A Living Sacrifice

St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church
Chelsea, Alabama
Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 27B)
First Lesson: 1 Kings 17:8-16
Psalm 146
Second Lesson: Hebrews 9:24-28
Gospel: Mark 12:38-44

Now, O Lord, take my lips and speak with them. Take our minds and think through them. Take our hearts and set them on fire for your Gospel. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

45702861_10156419538850845_6461514487055777792_nOn Election Day this past Tuesday, I saw a picture on social media that was posted by the Equal Justice Initiative (also known as EJI), a non-profit organization based in Montgomery that helps provide legal representation to prisoners in Alabama who may have been wrongfully convicted or denied a fair trial because of racial discrimination and other forms of inequality. They also work very closely with prisoners on death row. The picture was of a man named Anthony Ray Hinton, who in 1985 was accused and wrongfully convicted of murdering two restaurant managers in the Birmingham area. Mr. Hinton was sentenced to death for crimes that he didn’t commit, and he sat waiting on death row for almost thirty years, stripped of all his rights, before he was finally released in April of 2015.

This past Tuesday, he voted in the mid-term elections as a free man. The smile on his face in the picture that I saw was priceless. It filled my heart with joy to know that he was so happy. Continue reading

Advertisements

I Mean, God Helping, To Be One Too

St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church
Chelsea, Alabama
Sunday, November 4, 2018

All Saints’ Sunday
First Lesson: Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9
Psalm 24
Second Lesson: Revelation 21:1-6a
Gospel: John 11:32-44

Now, O Lord, take my lips and speak with them. Take our minds and think through them. Take our hearts and set them on fire for your Gospel. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

45257878_2198988253467835_7719053685526888448_nThere are several hymns in our hymnal that are especially appropriate for us to sing on All Saints’ Day, beautiful hymns such as the one that we sang at the beginning of our service this morning, “For all the saints, who from their labors rest,” or the one that we sang just a few moments ago before the Gospel, “By all your saints still striving.” But, there’s one hymn that, for me, really gets to the heart of what this feast day is all about.

It begins like this:

“I sing a song of the saints of God, patient and brave and true, who toiled and fought and lived and died for the Lord they loved and knew. And one was a doctor, and one was a queen, and one was a shepherdess on the green: they were all of them saints of God, and I mean, God helping, to be one too.” Continue reading