Did you know the idea of remembering the war dead is a relatively new idea, historically speaking, and in fact following the Battle of Waterloo local farmers were upset because the British wanted to claim the bodies of dead soldiers. The farmers usually simply ploughed the bodies under the soil to act as fertiliser! Hence one of the origins of the term “canon fodder”. The overwhelming majority of soldiers were from the poor classes and were considered “expendable” and not worthy of graves or remembrance. Even as late as the first World War European generals had no qualms to send thousands of young men to certain death against entrenched machine guns because after all these men were “dead common” but such wanton disregard for life would result in major changes in the social structure and the end of an all powerful aristocracy.
OK for all those folkes having hissy fits about the Home Depot employee wearing a hat that said “America was never great” and especially for the dear lady whose son is serving in the military who almost went into cardiac shock when she saw the photo: Unless this person can exercise her First Amendment right to free expression and do so without being having her life threatened and or her job threatened or being vilified then your son is serving for nothing and if God forbid, he was killed whilst serving, his sacrifice would be in vain!
We have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights precisely because our Founding Fathers new only too well what would happen if you criticised the king or the prince or whatever potentate ruled over you or if you opposed your country’s wars or if you wanted to practice a religion other than the one the king or queen or prince did and they damn well was not going to allow that to happen in this country! You can fiercely and passionately disagree with this person and her sentiments but you cannot under our laws, Constitution or Bill of Rights punish her for having them. What makes a country great is to be big enough to allow and respect criticisms otherwise your country is a joke and a cruel one!
First Sunday Sabbath after Pentecost: Trinity Sunday
*One of the most revealing and wonderful as well as somewhat curious passages in the Gospel are these words from today’s Gospel “Jesus said to the disciples, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” Because in this passage Jesus is telling first his his disciples that there are many things I would like to tell you but your understanding of the culture and universe and the world around you limits your understanding but the day will come when understanding is expanded and enlarged in ways you could not imagine; and he is telling us the same thing. When poor misguided people cannot see or understand a concept larger than Leviticus , just remember these words of today’s Gospel. Remember also that God is Trinity just as Life is and as is the very Cosmos we live and move in.
*Collect and Readings from the Episcopal Lectionary. Commentary by the Rev Andrew R Gentry, Vicar of the welcoming and inclusive parish of All Saints, an OnLine Parish of the Ecumenical Catholic Church ecchurch.net
Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
Does not wisdom call,
and does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights, beside the way,
at the crossroads she takes her stand;
beside the gates in front of the town,
at the entrance of the portals she cries out:
“To you, O people, I call,
and my cry is to all that live.
The Lord created me at the beginning of his work,
the first of his acts of long ago.
Ages ago I was set up,
at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth–
when he had not yet made earth and fields,
or the world’s first bits of soil.
When he established the heavens, I was there,
when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
when he made firm the skies above,
when he established the fountains of the deep,
when he assigned to the sea its limit,
so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
then I was beside him, like a master worker;
and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always,
rejoicing in his inhabited world
and delighting in the human race.”
Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Jesus said to the disciples, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
a real donnybrook:This election or circus if you prefer will no doubt go down in the annals of history as one that shows the soft underbelly of the American body politic in all its perverse and worrisome stupidity and ignorance. On the one hand we have a bully clown that is probably guilty of among other things tax evasion and perjury and is committed to making America “white” again complete with the new plantation system known as for profit prisons, expulsion or possible incarceration of immigrants, revocation of Constitutionally mandated rights, and a gestapo to make the Nazis envious just to name a few whilst on the other hand we have a Wall Street apologist who learned from her husband what Machiavelli meant by political deal making. Add to this a populist who is attracting a lot of support amongst both 21st idealists and the remnant of the old time New Dealers then you begin to see what a contentious stew we have and how much we are the spices that either sweeten the pot or sour it!
The American electorate is not known for its intelligence and has elected everything from slave owners to genocidal maniacs. But despite this the Republic has survived….so far!
Truly counterfeit:If you actually want to know how truly counterfeit American Christianity is whether it is the “snake oil” variety of televangelists with their various schemes called “ministries” or the largely pathological and fraudulent “independent” catholic internet churches or the mainline widely known respectable well established denominations with millions in annuities and investments not to mention properties here is a jewel for you.
The Episcopal bishop of Los Angles after repeatedly lying to a parish about what he intended to do with their property and after making a secret real estate deal worth allegedly some 15 million dollars with a beach front real estate developer to buy the parish property has won in civil court despite the lies and the cover up of his secret deal. So now what was once a thriving and inclusive parish church and buildings will be torn down for the beach front condos….an oh this bishop Bishop Bruno locked the parish and church doors so that the congregation could not even use the facilities while the court battle waged on.
The reason he won was on a technicality that stated that the original owners of the property that gave the land specifically and restrictedly for a church and parish had failed to renew the over 30 year restriction so the good bishop as CEO of his diocese could therefore go forward with the backroom deal and rob the parish and make over 15 million no mention of whether he got a cut or not but since he has lied so many times …well you get the picture.
6th Sunday Sabbath in Eastertide
It is always about Love!
O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The First Lesson
During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.
We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us.
1 May God be merciful to us and bless us, *
show us the light of his countenance and come to us.
2 Let your ways be known upon earth, *
your saving health among all nations.
3 Let the peoples praise you, O God; *
let all the peoples praise you.
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, *
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide all the nations upon earth.
5 Let the peoples praise you, O God; *
let all the peoples praise you.
6 The earth has brought forth her increase; *
may God, our own God, give us his blessing.
7 May God give us his blessing, *
and may all the ends of the earth stand in awe of him.
Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5
In the spirit the angel carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.
I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day– and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
Jesus said to Judas (not Iscariot), “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.
“I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, `I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.”
this is the poem I wrote about the Boston bombing and which Facebook posted in “Memories”
A Poem for Boston
“Boston Weeps like cobblestones
Footprints in the pavement carried death
clouds brought only horror
shouts once of victory now of sorrow
mushroom as a dirge
memory in cadence recalls
ashes and tears
just as before
again” Andrew R C Gentry (c)