Proper 17, Year A: A Stone to Make Them Stumble

There’s something captivating about a rock. It compels the human spirit to climb: magnificent in its solidity and permanence, like Gibraltar or Everest. In this particular case the rocks were only two or three feet high at the most, but for me—a three-year-old smaller than your average Canada goose—they were mighty and worthy of conquest.

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3 Easter, Year C: Breakfast

It doesn’t take a whole lot of time on pilgrimage in the Holy Land before you begin to learn to take some of the historic identifications of the holy places with a grain of salt.

And so it was when our group of pilgrims toured the Galilee chapel built over a flat rock, the “Mensa Domini”—the very Table of the Lord where he laid the charcoal fire and spread out the loaves and fishes.

Or, of course, maybe it really happened at that other flat rock over there—or that other beach a mile or two down the shore. Who can say?

Yet as we stood there, looking out at the turquoise water lapping at the rocky shore, I realized how profoundly right this holy place was. Over twenty centuries of time, cities appear and vanish; buildings, streets, and trees come and go—but the sea today is still the same as it was then, and contemplating the story in that place was incredibly easy.

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