus’ ascension, is easy to overlook; or at least, to overlook its significance. On the fortieth day of Eastertide, Jesus parts from the disciples and is received into heaven; the disciples are ordered to remain in Jerusalem until they receive the Holy Spirit. Visual … Read more

Thursday in the Fifth Week of Easter, Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville

Simeon has related how God first looked favorably on the Gentiles, to take from among them a people for his name’” (Acts 15:14).

“Pandemic” means world-wide, or at least widespread. This is one of the defining characteristics of the time of the Coronavirus, its sheer extent. A friend of mind told me this week that I should look on the bright side: at least the virus wasn’t a cosmic phenomenon. My response was that was … Read more

Thursday in the Fourth Week of Easter, Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville

When he had removed Saul, he made David their king. In his testimony about him he said, ‘I have found David, son of Jesse, to be a man after my heart, who will carry out all my wishes’” (Acts 13:22).

One of the earliest Christian images found in the catacombs is a picture of a young, beardless shepherd, standing in the midst of green pastures, surrounded by the sheep. The image could reflect Jesus’ parable … Read more

Thursday in the Third Week of Easter, Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville

Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza’ (this is a wilderness road)” (Acts 8:26).

Jesus was an itinerant preacher and teacher, which means he lived his life on the road. As Luke the Evangelist tells the story, in the Gospel that bears his name and in the Acts of the Apostles that is its sequel, Jesus’ … Read more

Thursday in the Second Week of Easter, Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville

God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things…” (Acts 5:31-32).

Our first reading today gives us a stylized version of some early Christian preaching, from the early days after the first Easter. St. Peter and the other apostles are being arraigned in court because they’ve been performing miracles of healing in Jerusalem. In other … Read more

Thursday in Easter Week, Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville

Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Lk. 24:39).

It’s Easter Week, the beginning of the great fifty days that celebrate the resurrection, but in the time of the Coronavirus it feels more like just another week of the pandemic: physical distance, shelter at home, personal and societal disconnections of … Read more

Easter Day Proclamation, Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville

In the ancient church, the celebration of Easter was (as it is now) the central observance of the year. Setting the date and informing the faithful well in advance was a solemn duty of the church’s leaders. The commemoration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ was an event that could not be contained by a single day, but extended over the whole Easter season that concluded with the Day of Pentecost.

Over 1600 years ago, … Read more

Palm Sunday, Year A, St. Bartholomew’s Church, Nashville

Though he was in the form of God, [Jesus] did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:6-8).

Palm Sunday is a study in contrasts. We go from the liturgy of the palms to the passion gospel; from exaltation to … Read more

The Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year A, St. George’s Church. Nashville

Father, I thank you for having heard me” (Jo. 11:41).

In the 2013 film Gravity, actress Sandra Bullock is an astronaut who’s in extremis. There’s been a terrible, traumatic accident that has left her cut off, hurtling in orbit around the world in grave danger of her life. Her only contact is with ghostly, flickering radio voices and a “virtual” George Clooney, a fellow astronaut who is probably a figment of her own imagination.

So, … Read more