At the end of last Sunday’s sermon, I asked this question: “Where do you see God’s presence today?” We talked about recognizing the presence of God in big things like sunsets and star-strewn skies and little things like the veins of a leaf and our breath. Today, I’d like to follow up last week’s sermon with a very simple concept that I’m then going to talk about for ten minutes. The simple concept is this: God’s presence is everywhere, so we must be careful not to limit the places where we look for that presence.
Continue reading “The Wind Blows Where It Chooses” →
Sermon for Sunday, August 15, 2021 || Proper 15B || 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14
I grew up in arguably the best decade for animated Disney movies of all time. They call it the Disney Renaissance, and it featured such classics as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Aladdin. I loved them all (except Little Mermaid, which scared the heck out of me), but I think at the time I loved Aladdin most. Robin Williams hits it out of the park as the genie in the lamp, and I guarantee you I can sing every line from his song “Friend Like Me.” The timeless story of Aladdin invites everyone who hears it to ponder what they would wish for if they stumbled across a magic lamp. In the Disney film, the genie gives Aladdin only three restrictions: you can’t wish for someone to fall in love with you, for someone to come back from the dead, or for more wishes.
Aladdin uses his wishes to become a prince, to not die of drowning, and *spoiler alert* to free the genie at the end of the movie. The selfless act of freeing the genie contrasts with the selfish act of the villain Jafar when he wishes to become the most powerful sorcerer ever (and ultimately a bound genie himself when the hero tricks him in order to save the day). Okay, now I’m just telling you all the plot of Aladdin. Sorry. The point is, what would you wish for if you stumbled across the genie’s lamp?
Continue reading “The Wishing Prayer” →