The Rev. Dr. Amy Richter is a priest who currently serves as an Episcopal Volunteer in Mission, working on the Galatians 6:2 (“Bear one another’s burdens”) project, focusing on theological education, and serving as a visiting academic at the University of KwaZula Natal in South Africa. She and her husband, Joseph Pagano, blog at www.amyandjoegotoafrica.com. Their most recent co-edited book is Common Prayer, reflections on Episcopal worship by Episcopal writers, poets, theologians, and musicians. Amy’s most recent book is a novel, Antimony, a thriller that combines mythology, biblical stories, and mystery.
Sermons and Bible Studies
A prayer by Jacqueline Bergan and S Marie Schwann says, “Lord my God, when Your loved spilled over into creation You thought of me. I am from love, of love, for love.”[i] What an awesome claim! When God first created, God did it with us in mind. In fact, the reason for creation itself was […]
In today’s Epistle lesson, the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews encourages us to persevere in our life of faith, no matter what difficulties we face. “Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance […]
What did they do to deserve that? Jesus knew questions like this were on people’s minds when they came to tell him horrible news: Pilate – yes, the same Pontius Pilate who oversaw the crucifixion of Jesus – slaughtered some Galilean Jews. Making Pilate’s appalling action even more offensive is that he did this terrible […]
Sometimes today’s gospel lesson is interpreted along the lines of the title of a book by John Ortberg, “If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get out of the Boat.” The interpretation goes like this: Peter had the right idea when he got out of the boat, quite literally stepping out in […]
Today’s gospel text almost comes as a relief: Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them. It’s a relief because we can be fairly reluctant to show signs of piety before others, especially when we’re outside of our worship service. If you want to get strange looks, read your […]
What happens when our expectations don’t get met? How about when it’s our expectations about God that don’t get met? A few years ago, Steve Johnson, a wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills, voiced his surprise on Twitter when things didn’t turn out the way he hoped during a football game. After Johnson dropped a […]
Just when we think we have the formula all worked out, the path to success all laid out, the one easy answer for earning us an A-plus for discipleship, Jesus goes and throws a wrench into the works. Last week we heard the story of the Good Samaritan, where the point was: Go and do. […]
“It is finished.” Many said words like those that day. Pilate pushed himself up from the judgment bench and sighed, “Jesus is finished, another political troublemaker out of the way.” The religious leaders looked at one another and said in hushed tones, “Jesus is finished. No more offense from him.” The soldiers as they turned […]
“Throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.” In today’s reading from the Gospel of Mark, we may imagine the cloak was given to Bartimaeus by his mother. Giving him the cloak was one thing she could do for her son, for whom she always felt a mix of grief and pity, […]
As a child, were you ever warned not to speak to strangers? This warning can be very helpful, and keeping our children safe is so important. Today, though, we hear that Pentecost is about when it is really good to speak with strangers. That first Pentecost happened in the city of Jerusalem, but today’s story […]
Part of the wonder of this night is the possibility of the meeting of worlds, the coming together of time. We sing, “the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” Though we live so long after those events in Bethlehem, tonight we find ourselves at the manger. In our mind’s […]
Today’s gospel lesson is part of Jesus’ teaching about our life together in community, how it is that we are to live and love within the Christian community, especially when things go wrong. And because we are talking about human beings living in community, we can be fairly sure that things will go wrong. Our […]
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