1. In the Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Communion, we are all settling into the long season of Pentecost, also known as ordinary time. Today, in the gospel reading from Mark, Jesus did what he often did: he invites his listeners to see the Kingdom of God in terms of an ordinary earthly thing. Today it was a mustard seed. It's subversive and a bit bewildering that he compares the mighty Kingdom of God to something so tiny, so scattered, so unimpressive -- well, something so ordinary. These seeds grow into bushes, the largest of garden (not forest) plants -- not like the mighty cedars of Lebanon -- large enough for birds to perch in their shade, but hardly extraordinary in the ways we think of grandeur. Consistently, this is where Jesus goes when he speaks of the Kingdom of God. Like ordinary things -- say a lost coin -- the Kingdom of God is in our midst, so everyday, so ordinary. What's profound about God's presence isn't necessarily to be understood in terms of grandeur, but in terms of how mundane it can be.
2. The Deke and I took a little trip up to the Laurel Corridor Marketplace and bought a few articles of clothing and couple of pillows. Very ordinary.
3. My first marriage was annulled by the Roman Catholic Church just over thirty years ago. While the Church ruled that that marriage never happened, my memories of that marriage (1976-82) have not been annulled. A favorite memory was a week to week one in the early months of 1979. A ten week series, Telford's Change was playing in England while Eileen and I were touring the country. On Sundays,we stayed in bed and breakfasts based on whether there was a tv room where we could watch the next installment of the series. I don't remember at what week of the series we picked up Telford's Change, but I know we saw several episodes right to the end. We loved it. Over the last several years, I've tried to find DVDs of the series but haven't been confident that the disks I've found would play in the USA. Over the weekend, however, I discovered that someone downloaded all ten episodes on YouTube back in November and I watched the first two episodes tonight. Mark Telford has succeeded in his request to be transferred out of the international branch of the bank he works for to a become a most ordinary branch manager in Dover, a significant step down the corporate ladder. His very gifted wife wants to stay in London and is about to land a theater job there. The conflicts are established -- the Telfords' marriage is in peril and we will see if Mark is fit to perform the tasks of a small town banker. I'm eager to get going on Episode 3. I'm very happy to be able to watch this series again.