Sacred Mystery: Communion
The Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida » Bishops Blog
by Bishop Gregory O. Brewer
1y ago
Almost 100 years ago, Evelyn Underhill, British author, mystic and writer on the spiritual life said, “God is the interesting thing about religion.” What she meant by that, and explored in her writings, is that there is something quite ungraspable and yet still intimate about God, not easily defined and yet closer than the next breath. There is a mysterious nature about even what we say and believe. We’re conscious of the fact that words do not adequately contain—nor were they ever meant to—the fullness of who God is. We make do with the limitations of human language, but we understand that t ..read more
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A Lenten Awakening
The Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida » Bishops Blog
by Bishop Gregory O. Brewer
1y ago
As many of you know, I have been paying attention to the awakening that is presently going on at Asbury University. Although the venue for public services has changed, it remains strong, and people in the tens of thousands have arrived to visit the services from all over the world. I read Dr. Craig Keener’s insightful reporting of his experience as a professor at Asbury Seminary (read his article at this link). He is professor of New Testament and a scholar on miracles in the Gospels. As both a scholar and a resident professor, he is eminently qualified to comment on these amazing events. But ..read more
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Journey Toward Christmas, Part 2: ‘Good Tidings of Comfort and Joy’
The Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida » Bishops Blog
by Bishop Gregory O. Brewer
1y ago
In my last post, I shared a Christmas vision or musing with you in which I had the opportunity to go to the stable and take the hand of the infant Jesus. I shared with you how, in many ways, that is a metaphor for our opportunity to embrace eternal life and also for the way God takes our hand and promises to never let go. But what happens when we take our Savior’s hand and he, in turn, takes ours? Journey of Humility So long as I know that he has gripped me, I continue to be taken by him, even though it often feels blind, even though it makes no sense from time to time. It certainly defies lo ..read more
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Journey Toward Christmas, Part 1: ‘Glory to God in the Highest’
The Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida » Bishops Blog
by Bishop Gregory O. Brewer
1y ago
I want to tell you about a vision I’ve had during the season of Advent. This is not a thunder-and-lightning vision; it’s more like musing, where I go to the real stable. I walk up to where the manger is, where the baby lies in the manger, and I want to just sit down, take the infant’s hand and just sit there. Grasping Eternity I don’t want to leave. I want to just stop and ponder what I was beholding. If you’ve ever held a peaceful baby, you know what calming it can bring to the soul. It’s like solace is being communicated to you through that baby’s flesh. It’s quite a remarkable experience ..read more
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St. Francis of Assisi – Part 2: Following Christ
The Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida » Bishops Blog
by Bishop Gregory O. Brewer
1y ago
In our last post, we discussed St. Francis of Assisi and the call to follow Christ through what becomes a repeated cycle in our lives: leaving, cleaving and serving. Leaving Leaving, in fact, looks like what Paul says in the book of Galatians: “May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world” (Gal. 6:14). In other words, to be a follower of Jesus, the cross of Christ stands like a stake between the vanities of the world, which I find so extraordinarily alluring, and me. It surrounds me like a fortress. But ..read more
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St. Francis of Assisi – Part 1: Following Christ
The Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida » Bishops Blog
by Bishop Gregory O. Brewer
1y ago
When I think of Francis of Assisi, whose feast day we will celebrate on Oct. 4, a part of me is speechless. What do you say about an iconic medieval figure, one who prefigured the entire Renaissance? What do you say about somebody who changed, permanently, the culture of both Western Europe and the church? St. Francis was one man, who died before the age of 50, who didn’t travel very much. And yet people flocked to him. The Witness of St. Francis I don’t quite understand it, and I don’t entirely know what Jesus is asking of me through his witness. Because the collect for Francis’ day takes us ..read more
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The Glorious Invitation – Part 2: Life on the King’s Terms
The Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida » Bishops Blog
by Bishop Gregory O. Brewer
1y ago
In part 1 of this post, we introduced Jesus’ Parable of the Wedding Banquet in Matthew 14. We ended with the idea that, just like those invited to the wedding feast, few are willing to say yes to the fullness of the invitation and become true followers of the King. You see, that’s the real heart of the matter. I can call myself anything I want. But unless somehow something inside me has said yes to the full invitation of the King, to live on the King’s terms, then where do I stand? Real Forgiveness We must look elsewhere in scripture to find the King’s terms, and they’re surprising. They’re a ..read more
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A United Church in a Divided Time
The Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida » Bishops Blog
by Bishop Gregory O. Brewer
1y ago
Recently I found a quote online that I thought fitting for this time in our history: “No church gravitates toward unity. We have to contend for unity against the gravitational pull toward selfishness and hypocrisy” (Barnabas Piper). But in our contentious culture, such words can be easily misunderstood. Contending for unity does not mean drawing battle lines to separate ourselves from those who disagree with us. You will not find that course of action supported by the gospel. Instead, and quite remarkably, the gospel calls us not to set up battle lines against anyone. We are called to love ..read more
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The Glorious Invitation – Part 1: The Wedding Banquet
The Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida » Bishops Blog
by Bishop Gregory O. Brewer
1y ago
If you could distill the commitments Christians make at the time of their confirmation down to one brief sentence, it would be this: Christians are those men and women who have committed to living their lives not on their terms, but on the terms of Jesus Christ. And this is shown particularly in Jesus’ Parable of the Wedding Banquet in Matthew 22:1-14. To Jesus’ listeners, this parable was a shocker. It’s full of twists and turns, right to the very end. Many Are Called Those who heard the story understood the idea of a king having a huge wedding banquet in honor of his son’s marriage. That ma ..read more
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Go With the Flow – Part 2: The Missionary Gift of the Holy Spirit
The Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida » Bishops Blog
by Bishop Gregory O. Brewer
1y ago
In Part 1, we discussed the celebration of the Feast of Pentecost and how God moved in power to send his Holy Spirit upon the disciples in Acts 2. We also said the Holy Spirit is a missionary spirit, because from the beginning, he has been about sending us out. Sensing the Holy Spirit Sometimes that comes in very small, individual ways. One day, I got up early to go to one of the local stores before I went to the office, and I passed by a man walking his dogs. He caught my eye, and I thought, “I’m supposed to be praying for him.” It was just as clear as day. And not only was I supposed to be ..read more
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