A sermon for the last Sunday after the Epiphany

I have a confession to make. This will shock some of you, I know, but I’m going to own it. Until about 10 days ago, I had no idea who Nick Foles was. And it gets worse. I didn’t know who Carson Wentz was either.

I’m not a football fan, obviously, but once the Eagles were really on their way to the Super Bowl, it was pretty much impossible to avoid getting caught up in the excitement.

I did watch the game last Sunday, and all week since then I’ve been thinking about Nick Foles of Philadelphia up on the winners’ platform and Simon Peter of Galilee on that high mountain with Jesus and James and John, and I’ve been thinking about moments of glory that stay with you for the rest of life.

These brief experiences can change everything. And to some degree—maybe not a Super Bowl victory, I’ll grant you that—but to some degree, they happen to all of us.

I don’t want to push this too far because it’s not a perfect analogy, but I do think that Nick and Peter have some things in common in their moment of glory.

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Yes we can

My primary medical practice was founded by a woman, and I think (maybe there’s someone I’m forgetting?) that until now the doctors, nurses, and office staff have all been female. Which always seemed kind of cool to me (although the fact that I’m a feminist doesn’t mean I’m not for men, too!).

Now they have a new nurse practitioner who’s a guy. I liked him a lot when I saw him for the first time yesterday, but I thought he did sort of stand out.

Reminds me of the time way back when I played in a women’s tennis league and took my toddler daughter with me every week to the babysitting at the court. The place was usually full of women, and she was astonished to notice a couple of men coming in as we were leaving one day.

“Mommy!” she said. “I didn’t know mans could do tennis, too!”

Now I’m impressed to see that mans can do medicine, too. Isn’t it interesting what a little change in perspective will do to open your eyes to human potential all around us.

Light in darkness

I filed this photo from a trip to California a few years ago and forgot about it, then rediscovered it yesterday and decided I like it. I’m struck by the piercing beauty of the light, the vast emptiness of the ocean, and the loneliness of the lighthouse keeper who lives at the edge of it. But what a comfort that light must be to those at sea.

Let there be eggs

My colleagues who serve parishes in cities and towns may not even be aware of this, but the days are getting longer and the chickens are starting to lay again. The first fruits of the new season were waiting for me when I arrived at church this morning. Thanks be to the Creator of the chicken and the egg–and to the senior warden who keeps the chickens!

Today’s scary thing

Maybe you’ve heard that saying, “Do one thing every day that scares you,” attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt but which she might or might not (probably not) have said. I’m not sure you have to do it every day, but it’s not a bad idea to push yourself a little at least every so often. Today’s hard thing: A constructive critique session with a bunch of other photographers who shared their work and made suggestions for improvement. The good news: I didn’t suck. It was really helpful, in fact. Then I stopped the way home and took this shot of Fonthill, mad genius Henry Mercer’s home—er—castle, made of poured reinforced concrete. A very interesting building, but I would have gone mad myself if I had to live there.

Some thoughts on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Some thoughts on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the day set aside as a national holiday honoring the preacher and civil rights leader.

When we honor Dr. King, we pay tribute to his courage as a preacher and a leader in standing up against the racism that has caused so much suffering and so damaged us and our nation through its history. I also remember all of those Americans, named and unnamed, who stood with him in condemning the evil of racism and demanding change. It took a lot of courage to do that back in the ‘60s, and it still takes that kind of courage now, as racism and white supremacy are once again becoming acceptable in our society. We seem to be losing our ability to think critically and recognize racist ideas and statements for what they are.

I found this simple little chart interesting and thought-provoking:

Where are you on the scale? It matters. Will you take a clear stand against racism and white supremacy, like those who stood with Dr. King? Because it matters. If you don’t speak against it, you might as well say you’re for it.

Almighty God, by the hand of Moses your servant you led your people out of slavery, and made them free at last: Grant that your Church, following the example of your prophet Martin Luther King, may resist oppression in the name of your love, and may secure for all your children the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

~ from the Book of Common Prayer