Bishop Steve Lane visited and preached at St. Giles’ Episcopal Church in Jefferson on January 29. In his sermon had this, in part, to say:
To be blessed is to be met in our weakness by God. It is at the point of an impoverished spirit, in the midst of grief, in the effort to make peace, in seeking and suffering for God’s justice, that God meets us. It is here, not at the place of strength, that God finds us and blesses us.
Bishop Steve Lane visited the people of St. Barnabas’, Rumford, on Sunday, October 2. In his sermon he had this, in part, to say:
The problem with notions of heroic faith is that it suggests that the outcome is dependent on us, that it’s up to us to save the world. It suggests that God isn’t present and active here, that we need to bring God to this place in order for good things to happen. And that, of course, is contrary to everything we believe about God.
On April 10, Bishop Steve Lane visited with the people of St. John’s in Bangor. In his sermon he had this, in part, to say.
Jesus says to Peter, if you love me, come as you are, and feed my people; share my love with the world, bring my good news to everyone. This is not about making converts, although some may be converted. It’s about lighting fires, and making a meal, and sharing breakfast on the beach. It is about reaching out to people in their ordinary lives – as fisherman or lobstermen or bankers or lawyers or shopkeepers – and helping them find abundant life.
On Sunday, Bishop Steve Lane visited St. Ann’s in Windham. He preached on the Gospel reading of the Prodigal Son, God’s grace, and God’s crazy irrational love for us. He had this, in part to say:
Let me suggest to you that today’s Gospel is not about lostness — we’re all lost more or less. It’s rather about grace, and our responses to receiving grace. And the fact is, we have trouble with grace. Because grace isn’t fair. Grace isn’t just. Grace doesn’t give people what they deserve but, rather, what God wants to give them.
Bishop Steve Lane spend the last Sunday of Epiphany with the people of St. Patrick’s, Brewer. In his sermon on Luke’s account of the Transfiguration of Jesus he had this, in part, to say:
But worship is not sufficient. What’s required is that we listen to Jesus and, by implication, that we do what he teaches. In the oral tradition that predates literacy, the verb, “to hear,” actually meant to act on what one heard. The proof of the listening was the action that followed. If one did not respond, then, clearly, one had not heard. Listening wasn’t a passive activity, but rather an action going forward. God says listen to Jesus: follow him, act like him.
He also said this:
It’s been said that we must rescue Jesus from the church, the fatal flaw of the church has been that we have worshiped Jesus instead of following him. We have been content to build booths in which to stay a little while with Jesus, but have not been willing to follow him down the mountain to share in the work of healing and reconciliation. We have been content to bask in the reflected light of Jesus while all around us God’s sons and daughters die of poverty, disease and war. We have been happy that Jesus was transfigured, but we have not looked for our own transfiguration.
Bishop Steve Lane spent the Third Sunday of Advent with the people of Trinity Church in Portland. In his sermon he had this, in part, to say:
What mattered for John was that Jesus was coming. There was a new world order just beyond the horizon, a world in which, as Mary proclaimed, the powerful are pulled from their thrones, and the lowly are raised up. And this world, the coming world, required a new standard of behavior. The normative behavior of the old world was not sufficient. What was required now was to live by the standard of the new world: to live kindly, honestly and peaceably…
John puts before us a question and a choice. The question is: What world will we live in? Whom will we follow? Will we live in the old world that is passing away? Or will we live in the world that is coming? Will we follow Caesar or Herod? Or we follow Jesus? Our choice.
Bishop Stephen Lane spoke to the people of St. Nicholas, Scarborough on Sunday, June 14th, saying:
“You see, the key thing, the reason we’re all here, is that we’ve been called to follow God, to share in God’s mission. God is in charge. God will see to the harvest. And God doesn’t need us, at least, not in the conventional sense. God is not dependent on our planting straight rows, watering and weeding, standing ready for the harvest. God’s more like an invasive weed, finding a way in, growing in good soil and bad, seeking everyone out, even the least desirable, and inviting us to share his good news – the good news of the unstoppable reality of the kingdom of God, the good news that God loves everyone.”
Bishop Stephen Lane visited with the people of St. Peter’s in Portland on the first Sunday of Lent. In his sermon he had this, in part, to say:
“The Good News of the story of testing is that God is with us. The time we’re in is difficult for us, but that does not mean we are alone. Far from it. God is with us ministering to us. God, you see, has promised never again to destroy his people. That’s the meaning of the Noah story, and why we read it on this day. God has made a covenant with us, a covenant renewed in every baptism. And that covenant is secure. Our relationship with God is fixed, like the rainbow. God loves us with a love greater than life itself and will not let us go, even in the midst of severe testing. We belong to God, and we can trust God come what may.”
On Sunday, January 25, Bishop Steve Lane visited Trinity Episcopal Church in Saco. In his sermon he had this, in part, to say:
If I were asked to leave my home and family, I don’t think I could do it. But I’m not asked to leave. I’m asked to love. And not just the members of my family or my community, but all God’s children. I’m asked to love not only all of you, but all those folks whizzing by in their cars… and all those on the ski slopes… and all those in the Middle East… and everywhere else… immediately.
Last Sunday, Advent 2, Bishop Lane preached, celebrated, visited, and baptized at St. George’s in York Harbor. In his sermon he had this, in part, to say:
Which I think is what John the Baptizer is saying about the coming of the Messiah. It is not enough for us simply to hope that God will come among us, to sit back and wait to be set free. Our anticipation must be undergirded by our participation. We must make room, clear a space – in our hearts, in our homes… and in our institutions and country. We’re invited to bulldoze that straight path.
The Good News, the hope we embrace, is that God is, in fact, coming; is, in fact, among us. God is coming without our invitation. And people are responding. In Ferguson, MO, a new generation of young, articulate black leaders, many of them women, committed to non-violent change is emerging. They are supported by the clergy of many churches and synagogues, including our own, who are present on the streets and in the protests to be, for police and demonstrators alike, the human face of God.