Archive for May, 2010

“Fears of Security”

May 28, 2010

“Fears of Security”: Mark 11:15-17;  The Scripture today is Jesus casting out the money sellers in the temple.  What aroused the anger in Jesus was that commerce and sellers of doves used their privilege and license to extort high prices from poor pilgrims.  People had created barriers and divisions between the courts to excluded gentiles and women from some areas.  I see this today–people who call themselves Christian isolate themselves from people who are different. I have ministers who come and volunteer with me who are horrified at the people on the street. We have people trying to pass laws on sitting on the street–aimed against the homeless. We separate our selves from people by money, race, social position and gender. I have a friend who condemns places outside of San Francisco as being red neck. When you look at all of this what I see is people projecting their own fears onto other people rather then simply seeing them as human beings.  And when money enters into it you bring in a different ball game. People want security so badly they do anything for it–even exclude others. Jesus calls us to follow him, to trust in him–and let everything else fall into place. He did not try to change society–he changed people and then society changes. Meal was awesome last night and will soon start outreach. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“Go Your Way, Your Faith has Made You Well”

May 27, 2010

Mk. 10:46-52  “Go your way, your  faith has made you well.”  and immediately he could see, and he followed Jesus along the road.”

Bartimaeus’ cloak was his uniform by day and his blanket by night–leaving it behind was to throw off his security. People criticize me because I live my life in not having the securities that an educated guy would have. I move and I live in the moment without much security.  When I start worrying about that security, I look around and the people I serve have no security. In fact the majority of the world does not have that security. Security is a manifestation of the middle class of the United States, and only in recent years has so many people had that security.  In striving for security we leave so many behind, we tend to concentrate on ourselves and our families.  For me true happiness, true satisfaction is in casting off my cloak and following Jesus. I spent yesterday with Dustin, then with Mike, and then with Andrew. Dustin struggles with living on social security, and I am his payee, the other two do speed, and their lives are consumed by it. I let them hang out, draw and talk to me for hours, the only space they had had for days.  To day I am cooking the meal and will serve it. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“Follow Me”

May 25, 2010

Mark 10:28-30:  Peter over hears the conversation between Jesus and the rich young ruler, and sees the rich young ruler walk away, and with his big mouth he asks Jesus what does it mean for those who have left everything to follow Jesus.    The former conversation brings to mind the extraordinary leap of faith he and the other disciples have made in following Jesus.  The question I believe this offers everyone is who am I following now? And who am I following that Jesus would not?  These are the questions I asked myself all the time. I live a life of seeking to follow Jesus in total service, and I find myself having to reexamine myself all the time. As long as I remain totally focused on Jesus–I am calm, and have faith, it is when I turn to other thoughts that my fears come alive–Jesus call us to totally follow him, and not worry about anything else. Last night my heart was touched by the kids in the Haight.  They do the best they can, and yet we have a city government that seems to want to put more pressure on them–I see few ruffians out there at all, but the neighbors that is all they see, I would suggest they look with their hearts rather then their fears. “John”, forty something, homeless guy on Polk just learned of his mom’s death, he is suffering deeply, and I am simply trying to be present to him. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“Making the Path”

May 24, 2010

“Making the Path”  Mk. 10:17-23  Malchado wrote: “Traveler there is no path. Paths are made by walking.”

I am often asked my plans, how I raise money, how I continue my ministry. They want set answers, they want a set way. I have found that there is no “path”, no prescribed way of doing ministry. I have made my own path by following Jesus, and at times I do not know where I am going.  Last week a friend asked me why I did not “dump” the blankets on the street and save money for storage. For one thing it would be a waste of a precious resource that is a gift of God for the work,  it would truly be poor stewardship to think in such short term plans.  In our Gospel Jesus called the rich young man to follow him by giving up everything he had, and he turned away. I follow, giving everything I have, and it is scary, but is is the path of faith, and faith holds no guarantees accept God’s presence.  And for me that is enough–I walk the path in faith.  I have spent the day getting food, going to the Haight later. The last two days I basically stayed in bed totally exhausted.  “Mike” , 25, got in the building both nights and hung out for a while, speed user, lost, but I gave him my time. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Pentecost–and Harvey Milk

May 23, 2010

Acts 2:1-11

Today is Pentecost and yesterday was the first “Harvey Milk Day”.  They are connected because the establishment of a day to honor “Harvey Milk” is a sign of the continued movement of the Holy Spirit, inspite of institutions that continually put down queers, and all others who are different.  It is a sign of the presence of God at work in the small groups of people who follow Jesus who do his work in the world.  People moan and groan about the problems of the hierarchy of the Roman Church, of the fundamentalist churches, and fail to see the moving of the Spirit in the churches who embrace all people, in ministries like mine that proclaim the gospel each day–proclaiming it in the words of St.Frances: “Preach the Gospel–using as few words as you can.”  The Holy Spirit is a live, and Jesus moves in our midst.  Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“That they All May Be One”

May 20, 2010

“May they be in us, just as you are in me, and I am in you.”  Jn. 17:20-26

The most certain sign of a holy life is that in our love for God who made us all–we come to love one another as a reflection of God in whose image we are all made.  I find it difficult dealing with other religious groups at times because they are so insistent on believing in God as they do, for example one group wants to call God “Father”, inclusive language, and being more inclusive about God actually scares them, one group can not have you refer to Christ–because it is offensive.  In reality God has shown himself in many and assundry ways.  She has come to us and been with us and is with us–to some as Christ, to others as Buddha, etc.  All that God wants is for us to love one another.   I am cooking the meal for tonight, working on my sermon for this weekend. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“The Center of Our Lives”

May 20, 2010

Jn. 17:11-19:   “I do not ask you to take them out of the world, but I do ask you to keep them safe from the Evil One.”

“Tell me Holy one,” the disciple said, “Should I sell my business and go into a monastery?”  And the Holy One answered, “No, keep your business into your heart.”  The point is that God must be the center of our lives wherever we are.  That is far more difficult then going into a monastery.   For me the work I do is keeping God central in my life–it is not about comfort for me, it is about God, and it is joy for me to spend time with these guys. Tonight on Haight one after another thanked me, we talked, and for me that was more joy then all the money in the world.  I am tired, had  a car accident today, went to a Pride meeting tonight, and yet I feel joy. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“A Purpose Driven Life”

May 19, 2010

Jn. 17:1-11  “I have shown your glory on earth. I have finished the work you gave me to do.”

Each of us has only one goal in life:  to show God’s glory on earth, rather than be consumed with our won and to finish the work God gave us to do.  As long as I can remember I have been driven to do ministry.  I have been told I am a “singled minded” person, and I am.  My life has always been purpose driven–to preach the Gospel–being it using words, food, or my written skills.  I have come to appreciate the words of St. Francis these past years: “Preach the Gospel–using as fewer words as possible.”  People wonder how I keep going–when I am low on money, when my health is bad, or when I am under fire from people–and as I have never thought about quitting–my life is driven with the single purpose of preaching the Gospel until I draw my last breath.  Tonight I served sixty people food, many I have known for many years, all broken, but the food, and the time I spent with them was preaching the Gospel. Today I saw Cole, when I met him ten years ago he was young, full of energy, now he is toothless, and has simply withered away–but I still care and in caring preach the Gospel.  For me the Good News of Jesus  Christ is that he walks with us, cares for us, and is with us even unto death.

“Hope”

May 17, 2010

John 16:29-33: “I will be left alone. But I am not really alone because the Father is with me. .”You will have trouble in the world; but courage, I have overcome the world.”

Pope Benedict XVI has written:  “A first essential setting for learning hope is prayer.  When no none listens to me any more, God listens to me.”  In other words Jesus gives us the great lesson of life that God is with us through everything–and at all times.  to know God is to never be alone however lonely life seems on the surface. There are times I walk the streets, like last night on Polk, and I see “Cate”,  with her walker, dirty, scared, and lonely, “John”, sixitish, a long time drug user, sitting on the street in his spittal and I sense their sense of being alone–alone with hundreds of people walking around them, having fun, talking to each other. Then I reach out with some food, some socks, some clean needles, and they smile, and I feel God’s presence, and I know that they are not alone, and neither am I—for God is always present. The same when I spend hours listening to people, and I go home alone, and all of my friends are simply too “busy” to talk, and I feel alone–I know I am never alone–God is there. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“Not About Perfection”

May 17, 2010

Lk. 24:46-53  “The message of repentance and forgiveness of sins must e preached to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem.”

Jesus wants us to know that it is not perfection that we must be about, but what is really important is our efforts to do better, always better, that claims God’s love and forgiveness.  We are called to move towards perfection, little by little.  I slept until 3:00 p.m. today. Have been doing outreach in the Haight.  People love the blankets, the food, the time I give them.  And that is enough. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!