10:30 a.m. Charles Fillmore Chapel
August 3: Eucharistic Service
(led by Community members)
August 10: Bishop Janet Sunderland
August 17: Bishop Cliff Kroski
August 24: Bishop Janet Sunderland
August 31: Bishop Cliff Kroski
There will be a Eucharistic Service on August 3rd, led by members of the Community. Thank you for supporting those who will be leading the Service.
The Gospel for the first Sunday in August presents the familiar story of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. Jesus feeds thousands with five loaves of bread and two fish. Many interpretations of this reading exist. Did the miracle really occur? Did the people, after hearing Jesus’ preaching, share what they had with each other? Does it really matter what might have happened? The messages of community, sharing, feeding and satisfaction are the main themes in this story.
Jesus, after feeding the thousands with the loaves and fishes, needs to retreat to a quiet place. He tells the disciples to get into their boat and proceed to the other side where he will meet them. Jesus approaches the boat walking across the water. The disciples think it is a ghost but Jesus says it is he. Peter doubts and tells Jesus that if he is real, to command that Peter walks on the water to meet him. Jesus says, “Come.” Peter steps out, begins walking on the water, becomes afraid, and sinks. Jesus catches Peter and asks, “Why did you doubt?”
Does belief mean that we can walk on water if we have faith? Probably not. There are laws of nature regarding buoyancy, yet we have all floated on water. Perhaps a better question would be, “In our day to day challenges, do we doubt the love, light, and peace of the divine in our lives?
The next Sunday gives us another Matthean reading: a curious account of Jesus in conversation with a Canaanite woman, a Gentile from the region of Tyre and Sidon, meaning southern Phoenicia. Canaanite’s were regarded as sinful, wicked, and godless, plus this was a woman.
The woman asks if Jesus would assist her daughter, tormented by a demon. The disciples urge Jesus to tell her to go away. Jesus tells the woman that he was sent to the “lost sheep of Israel.” The woman persists and Jesus tells her,” It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” The woman counters with,” Even dogs eat the scraps that fall from their master’s table.” Jesus then tells the woman she has great faith and that her daughter is healed.
The 21st Sunday of the year presents us with another “faith” story. It is the familiar account of Jesus asking the disciples, “Who do people say I am?” Peter responds with “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” This is the famous “Confession of Peter.” His statement of faith causes Jesus to give him “the keys of the kingdom.” In many statues of Peter, in so many churches around the world, Peter is holding keys.
The gospel of the last Sunday of August presents us with the opposite side of the preceding Sunday’s gospel. After Peter is praised for his faith, he rebukes Jesus after Jesus tells the disciples that he will go to Jerusalem where he suffer, be killed and be raised on the third day. Jesus tells Peter, “Get behind me, Satan.” Wow, from “holder of the keys” to a Satan in a few minutes. How the mighty have fallen! Yet, how quickly can faith and trust become doubt and despair? Can we relate to this turnaround?
+Cliff and + Janet