Sermon Sept. 11, 2016: seeking the lost

This morning’s sermon is on Mother Gillian’s blog, here.

woman-finds-lost-coin

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It Stinks.

It Stinks.

Lent 5 RCL Yr A

John 11:1-45 and Ezek. 37:1-14

The Rev. Gillian R. Barr

April 6, 2014

The Church of the Good Shepherd, Pawtucket

It stinks.That is the King James Version of Martha’s description of four-days-dead Lazarus, what we heard as “already there is a stench.” Actually, the King James says, “he stinketh.” Lots of things stink, literally or figuratively. The death of a friend. Disease-laden drinking water. The smell of gunpowder after a shooting. Flop houses and crack houses. Bodies on a battlefield. Antiseptic in hospitals and the deadly infections it fights. A person living on the streets without access to a shower or clean clothes. Salty tears.This morning’s scriptures don’t sugar-coat death and decay. There is a stench. Other translations use the words putrid and foul. He stinketh. Only two words, but they say so very much. They stand for all the things in life which indeed reek of death, those things which stink to high heaven.In Ezekiel’s vision described in the first reading, Ezekiel is led all around a valley of bones. He isn’t invited for just a quick look, no, this is a close and lengthy inspection of a valley full of bones. A whole valley full of death, death that has been happening a long time–they are very dry, and there are very many of them.The Bible doesn’t shy away

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