March 11, 2018

Ephesians 2:1-10 John 3:14-21 “Grace to Practice” This year, I decided to begin a new activity. During my holidays after Christmas, I tried out a bunch of different yoga classes to see if yoga would be a good exercise program to add to my routine. I have to admit that I didn’t embark on doing yoga for spiritual reasons. I really just wanted a way to strengthen my core muscles and avoid some lower back pain issues that I was having some time ago. But after trying out a few different classes, I settled on a Holy Yoga class that is offered at one of the churches here in Regina, and I began to think about what I was doing as more than just an exercise program. Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. There is a broad variety of yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Yoga gurus from India introduced yoga to the West in the late 19th and early 20th century. In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western world. Yoga in Indian traditions, however, is more than physical exercise; it has a meditative and spiritual core. The class that I am attending is described as “Holy Yoga” or we might say, “Christian Yoga.” On the Holy Yoga website, it explains that, “We know that yoga is a spiritual discipline much like fasting, meditation, and prayer that … Read more »

March 15, 2015

Ephesians 2:1-10 John 3:14-21 “Grace to Practice” As the weeks of Lent fly by, I am continuing the Lenten discipline that I began on Ash Wednesday. The United Methodist Church in the U.S. has provided a list of words – one for each day in Lent. So each day I reflect on the word, consider its meaning and significance, look around for inspiration, and then take a photograph that somehow connects with the word of the day. Friday’s word was “practice,” which made me think about learning to drive a car, learning to make my own bread, and learning to write and preach a sermon – all skills that can’t just be learned from a book, but they take giving it a try, and trying again, and practicing over and over. As I was working in my office that morning, I heard Gillian giving a piano lesson in here, and remembered how I hated to practice when I was trying to learn to play the piano as a young person. But as I turned my attention to this morning’s reading from Ephesians 2, I noticed another kind of practice that didn’t immediately come to mind. I’m not talking about an activity or skill that you need to repeat over and over in order to perfect it. And I’m not talking about something that you do for an intense but short period of time… until the performance or until the exam. Instead, I’m talking about a practice as in a thing … Read more »

July 22, 2012

2 Samuel 7:1-14a Ephesians 2:11-22 I don’t really know what it feels like not to have a home.  When I think of people who are homeless, my mind jumps to scenes of people waiting in line at a soup kitchen. I think of the folks that sit outside the grocery store and ask for small change. I think of the man that I often see downtown, who even on the hottest day in July, is wearing his winter coat, and carrying dozens of shopping bags. All that he owns, he’s carrying with him.  When I think of the homeless, I think of young people who have run away from home – from abuse, from neglect, from broken or breaking families. I think of alcoholism, and drugs, and mental illness – the reasons why many homeless people have ended up that way. What I rarely take the time to think about is the feeling of having nowhere to call “home”. An old friend of mine, and former resident at the home where I used to work, lives with the debilitating illness of schizophrenia. She is one of the fortunate ones. Although her illness is severe, and she cycles up and down between severe episodes including depression and paranoia, and relative good health, she does not live on the street. I remember having a conversation with her one day about home. She was in good health at the time and thinking clearly, and she was rejoicing in the fact that she had … Read more »