Today in history

Today-April 23-marks the 400th anniversary of the most famous British playwright, William Shakespeare’s death, who died on this day in 1616.

The following is perhaps “the,” if not one of the bard’s most popular passages reflecting on the stages of human existence by Jacques, in his melancholic monologue from As You Like It:

The Seven Ages of (Hu)Man(s)

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then, the whining school-boy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like a snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then, a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then, the justice,
In fair round belly, with a good capon lined,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws, and modern instances,
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Sermon for 4 Easter Yr C

Read my sermon for April 17, 2016 here: 4 Easter Yr C

Dim Lamp blog 10th anniversary today

Ten years ago today, I entered the world of blogging with my first post ever on my WordPress Dim Lamp blog. Needless to say, much has happened in the world at large and in my personal world since then.  One of the constants in life is change, and this blog has gone through a few. If anyone actually reads this post/blog anymore, I’d appreciate hearing from you in the comments below about the content of Dim Lamp.

Here, once again, is the first blog post from April 5, 2006:

My weblog name, Dim Lamp, is a variation from verse three, chapter forty-two of Isaiah, or referred to by scholars as Second Isaiah. This is the first of four Servant Songs in Second Isaiah (see Isa 42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-11; and 52:13-53:12). Scholars hold a wide range of views about the identity of the Servant–everything from a contemporary prophet (perhaps Second Isaiah him/herself, or a child of the prophet’s), to collective Israel, to one of Judah’s kings or future kings, to the Messiah. Many (perhaps most) Christian scholars have viewed the Servant as Jesus, hence interpreting the Servant Songs as references to the future rather than the historical circumstances out of which they were written.

I love the picture of the Servant’s tenderness and compassion towards those who are suffering or in exile. The Servant shall not break a bruised reed, he will not quench a dimly burning wick. This is a classic example of God’s “preferential option for the poor,” as the liberation theologians speak of it. It is a reminder to all that God loves and has a special place in his heart for the underdog, the outcast, the forgotten, those who suffer, those who feel life is waning, the weak and the dying. I like this Servant Song because I think it speaks to my existential state of being. I am a sinner-saint, who stumbles and falls, my light is not very bright most of the time. Sometimes I wonder if it’s even a dim light. Yet, I’m encouraged by the Gospel parables of Jesus concerning salt, yeast and light. Too much salt and yeast ruins things. Too much light can be blinding, and death-dealing, life-threatening hot. Yet no light or hidden light is not an option either. So, here I am, a dim lamp, living with life’s greys, complexities and ambiguities, and realising that God works in rather unorthodox, mysterious ways in, through, with and often in spite of me/us.

Sermon for 2 Easter Yr C

Read my sermon for April 3, 2016 here: 2 Easter Yr C

Sermon for Easter Day Yr C

Read my sermon for March 27, 2016 here: Easter Day Yr C

Maundy Thursday

Jesus washing feet by Ghislaine Howard, courtesy of Methodist Modern Art Collection of Christian Art

Jesus washing feet by Ghislaine Howard, courtesy of Methodist Modern Art Collection of Christian Art

The Lord's Supper

The Lord’s Supper

Many have asked the question: Why is this day in Holy Week called Maundy Thursday?

We are not one-hundred percent certain of its origins, however it has been around for some time. There are at least three possibilities.
First, many believe that it comes from the Latin word mandatum, which means “command.” On this day, according to John 13:34-35, Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment to love one another.
Second, others believe that Maundy is derived from another Latin word mundo, which means “wash.” On this day, again according to John 13:1-17, Jesus washes his disciples feet as an act of humble service and commands his disciples to do likewise.
Third, the word Maundy is associated with the word maund, which means “basket.” Some Christians practiced—and may still do so—distributing baskets of food to the poor on Maundy Thursday. Minted coins called “maund money” were—are?—also given to the poor.
Of course, one of the other traditions associated with Maundy Thursday is the institution of the Lord’s Supper, the account of which all three synoptic gospels provide(Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:7-39), as well as does the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.
Prayer of the Day/Collect for Maundy Thursday
Most Holy God of all creation: On this day your Son washed his disciples feet as an act of humble service, and instituted the Lord’s Supper as a remembrance of what he accomplished on the cross, and to draw all people into union and communion through his holy presence. As we remember the events of that first Maundy Thursday and celebrate your holy presence among us, may our hearts be filled with gratitude, and in response to your boundless love for us, follow your example of humble service and unconditional love. In the name of Jesus our Messiah.

Sermon for Palm Sunday Yr C

Read my sermon for March 20, 2016 here: Palm Sunday Yr C