Sunday, April 29, 2012

"One Flock, One Shepherd": Tony+ makes it plain, simple, meaningful

One Flock, One Shepherd

Easter 4B
29 April 2012; 8:00 a.m. Said Mass and 10:00 a.m. Sung Mass

Homily Delivered by the Rev. Dr. Anthony A. Hutchinson
at Trinity Episcopal Church
Ashland, Oregon

Acts 4:5-12; Psalm 23; 1 John 3:16-24; John 10:11-18

“The day after they had arrested Peter and John for teaching about Jesus and the resurrection, the rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, "By what power or by what name did you do this?" Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is ‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:5-12)

God, take away our hearts of stone, and give us hearts of flesh. Amen
We have been having a lot of funerals here at Trinity in the last weeks. At a couple of them we have used as the Gospel reading the passage from John 14, where Jesus says that in his Father’s House there are many way stations. The passage is warm, reassuring, and comforting. It ends with Jesus saying, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one comes to the Father, except by me” (John14: 6). One of the deacons asked me somewhat abashedly if she could read the Gospel but end the reading before that last half-verse, “no one comes to the Father except by me.” “It might be offensive to some of the visiting bereaved, who might not be Christians.”

She asked as if she were afraid my response might be “But this is the BIBLE we are talking about here, and I’ll not have a verse of GOD’S WORD edited out because it might be offensive to those who are going to destruction anyway!” But she asked it anyway, because she knew that I am no fundamentalist, and believe that in order to be understood, God’s word on occasion needs to be reframed or even rephrased.

Today’s Gospel reading, shares the same problem. “I am the Good Shepherd” Jesus says, not “a good shepherd.” And he adds, “I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” Likewise, in the Acts reading, St. Peter ends his short speech on Christ being the stone once rejected but now made head cornerstone by saying, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”...

To read the rest of this insightful and hospitable homily please go to Tony's+ own blog called "An Elliptical Glory: Fragmentary Glimpses of Grace and Mystery in an Imperfect Life" where you can also read some of his mid-week meditations and other revealing homilies. He's our new Rector, so give him a read. The man is on the right track with the parish and with the often does that happen??? Please read and inwardly digest the wisdom and teaching of God as revealed in his humble, well-spoken, action man, priest. No, he sports a chasuble not a cape, and his "phone booth" is the sacristy when Chris approves, which is most of the time. The photo above is of Tony+ and his wife, Elena, climbing a stone stairway in China's equivalent of the Grand Canyon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like what he had to say! Sounds like you've got a good one in this priest, thanks be to God!