Wednesday, February 13, 2019


Epiphany 6 C
February 17, 2019


St. Luke 6:17-26 - NRSV

Jesus Teaches and Heals
17 He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. 18 They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19 And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.
Blessings and Woes
20 Then he looked up at his disciples and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
    for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now,
    for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now,
    for you will laugh.
22 “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you[a] on account of the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
24 “But woe to you who are rich,
    for you have received your consolation.
25 “Woe to you who are full now,
    for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now,
    for you will mourn and weep.
26 “Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.
Footnotes:
a.    Luke 6:22 Gk cast out your name as evil

A Poem a Sunday
Epiphany 6 C

Plain Justice

When encountering the Divine on the plain,
when we begin to experience God’s reign
society will never be the same:

Poverty is in the past.
Hunger is long gone.
Mourning and tears will not last,
Sorrow no longer a song.

The cost will be:

The powerful will snuff out
the prophetic voice
through
exclusion,
defiling,
defaming.

Killing the messenger
is the wrong choice
the message
will not be silenced.

The rich, the full,
their scornful laughter
will cease as empty
they make their way.

False prophets will champion
the privileged, crying:
“Peace!  Peace!  Peace!”
And the *Great Mandala
will never cease.

* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpIh68Kh_-s

Copyright @2019 by Rev. Kenn Storck
May be used with permission
kennstorck@gmail.com



Tuesday, February 5, 2019


Epiphany 5C
February 10, 2019


St. Luke 5:1-11 - NRSV

Jesus Calls the First Disciples
5 Once while Jesus[a] was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, 2 he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6 When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” 11 When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

Footnotes:
  1. Luke 5:1 Gk he
Epiphany 5-C
February 10, 2019

Embark

Launch into the deep
Into the city streets
And down deep to rural towns
Where poverty abounds.

How shallow is the Church
In kiddie pools of mirth
Singing praise songs of delight
While the world is in a dark night.

Enough of shallow waters,
Superficial songs, no liturgy
God mandates deep seas
Where the oppressed are set free.

Mile long puddles inches deep
Where God’s people dabble their feet
To gather and remain so meek
And from the Gospel retreat.

Time is now, O Church,
Time is now, launch into the deep.
Immerse in waters of new birth
Awake from your long sleep.

Copyright @2019 by Kenneth Storck
May be used with permission
kennstorck@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


A Poem a Sunday
Epiphany 4 – C
February 3, 2019


St. Luke 4:21-30 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

21 Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” 23 He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’” 24 And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. 25 But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; 26 yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27 There were also many lepers[a] in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. 30 But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.
Footnotes:
  1. Luke 4:27 The terms leper and leprosy can refer to several diseases
A Poem a Sunday
Epiphany 4 – C

Precipice

So it comes to this:
pleasing the locals
or telling the Truth.

Truth-tellers are not welcome
into a dysfunctional faith.

Parochial Christians
bathe in pat answers
and love spiritual fast food.

“Do not take us any further,
Young Prophet.
We enjoy our binary world:
- black/white
- dogma right
- no questions asked
- doubt defeated
- no price to pay.

Change?  Open up?
Be transformed?
Follow Jubilee?

No! Heal us now not outsiders.
We need to take care of our own.
Widow of Sidon,
soldier of Syria,
children in Yemen,
seekers of asylum –
wall them off
or we’ll throw you off this cliff.”

Copyright @2019 by Kenn Storck
May be used with permission

Saturday, January 19, 2019


A Poem a Sunday
Epiphany 3 – C
January 27, 2019


St. Luke 4:14-30 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Beginning of the Galilean Ministry
14 Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15 He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

The Rejection of Jesus at Nazareth
16 When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has anointed me
        to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
    and recovery of sight to the blind,
        to let the oppressed go free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”


20 And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” 23 He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’” 24 And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. 25 But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; 26 yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27 There were also many lepers[a] in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. 30 But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.

A Poem a Sunday
Epiphany 3 – C

Let the Nations Go

(Sung to the tune: ‘Go Down, Moses!’)

When Jesus was in Galilee,
Let my people go!
He proclaimed the Jubilee
Let my people go!

Refrain:
Go up, Jesus,
Way up to Nazareth
Tell the people
God’s reign is here.

Christ goes into the Synagogue,
Let the nations go!
Prophet with the Word of God,
Let the nations go!
Refrain:

The locals say, “He’s Joseph’s son.”
Let the nations go.
Yet he reveals the Living One.
Free the nations now.
Refrain:

Foreigners saved from their dread,
Let the nations go.
Sidon widow given bread.
Free the nations now.
Refrain:

Hometown Prophet disallowed,
Let the nations go.
Elisha healed Naaman proud,
Free the nations now.
Refrain:

The people take Christ to a cliff.
Free the nations now.
He gives them the Divine slip.
Free the nations now.

Go up, Jesus,
Way up to Galilee
Tell the people:
“God set them free!"

Copyright @2019 Kenn Storck
May be used with permission
kennstorck@gmail.com




Monday, January 14, 2019


A Poem a Sunday
Epiphany 2 – C


John 2:1-11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Wedding at Cana
2 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. 9 When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

A Poem a Sunday
Epiphany 2- C

Sign

Wine, fruit of the vine,
created for the Divine.

Miracle or Metaphor?

Miracle:  analysis of the chemistry –
percentage of alcoholic content
in those water jars now laced with wine.
How is that physically possible?
600 fifths Christ created.
We seminarians figured that out
when making or own ‘Johnson ’72.’

Metaphor: bride and groom / a wedding:
portrait of the coming kingdom.
Now God will renew relationships
around a celebration table.
Could this miracle be a sign, a metaphor
for the coming age in Christ?
Could it be a precursor
of the Eucharist
when jars of purification
are transformed into celebration
and there is a place
at the bride and groom’s table
for everyone?

Wine,
fruit of the vine,
created by the Divine.
Sign of the coming Kingdom.

Copyright @2019 by Kenn Storck
May be used with permission
kennstorck@gmail.com


Friday, January 4, 2019


A Poem a Sunday
Baptism of Our Lord – C
January 13, 2019


St. Luke 3:15-22 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

15 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah,[a] 16 John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with[b] the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

18 So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people. 19 But Herod the ruler,[c] who had been rebuked by him because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the evil things that Herod had done, 20 added to them all by shutting up John in prison.

The Baptism of Jesus
21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved;[d] with you I am well pleased.”[e]
Footnotes:
  1. Luke 3:15 Or the Christ
  2. Luke 3:16 Or in
  3. Luke 3:19 Gk tetrarch
  4. Luke 3:22 Or my beloved Son
  5. Luke 3:22 Other ancient authorities read You are my Son, today I have begotten you. 
A Poem a Sunday
Baptism of Our Lord - January 13, 2019

When the heavens opened
divine waters filled the earth
- cleansing –
the waters flowing free
a purifying new birth.
And Noah stepped
into the new world
and God hung
up God’s bow
promising
never again to erase,
but Adam II
brought more disgrace.

The heavens opened
at the meager Jordan River
and this time initiates
Adam III to deliver
the human race
from self-destruction and
to give new life.
There is a birth
at that river
to push back
on all strife.

Born from above
God’s first adopted one
re-made us in
the divine image,
all daughters and sons.

A third creation
through the Jordan waters
has begun.
And now as
Christ’s body,
a new human race,
divine once again
we create a place:
the New Eden,
a community
of forgiveness
and grace.

Copyright 2019 by Kenn Storck
May be used with permission
kennstorck@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Epiphany of Our Lord
Sunday, January 6, 2019



St. Matthew 2:1-12 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Visit of the Wise Men

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men[a] from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising,[b] and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah[c] was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
    who is to shepherd[d] my people Israel.’”
Then Herod secretly called for the wise men[e] and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising,[f] until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped,[g] they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 2:1 Or astrologers; Gk magi
  2. Matthew 2:2 Or in the East
  3. Matthew 2:4 Or the Christ
  4. Matthew 2:6 Or rule
  5. Matthew 2:7 Or astrologers; Gk magi
  6. Matthew 2:9 Or in the East
  7. Matthew 2:10 Gk saw the star


A Poem a Sunday
Epiphany 

The Journey of the Magi

"A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The was deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter."
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires gong out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty, and charging high prices.:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we lead all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I have seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.


T. S. Eliot