Posted on Dec 11, 2021 in Church News, Homilies

12 December 2021 Like just about everyone here, as a child, I made lists of what I wanted for Christmas. When I was younger, the lists were pretty long. The fruit of pouring over the catalogues that came to our house. As I got older, the lists got shorter. I was more focused in my suggesting. And, I learned to ask for big things–a bike, a stereo, a camera, a radio. And, eventually, I knew that I crossed some line into maturity, when my list was as simple as clothes and cash. My father never liked my lists. Whenever I’d bring anything up about my lists, or mention something that was on my...

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Posted on Nov 6, 2021 in Church News, Homilies

7 November 2021 This story of the widow’s mite is troubling to me. It’s troubling because if that widow were here, and if the collection basket were going around, and if it truly were her last two cents–I’d say, “Keep it for God’s sake.”  You need to feed yourself. The last thing you need to do is to give your money away. Don’t you have the same reaction? And, I find it hard to believe that Jesus wouldn’t have stopped her. Certainly the person who fed the hungry, urged us to take care of the needy, would have wanted her to keep that two cents. But that is the easiest insight into this...

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Posted on Oct 23, 2021 in Church News, Homilies

24 October 2021 About 20 summers ago I had dinner with an older couple and several former students. All the former students are still single, still searching for the “perfect” mate. The man in the older couple said: “What you need is to stop searching for the perfect mate and let your parents arrange a wedding for you.” “But what about love?” said one of the students.  “That’s impossible,” said the other man, “but you’d probably choose badly.  “But how can you marry someone you don’t love?” said one of the former students. The older man said: “Marrying is the easy part, infatuation...

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Posted on Oct 9, 2021 in Church News, Homilies

10 October 2021 I go to downtown Minneapolis to get my hair cut. You wouldn’t think I’d go all that way for as little hair as I have—but it’s a longer story. One  day I was there early in the morning before most of the stores were open. Along comes a young man–maybe 20 something, clean cut, but obviously disturbed. I’m about the only other person around and he’s heading straight for me. He comes up to me and says: “I, I, I need a quarter.  Can you give me quarter?” I begin to reach in my pocket and suddenly, he’s more upset. “I’m not begging, really I’m not begging. I have to make...

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Posted on Sep 25, 2021 in Church News, Homilies

26 September 2021 Shortly after I was ordained it was my privilege to preside at the baptism of several children. Everything I was taught, everything I had experienced told me this was one of those indisputably happy occasions. It was a celebration of life on two levels: the gift of physical life, the gift of another, deeper kind of level. During the liturgy I couldn’t help noticing a very striking woman who was one of the grandmothers.  She was clearly a woman of the world.  She not only dressed well, but carried herself like she was used to being in charge. After the liturgy,...

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Posted on Sep 4, 2021 in Church News, Homilies

5 SEPTEMBER 2021 One of our former student employees now lives in the Twin Cities. I used to go over there often when I was in the Cities. When I went I usually brought the children cookies. They’ve come to expect them from me. Toward the end of one summer I had brought cookies over and as I was preparing to leave, I said to Max, the oldest who is going into First Grade “Max, I don’t know when I’m going to see you again?” Max looked up at me with sparkling eyes and thought he’d impress me with something he’d learned at summer camp. “Oh George,” he said, “You can come back in 30 days.” “30...

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Posted on Aug 28, 2021 in Church News, Homilies

29 August 2021 Several years ago I went bicycle shopping with a former student, and his three year old daughter. The family had just moved into a real house after living in an apartment since the child was born. Now that they had a yard, a bike seemed to be just the perfect thing for summer. We went to a large store.  I’m sure it had hundreds and hundreds of bikes. Now, clearly the father had in mind what kind of bike he was going to buy his daughter. In fact, it was not a bicycle, but a tri-cycle. Well, his daughter, as head strong as he ever was when he I knew him, didn’t want a thing...

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Posted on Jul 19, 2021 in Church News, Homilies

18 July 2021 That’s the key line, I think in this little section of the Marcan gospel. Why? Because it’s really a teaching about miracles. It points to the question that we should ask every time we think we witness or hear about a miracle. What does this line reveal? If you were one of the apostles who’d come back what would you be reporting? It’s how powerful you’d become right? Think about it, if you could cure the sick, drive out demons. Isn’t that incredible? What does it say about you? And that is why this is an important passage. They report not just what they did–but what they taught....

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