Do You Bear the Image of God?

Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God, Jesus says. This was in response to the Pharisees who were plotting to trap Jesus asking, "is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?" But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, "why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax. And they brought him a denarius." Then he said to them, "Whose head is this, and whose title?" They answered, "the emperor." Then He said to the, "give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor's and to God the things that are God's"... ...Indeed, the image of God in this world can often be difficult to discern. When we look at each other or even observe ourselves in the mirror, we tend to see the marks of the world upon us. We are what we look like, what we have, what we wear, what we do and the friends we have. What we need to see is that underneath all those things is a much deeper mark; the image of the cross engrained upon our hearts and our lives. Christ shining through us. This is the image that God sees among His people and it is that image which God desires us to reflect to the world. Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. Do you bear the image of God?

Lay Up for Yourselves Treasure in Heaven

When I was a young priest working in my first parish as an assistant to a training Rector I was taught many things which I had not learnt in seminary. Thankfully my Rector, although not an easy man to work for, was a very good teacher. One thing he insisted on was that I learned by heart various parts of the communion service....

Recovering From Tragic Events

It is hard to write this meditation this week -- lately the tragedies have been piling up, and there are many weighing on my mind. I fear that we are all feeling a bit of fatigue, and it is hard to process each new event. The continuing crisis in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria especially shouldn’t be forgotten or pushed aside -- even if you have already donated earlier this month or this year, please consider giving again to Episcopal Relief and Development.... It is the mass shooting in Las Vegas, though, that is the most challenging for me to wrap my mind around right now, and to figure out how to respond. We can, and should, always be praying. We can pray for those who have died, for those who are suffering, for the first responders, for those who will continue to respond to the needs after the initial crisis has passed. We can also bear witness to what has happened. Holy Apostles joined many other churches across the country on Tuesday and tolled our solemn bell at noon to remember the victims of this tragedy.

The Feast of St. Michael & All Angels

Today is the Feast of St Michael and All Angels. When I was a seminarian back in the far-off Sixties, angels were distinctly out of fashion. It was the time of Bishop John Robinson’s controversial book “Honest to God” and of the “God is Dead” debate. Everything that did not accord with the rational was under suspicion. So angels and miracles, mystery and heaven, and much more were side-lined in favor of a “religionless Christianity,” a religion shorn of all the fun bits (or so it seemed to me!)....

The Parable of the Landowner & the Laborers

...The laborers in Jesus’ parable we will hear about in the gospel on Sunday, would have spent the whole day in the marketplace, idle and without hope, if the landowner had not offered them a job. The men who were hired last worked only one hour, but were paid the same as those who had worked 12 hours. They received more than they expected and were grateful for the generosity of the landowner. The laborers who were employed first negotiated a wage and had no reason to hold a grudge against the landowner for his generosity....

Celebrating Holy Cross Day

Yesterday was Holy Cross Day, a major feast day in The Book of Common Prayer. Although only restored to the Episcopal Church Calendar in the 1979 Book, the feast itself is one of the more ancient feasts of the church dating back to the Fourth Century. It was first celebrated to mark the dedication of the first Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem built by the Emperor Constantine the Great in 335 on the site where his mother, Helena, had discovered the True Cross in 326.

Welcome To This Time Of Transition

It is a time of endings (of the summer season, of vacation-mode, of leaves already beginning to show signs of turning vibrant color before falling to the ground) but also a time of beginnings (of the Autumn season, of new projects at work and home, of the bountiful time of the fall harvest). What I seem to be most aware of today is the golden quality of the sunlight at this time of year – warming the days after cool nights, softly filtering through the canopy of the trees, helping to ripen the fall fruits...

The Feast of the New Guinea Martyrs

Tomorrow is the Feast of the New Guinea Martyrs who died as a consequence of the Japanese invasion of 1942. Growing up in Australia post war and as an active Anglican I was well aware of the 11 Anglican martyrs, priests, nurses, teachers and an indigenous lay catechist, one of whom came from a nearby parish in Melbourne and was memorialized there. The stories of their deaths were still very fresh and as a young person I was deeply impressed with the fact that people could still die for the faith in the 20th century. Given that Papua New Guinea before independence in 1975 was the main mission field for the Australian Anglican Church, big services commemorating the New Guinea Martyrs were held annually in the major Australian cities.....

Who Is Jesus To You?

Who is Jesus to you? As a member of the Commission on Ministry in this diocese, this is a question that is commonly asked of individuals seeking Holy Orders. Who is Jesus? He has been called a mystic, a revolutionary, a legend, a troublemaker and much more. Who is Jesus? What was He like? Do we think of Him as the child in the manger or the crucified Savior? People say lots of things about Him. John’s Gospel closes by saying the world could not contain all the books that could be written about Jesus, but who did He claim to be?...

In Celebration of St. Mary the Virgin

You may have registered on Tuesday that alternate side of the street parking was suspended for the day. Now that is hardly an unusual experience in this multi-cultural, multi-faith city where some group or another is regularly celebrating some special day. Of course, as world weary Manhattanites you might have simply thought “oh, the President is in town: more traffic chaos!” However, Tuesday August 15 happens to be the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Roman Catholic Church which as Episcopalians we keep as the Feast of St Mary the Virgin and the Orthodox as “the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.” In Catholic Europe, it is a major religious holiday and in places like Mexico it is kept with processions and fireworks....