Sermons

The Fifth Sunday in Epiphany – The Rev. Katherine Flexer

Kate Flexer headshot

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Fifth Sunday in Epiphany, February 10th, 2019

Isaiah 6:1-8, [9-13]1 Corinthians 15:1-11 

Luke 5:1-11 Psalm 138

Preacher: The Reverend Katherine Flexer, Rector of St. Michael’s Church

Ok, so I’ll admit this gospel story has always bothered me. It’s so untidy. I’m always after my kids to clean up after themselves, put away the stuff they were using, take that sweater back to their room. But in the gospel, Simon Peter and James and John drag in a whole lot of fish to shore and then walk away and leave it all, boats, nets, dead fish, everything. It’s so messy. What kind of Messiah lets them leave all that there for other people to deal with? I can just imagine Zebedee yelling after them, Boys! you come back here and clean up these fish!

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The Fourth Sunday in Epiphany — The Rev. Deacon Richard P. Limato

St. Michael's new deacon, Richard P. LimatoThe Fourth Sunday in Epiphany: February 3, 2019

Jeremiah 1:4-10  |  1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Luke 4:21-30  |  Psalm 71:1-6

Preacher: The Rev. Richard P. Limato, Deacon of St. Michael’s Church

We all have our personal stories of faith. Perhaps it was a moment in time or maybe a journey over time where we found ourselves drawn more deeply into our relationship with Christ and our Church.

James was in his early twenties when it happened to him. He was living an ordinary life, the usual day – to – day experiences, nothing too dramatic was happening. (more…)

The Third Sunday in Epiphany — The Rev. Kate Flexer

Kate Flexer headshot

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The Third Sunday in Epiphany: January 27, 2019

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10  |  1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Luke 4:14-21  |  Psalm 19

Preacher: The Rev. Katharine Flexer, Rector of St. Michael’s Church

Today, this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.

Today is our Annual Meeting, a chance we take every January to look back on the last year – a state of our union, you could say, unencumbered by partisan wrangling, going forward here at St Michael’s on time and as scheduled. (more…)

The Second Sunday in Epiphany — The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

The Second Sunday in Epiphany: January 20, 2019

Isaiah 62:1-5  |  1 Corinthians 12:1-11
John 2:1-11  |  Psalm 36:5-10

Preacher: The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh, Associate Rector of St. Michael’s Church

Today’s gospel tells the story of Jesus’ first miracle: changing water into wine. As someone who’s worked closely with addicts in rehab and recovery, I find a story of giving drunken guests more wine disturbing. Jesus produces just under 600 glasses!…with that amount you could binge drink for days. (more…)

The Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord — The Rev. David Rider

The Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord: January 13, 2019

Isaiah 43:1-7  |  Acts 8:14-17
Luke 3:15-17, 21-22  |  Psalm 29

Preacher: The Rev. David Rider, Assisting Priest at St. Michael’s

What a difference a week makes, liturgically speaking.

Last Sunday, we gathered around the nativity scene to celebrate the arrival of the Magi—found only in Matthew’s Gospel and with reference to neither three nor kings—exotic characters from another land who went to pay the Christ child homage amid a swift undertow of dark malice from Herod.

Today, the manger, poinsettias and trees are all gone.

Jesus seemingly leaps from the manger, bursts out of his pampers, and we find him at age 30 and the inauguration of his public ministry.

Except for one boyhood story about ditching his mother in the Temple, we know nothing about the psychological backstory of his development, nothing about his boyhood dreams, adolescent trials, or romantic yearnings—rich fodder for any playwright.

Unlike the Magi story, however, all four gospels speak to the complicated relationship between John the Baptist and Jesus.

In Luke, this narrative includes the tender story we heard on IV Advent regarding their Moms—Elizabeth and Mary—at opposite ends of their fertility cycles yet sharing the same mystery and intimacy of pending childbirth.

Like the other gospel writers, Luke presents Jesus at his baptism, yet the baptism is almost an afterthought for Luke because it becomes a springboard to the future ministry of Jesus.

At more length than the baptism itself, we hear John the Baptist embrace a diminutive role, stating that he is unworthy to untie the coming Messiah’s sandals.

A couple other quirky things happen in today’s passage.

Notice that our lectionary text omits a couple verses: before we confirm Jesus’ baptism, we learn in these omitted verses that John was put in prison—for Luke, this symbolizes the end of the prophetic reign, Jesus’ new pivotal role in salvation history, and the beginning of the coming of the Holy Spirit.

This passage connects Jesus’ baptism to his messianic role as the Coming Judge—usually the devil is depicted with the pitchfork, but here John the Baptist predicts Jesus’s coming with eyes wide open and hair on fire!

Perhaps we should stop giving our baptism candidates a quaint candle and instead hand out a flaming blowtorch!

John anticipates that Jesus will separate the wheat from the chaff—the worthless stuff blows away—a wonderful metaphor for renewing our own baptism vows today and letting go of life’s worthless fluff for the sake of that which counts.

Also note in our passage the first of a fugal theme in Luke’s Gospel regarding Jesus’ continuous act of praying.

We’ll see this dimension of Jesus at least a half-dozen times in this year’s gospel readings: before critical events, Jesus always connects with God in sustained and intimate prayer to guide his way, with us as eavesdroppers in a powerful divine-human conversation.

Jesus’ role model and its implication for us should be joyful take-away from the primacy of baptism.

Two take-away priorities so far: a blowtorch and continuous prayer.

Notice, also, the nuance of the heavens opening and a dove coming down on Jesus in a bodily form.

This, of course, serves as a so-called Christological moment, a critical theological pivot point in Early Church debates of Jesus’ divine/human nature that shows God bestowing unique vocation early in Jesus’ story, well before the cross and resurrection.

For Luke, this image also embraces a prophetic implication that should not be lost on us today.

In a weekly theological reflection sent to diocesan clergy, Assistant Bishop Mary Glasspool emphasizes a wonderful point of differentiating the Christ from temporal rulers, paraphrasing a book Caesar and the Sacrament: Baptism: A Rite of Resistance was written by R. Alan Streett – Senior Research Professor of Biblical Theology at Criswell College:

“Luke emphasizes the bodily form of a dove. Streett relates this to the way in which Roman Emperors were confirmed in their authority by Augurs. An Augur was a priest and official in the Roman World whose main job was augury: interpreting the will of the gods by examining the flight of birds. The eagle was the strongest augural sign – a bird that was strong, fierce, predatory, and dangerous. An Augur observing an eagle flying in the sky, perhaps circling overhead, would affirm the strength and predatory nature of the new emperor at his imagination.

Imagine what people might have thought at Jesus’ Baptism when – not an eagle – but a dove came out of the sky and appeared to alight on him. The dove was not a symbol of strength and might, but rather of vulnerability, gentleness, and peace. This is a way of seeing Baptism not through a theological lens, in which Baptism is a sacrament of identifying with the Christian Faith or by which we receive God’s gift of the Holy Spirit, but rather a socio-political lens through which Baptism is seen as a supreme resistance to the Roman Empire -or the principalities and powers as we experience them today – and a radical pledging to the Reign of God whose foundation is peace, gentleness and vulnerability.”

As the Church in our liturgical cycle of readings, we hear one of three versions of Jesus’ Baptism story each year—a wonderful tradition, yet one that can lull us into familiarity and domestication of the text.

As we gather around for baptism today and to renew our own vows in the process, let’s remember—as Luke so well reminds us—that what comes after baptism is perhaps more important.

We are called to a life of continuous prayer—not for self-help or self-absorption but to connect us more deeply to God’s will amid the world’s rhythms, joys and needs.

In baptism, we are called continuously to separate the wheat from the chaff of our lives, inspired by Jesus with some metaphorical combination of a pitchfork and blowtorch.

When Early Christians acknowledged Jesus as Lord, they did so at high personal risk, since that term normally was reserved for Caesar and Roman authorities: tension and conflict with temporal power comes with the Christian package.

Baptism implies risk while it empowers us for service to this world, a wonderful paradox and dynamic tension for the rest of our lives.

Baptism also celebrates God’s initiative to claim us for this life of service.

Hear again those powerful words from Isaiah that we read a few minutes ago, where God says this: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you, when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flames shall not consume you….Do not fear, for I am with you.”

Ideally, such affirmation leads us away from hubris and self-absorption into a holy confidence with which to embrace life’s vicissitudes.

With baptism as our common entry point, we gather weekly to worship this loving God and to metabolize this Good News that God loves us, beckons us into community, and calls us—as we’ll recite in our Baptismal Covenant momentarily—to proclaim justice and respect the dignity of every human being.

As we move toward the baptism font, I invite you to reflect on the final sentence of our Gospel lesson, when the dove—not eagle—descends on Jesus and a voice from heaven cries out: “You are my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

By extension, we trust that God also is well pleased with you and me—we parents might think of a dozen ways to paraphrase this declaration to our children in daily life.

At this point in the Gospel account, there is no evidence whatsoever that Jesus did anything to merit God’s pleasure: like a parent with a newborn, the love comes first and empowers us with confidence and grace to grow into the full stature of Christ.

If God is well pleased with you, how does this impact your self-esteem, generativity, and the way you plan the priorities of your day and of your life?

The Fourth Sunday in Advent — The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

The Fourth Sunday in Advent: December 23, 2018

Micah 5:2-5a  |  Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-45  |  Canticle 15 

The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh, Associate Rector of St. Michael’s Church

With last week’s amazing Christmas pageant, the church fully decked in finest greenery, and the choir’s beautiful singing at Lessons and Carols, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. But before we get to the virgin birth and singing O little town of Bethlehem tomorrow, the liturgical calendar calls for one more day of Advent. On this fourth Sunday of Advent, it seems odd to begin with Mary at the very beginning.

Quick recap: Mary has just said “yes” to God’s desire to be our Emmanuel, God with us. Mary’s “yes” forges a new way of being blessed in the world, a new way of living with God each day. Mary chooses to embark on a road like no other – a path that welcomes God to share our humanity, and a path that later challenges God to share in our joys, sorrows, struggles and suffering.

Today’s story begins with Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth – a visit that comprises two of the most popular prayers in all Christianity: the Ave Maria or Hail Mary and the Magnificat.

Given the power, joy and beauty of their words, we quickly gloss over Luke’s opening line and miss that Mary’s trip from Nazareth to the Judean hill country was a journey between 80 and 100 miles!

If we fill in the gaps here, the opening line of Luke’s story makes this story even more amazing:

“In those days, Mary set out, alone on foot walking a dangerous 80 miles to a town in the Judean mountains. The newly pregnant Mary went with haste uphill on a rough narrow path while also wrestling with morning sickness. After five days, she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.” (Luke 1:39)

80 miles, five days, uphill. I wonder what that journey was like for Mary? Did she walk with a sense of purpose or was it more like wandering? What did she experience on the road? How did she feel when the angel departed? Did that joy and curiosity and closeness with God linger on? Or did her own fears and doubts begin to settle in about what was to come? What words or prayers brought her comfort and courage along the way…what did Mary say to God? What did God say to Mary?

I’ve never walked 80 miles through the Judean hill country, but I have walked 96 miles through Scotland on the West Highland Way. And let me tell you…a lot can happen in 96 miles!

The West Highland Way was my first long distance hike ever. When I started out I was in over-achiever mode – walk every mile, don’t skip anything especially the hard parts.

After a couple days of rocky paths, steep hills…more rocks, steeper hills and of course the rain, the glorious rain…after all that, you start to realize that you don’t have to walk every step of the way to make the journey your own. Sometimes the simpler way, the detour, the injury that takes you on a modified route can yield the most spectacular revelations of what it means to be blessed in our humanity. The goal is not to live for the destination or to prove yourself to someone else on the trail. The goal is to live the journey.

Every journey in life reveals three things:

1) Where we’ve been and where we are going.

2) Who we are.

3) How ought to live.

For me, 96 miles in Scotland taught me that it’s not me who makes the way; it’s walking the way that made and molded me. For every traveler, the path is the same, but each journey is unique. Wisdom comes not at the beginning or the end, the wisdom comes in walking the miles, in making the journey one’s own.

Spanish poet Antonio Machado sums it up with the following words:

“Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no path, the way is made by walking.”

There’s nothing like a good long walk over several days to make you feel infinitely more grateful, infinitely more alive.

Whatever joy, curiosity, doubts, or fears were swirling around in Mary, her journey through the Judean hill country, walking those 80 miles made the way for her words to become flesh, for Mary’s “yes” to become embodied making Mary Godbearer. Mary’s “yes” becomes the pathway for God to be born anew as savior of the world.

We hear the incarnation of Mary’s “yes” echoed in the words of welcome, affirmation and blessing she receives from Elizabeth, we hear Mary’s “yes” in the leap of joy from Elizabeth’s womb, and of course in Mary’s courageous song:

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. For he has looked upon the lowliness of his servant, surely all generations will call me blessed for the Mighty one has done great things in me.

And Holy is his Name.” (Luke 1:46-49)

The first leg of Mary’s journey is embracing and embodying her “yes” to God on a deeper level. The second leg of her journey is walking with Elizabeth. Over the next three months, Mary stays with Elizabeth through the birth of John the Baptist. In many ways, these women model how we can live in community together as fellow companions on the way – here to guide, affirm, and challenge one another as we make our own way and live the journey of “yes” to God.

Wherever you are on your journey of faith, whatever your age or background, whatever your gifts, struggles or limitations, each one of us has unique gifts and experiences that equip us to become pathways for God’s compassion, joy, and service.

The path that lies before us is the same, love God and love your neighbor. How we live the journey is what makes all the difference.

As we continue our journey from Advent into Christmas, may we be like Mary and Elizabeth, companions on the way; messengers and bearers of Christ’s love and service in the world. Amen.

The Second Sunday in Advent — The Rev. Deacon Richard P. Limato

The Rev. Deacon Richard P. Limato

The Second Sunday in Advent: December 9

Baruch 5:1-9  |  Philippians 1:3-11
Luke 3:1-6  |  Canticle 4 or 16

Preacher: The Rev. Richard P. Limato, Deacon of St. Michael’s Church

Have you ever found yourself feeling like the voice of one crying out in the wilderness?

Once in high school a few friends and I lost our way on a camping trip.  We pitched our sleeping bags in the dark near a marsh – like area. The next day fearing the imaginary bears of the park’s namesake; we roamed aimlessly without a GPS.

With our car lost, and a Marriott nowhere in sight, we gave up and eventually called my uncle to rescue us.

But this isn’t really what I mean. (more…)

The First Sunday in Advent — The Rev. Katharine Flexer

Kate Flexer headshot

The Rev. Katharine Flexer

The First Sunday in Advent: December 2, 2018

Jeremiah 33:14-16  |  1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Luke 21:25-36  |  Psalm 25:1-9

Preacher: The Rev. Katharine Flexer, Rector of St. Michael’s Church

 

And so, as you see from the colors and the candles, today we begin the season of Advent. And if you’ve been around church for a while you know that today also marks the beginning of the church year. From today on into the next year we are in a new cycle of readings, a new calendar of seasons. The secular year begins on January 1; that’s mostly because of a calculation error that shifted the new year off of December 21, the winter solstice, marking the time when the days start lengthening again and light begins to return to the northern hemisphere. But in the church we back it up several weeks and begin the year with Advent, the season of expectation and preparation, the weeks that lead us up to Christmas and the celebration of Christ’s Incarnation.

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The Last Sunday after Pentecost — The Rev. David Rider

The Rev. David Rider

The Last Sunday after Pentecost-Christ the King: November 25, 2018

2 Samuel 23:1-7  |  Psalm 132:1-13 (14-19) 
Revelation 1:4b-8  |  John 18:33-37

Preacher: The Rev. David Rider, Assisting Priest, St. Michael’s Church

So how did it go?

Since our last gathering, all of us have been through some version of the uniquely American Thanksgiving holiday.

For some of us, we waft in the pleasing afterglow of family, loved ones and foodie paradise, indulging a wonderful karma before returning to school and work world.

For others of us, the long weekend is more business as usual, not too high expectations, perhaps a memorable meal, and a few more errands than usual amid a long weekend.

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The Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost — Sr. Promise

The Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost: November 18, 2018

1 Samuel 1:4-20  |  1 Samuel 2:1-10
Hebrews 10:11-14 (15-18) 19-25  |Mark 13:1-8

Preacher: Sr. Promise, SSM, Seminarian at St. Michael’s Church

She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.

I don’t know about you, but for me when I heard the reading from first Samuel it reminded me of the big holiday that is coming: Thanksgiving. Which is supposed to be a time of rejoicing, fun and happiness for family members to celebrate together. Where Republicans, Democrats and Independents will get together to celebrate. Despite the joy and the excitement of celebration, there is plenty of room for rivalry, because we human beings have difficulty accepting and celebrating differences.

Whatever the differences might be, either skin color, language, accent sexual orientation, political party, having children and not having children, we can always find something to put another down. I have a friend of mine who always finds it difficult to go to family event, because his family will always make fun of him for his sexual orientation, which make him very uncomfortable, since our culture imposes on us what is normal and what is not normal. It was like this even in the ancient world because of this there is plenty room for judgement. Sometimes, we forget that if God is love and that God takes delight in us. Knowing that God is delight in us, is enough to make us go around and give everyone we meet a hug, except that they might think we are creasy.

In the ancient world, it was very important to have children and if you didn’t have children it became an embarrassment for you. Anyone could choose that circumstance to shame you or to make your life miserable. In the first reading we hear that Elkanah had two wives Peninnah and Hannah. Peninnah had sons and daughters while Hannah had none. Year after year Elkannah would go to the temple to offer sacrifices and Hannah would have to be face to face with Peninnah who would make her life miserable. Hannah would cry again and again. Though Elkanah loved her dearly, that was not enough to overcome her distress. Hannah was the victim of the culture she was living in, plus the victim of Penninah’s insult.

Year after year, when Hannah goes to what “supposed” to be a moment of celebration, a moment she was supposed to be looking forward to, being with her husband and the rest of the family. To worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of host at Shiloh. It turned out to be one of the stressful events in her life.

However, Hannah never lost hope and faith, but she was persistent in her prayer, because God never stops listening to our prayers. Hannah knows that she belongs to God and God loves her and takes delight in her. As Psalm 16: 8 tell us: “I keep the Lord always before me; because God is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” In the face of humiliation and insult Hannah never let go of God. Hannah persisted in her prayer and she never gave up. God is not deaf to our prayer, God is present in our life and God never fails to listen to us. Our Hope and Faith in God will carry us through.

I as a Sister knows that, but I must confess to you that it is not easy to accept that God is listening to our prayers.  I have been praying for so many people and I encounter so many people that pray for healing for a cure from an illness or for cure for cancer and yet they don’t survive. I remember Sally. her husband moved to New York for a job, while she stayed back home in another state to continue with treatment for cancer.  Finally, after her husband settled down, he brought her to New York.

When she came, she went straight to the hospital. I went to visit her.  Since we did not know each other, I told her who I was. After our conversation, I offered her communion and I prayed with her. That was our first encounter and for 4 years, I prayed with her in her house or in the hospital, whenever she made it to Church and over the phone. She never lost her faith. Until the night before she died, her husband called me and told me she wanted me to pray with her. I asked her if she would you like me to come over and she said I didn’t have to come. I prayed with her over the phone.  She said, “I love you” and I said I love you too.”  The next morning around 7:30 her husband called me to let me know she passed away. Hannah prayed God and asked God for a son and God gave her a son. As God answers the prayer of Hannah and granted her the gift of a son, I would love for God’s to heal Sally, and all the others that I prayed for. But, as the psalm said, “I keep the Lord always before me,” the Psalmist does not say I keep the Lord before me only when God fulfills my desire or grantes me my prayer request, but instead the psalmist wrote: “I keep the Lord always before me.” It becomes a way of living to keep the Lord always before us.

We belong to God always at all time and through all circumstances in our life. It is our faith in God that hold us through difficult time, the outcome of our prayer is in God’s hand.  I learned from Sally that having faith in God does not mean our desire will be fulfilled the way we want it, because God’s desire for us is bigger than our desire. God will always enfold us in his arm and God will always be with us and God’s grace and love will prevail. We are invited to pray and surrender our desire to God. As Sally did until the last day of her life. Now she is celebrating Thanksgiving with God in heaven.

God is in the midst of our confusion and our helplessness. Do not lose hope in your journey. Just keep walking and be faithful and stay open and available to God Spirit. God is in the midst of the migrant workers and God is with the people at our border, who are risking their lives through a long and difficult journey in search of a better life for their family. God is walking with you and me all along the way. You were never alone, and you are never alone whatever journey you are walking in because each one of us is on a different path and our hope is that it will lead us to the source where love dwells.

As God was walking with Hannah the whole time when she was facing humiliation from Peninnah, God is with the Republicans as well as the Democrats. God is with the one that feels rejected from their family because of their sexual orientation. Whatever you are deeply troubled with, remember that God is watching over you. Whatever you are happy and excited about remember that God is watching over you.

Within all this pain God sees Hannah because God never stop loving us, we are in God and God is in in us in all circumstances in our life. God loves for us is greater than the circumstances in our life. God’s grace, love and compassion for us is greater than our culture and whatever we might think about each other. So, Hannah faithfully prayed to God and asked God for the gift of a son and God answers her prayer.

What I found interesting is that the bible does not tell us that Elkanah told his wife Peninnah to stop the insults, but what the bible tells us is that when Hannah was crying, he said: “Am I not worth more then 10 sons to you?” and the Bible said he loved her very much. The Sister in me make me feel like saying “Well sir Elkanah, sometimes love asks for action and sometimes even some difficult action.” God’s loves for us is reflected in Jesus’ death and resurrection, so love demand action. Why doesn’t Elkana makes Penninah stop humiliating Hannah if he loves her so much? Then I realized that God has a plan for Hannah and God has a plan for each one of us here this morning.

Hannah thinks now, she can no longer take it, she must go to God who is the only defender. Sometimes God is the only one who can do something when the people you rely upon cannot defend you. She can no longer endure the pain of humiliation and insult. So, she went to the temple where the Priest Ely was sitting. She went there silently praying and pouring her heart to the Lord, the only one who could understand her Pain.

Yet Hannah met with Judgement again, instead of being offered some pastoral support. Ely told her: “How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself. Put away your wine. (1 Sam.14”).  Can you imagine hearing those words from any of the priests at Saint Michael?  You would probably fly out of the priest office and will probably never set your feet back at this door again and would probably even take it to social media.

Instead Hannah spoke to Ely with great humility and grace. “She said “I am a woman deeply troubled, but I am not drunk, instead I have been pouring my soul into the Lord. 1 Sam. 15” Ely does not understand Hannah expression of pain before God, however, Hannah’s conversation with Ely help him to change his heart and now he joins Hannah in praying for the gift that she was asking God for. God always has a mysterious way to open our eyes.

See, she was described as drunk, but she did not describe herself that way, but instead as deeply troubled. Hannah’s desires were to have a son and she faithfully prayed that God would grant her a son, that was all she wanted, and she prayed that if God granted her a son that she would dedicate the son to God service. Hannah was not drunk, but circumstances in her life make her deeply trouble.  In our present day, Hannah respond to Ely remind me of the people at our border, who will probably describe themselves as deeply trouble from their native land and that they are not criminal, but circumstances in their life make them take their children in search for a better life. Sometimes, our judgement did not reflect what is going on through a person it is always best to have conversation and listen to each other with open heart and mind. Because God is the one who guided the lives of God chosen individuals such as Hannah and you and me.

We have a God who has already prepared a high way for us. God is inviting us to walk in it; we are invited to work with God. God wants to walk it not for me or for you but to walk with us. Just as Hannah discovered that she must do her part by Going to God to express her deepest desire to God, may we also never shy away from expressing our deepest desires to God. As Hannah left the Temple, she was no longer sad, because she surrenders everything in God hand. May we pray and surrender our deepest desire in God hand.

God is the God of history and who controls time and space, God is the God who control when and where of his chosen individual (paraphrase from a commentary by David Toshio Tsumura pg.71). God is in control of the democrats, republican, independent, black, white, poor and rich. God saving plan is fulfilled in the normal day today life of human being. so, let’s be compassionate and be kind to ourselves, to each other on Thanksgiving Day and in everyday life. Amen.