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Counterpoint in the Body of Christ

Sunday, June 23, 2013 — Pentecost 5C / Lectionary 12 / Proper 7 — Galatians 3:23-29

This morning we are going to start with a bit of a musicology lesson. Some have called him the greatest musician who ever lived. His music stands tall not only as the crowning achievement of the Baroque period of music, but also his music continues to influence the development of music today. His name is Johann Sebastian Bach. One of his most notable musical achievements was the development of the technique of counterpoint. In counterpoint, two different and sometimes contrasting melodies are played simultaneously, on top of each other, even against each other. The two melodies appear to be in conflict but miraculously what emerges from this seeming conflict is a new kind of harmony.

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Sunday, June 16, 2013 — Pentecost 4 C / Lectionary 11 — Luke 7:36-8:3; 2 Samuel 11:25-12:10, 13-15

Today Christ Church has the privilege of welcoming several new households into membership in this congregation. We rejoice that God has sent you here to become a part of God’s mission in this place. Each of you has a special story about how God led you to this congregation and what so attracted you that you want to become a member. I have heard some of those stories. They are moving and amazing.

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But You Owe Me One!

Saturday, June 1, 2013 — Pentecost 2C — Luke 7:1-10

I would like to think that when I give someone a gift, it is truly a gift and I expect nothing in return. But more often than I would like to admit, my baser nature gets the best of me. Like many of you, I get irritated when the recipient of my generosity does not offer some sort of “thank you.” I want to tell them, “You owe me one.” We live in a world of obligations and responsibilities. We expect people to give us what we deserve. We are quick to remind those indebted to us, “You owe me one.” That same kind of world is evident in today’s Gospel. Life has not changed much in 2000 years. Even in first century Capernaum people were quick to remind one another, “But you owe me one.”

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Aren’t You Glad that God Is the Trinity?

Sunday, May 26, 2013 — The Holy Trinity — Romans 5:1-5 / John 16:12-15

A classic example of using the doctrine of the Trinity to proclaim the good news of God’s love is today’s Second Reading. There Paul addresses one of the greatest obstacles to faith in God: suffering. If there is anything that undermines our faith in God it is suffering. How can we continue to believe in a God who is all powerful AND all loving when so many suffer unjustly? In the face of such suffering, if God is all powerful, then God can’t be all loving. If God is all loving, then God can’t be all powerful.

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Untangling Twisted Tongues

Sunday, May 19, 2013 — Day of Pentecost — Acts 2:1-21 / Genesis 11:1-9

Sometimes people within our own country can hardly understand one another. The Norwegian farmer from North Dakota and the southern belle from Georgia, middle aged suburban couple and the brothers from the hood all supposedly speak English. However, they speak it so differently that they can hardly understand one another. The barriers to communication are enormous. Our tongues seem tangled and twisted. Sometimes it seems that it is a miracle that we can understand another person at all.

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