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Fourth Sunday in Lent

Christ the King, Normal--John 9:1-41, I Samuel 16:1-13, Ephesians 5:1-14 While I was in college, unlike many of my contemporaries, I never really lost the Christian faith in which I was raised. I struggled with it, and rearranged it, and it ended up in a package very different from what I might have imagined when [...]

Third Sunday in Lent

St Christopher's, Rantoul--John 43:5-42, Exodus 17:1-7 I would suspect that most of you here are not so young that you can’t remember the three Indiana Jones movies from the 80s. Some time ago I found myself watching, on television, the last of the three, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  It's the one where Indiana [...]

First Sunday in Lent

St Paul's, Pekin--Matthew 4:1-11, Romans 5:12-21, Genesis 2:4b-9, 15-17, 25-3:7 One would have to be living under the proverbial rock to not know that the '60s television show Star Trek has become a major cultural phenomenon. The original show itself lasted only three years, but it has been many times more popular in death than [...]

Ash Wednesday

Springfield Cathedral Ash Wednesday is one of those occasions that seem simple enough. Its meaning seems obviously, intuitively self-evident—until, that is, you try to explain that meaning clearly and concisely. Then it becomes complex, and fuzzy around the edges, and we’re not quite as sure as we thought we were that we understand it all. [...]

Last Sunday after the Epiphany

St John's, Decatur--Matthew 17:1-9 I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, and have lived once again in the midwest for the last ten years. But most my adult life has been spent on the west coast, in California and Oregon. Perhaps the principal feature that distinguishes the midwest from the far west is that the [...]

Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany

St Thomas', Salem--Matthew 5:38-48 I don’t know how many of you are on Facebook or Twitter or follow internet news sources, but, if you are, you don’t need me to tell you what a turbulent world was and is represented in those places in the run-up to and since the election last November. The level [...]

Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany

Holy Trinity, Danville--Matthew 5:21-24, 27-30, 33-37, I Cor. 2:1-9, Ecclesiasticus 15:11-20 Just a few short weeks ago, New Year’s resolutions were in the forefront of our consciousness, but now, barely six weeks into the new year, most of them are long forgotten. In another two-and-a-half weeks, Lent will begin, another occasion that invites us to make a [...]

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

St Thomas', Glen Carbon--Matthew 5:13-20 Most of you have heard me say before—many times, perhaps—that we are presently living through the death rattle of the era—a long era, an era that has lasted more than a millennium and a half—an era in which Christianity was the dominant force in western civilization. Those of us who [...]

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Holy Comforter, Drexel Hill, PA--I Corinthians 1:18-31, Matthew 5:1-12 Back when I was in high school, a program was instituted that was considered rather innovative at the time, but is pretty much taken for granted nowadays. It's the whole idea of special privileges for seniors—seniors in high school, that is! Seeing as how they've reached [...]

Third Sunday after the Epiphany

Trinity, Lincoln--Matthew 4:12-23 I have a rather enormous appetite for spy movies and suspense thrillers. Nowadays I mostly watch them when I need to be on the treadmill for an extended period of time. One of the frequent plot ingredients for such films involves a time bomb—sometimes even a nuclear time bomb. The hero, usually [...]