Well, with the new call to be the part-time interim rector at St. Luke's and a possible second call to be a part-time visitation pastor for a Methodist congregation, it looks like the Mercenary Presbyter moniker will have to be shelved. It's certainly more preferable to have a call than keep a blog name ... so here we go.
It's not original, but Reverend Mom seems to fit. The new pic is of me and our youngest daughter on the top (yes top) of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. My cousin, Maj. Gen. John Milne (ret.), is the Registrar of St. Paul's. He gave us the coolest tour of the Cathedral last summer. He had the girls undivided attention as we went up the "Harry Potter staircase," into the library, and the Grand Model (built by Sir Christopher Wren to show off what his cathedral would look like), the crypt, and finally the Whispering Gallery where he let us go up to the very top of the Cathedral. He promised a view that was "much better than the London Eye" and he was absolutely right.
Tomorrow I head down to St. Luke's again to preach on the King's Son's Wedding feast parable from Matthew 22. The Great Banquet in Luke is a much easier one of grace, but this one is full of judgment ... weeping and gnashing of teeth and stuff. It's not comfortable stuff. I have been reading Robert Farrar Capon's commentary Kingdom, Grace and Judgment: Paradox, Vindication and Outrage in the Parables of Jesus and his take on this parable. I find this to be one of the best commentaries as it isn't full of $100 theological terms and he is a pretty funny guy. His take is that judgment is always wrapped in grace in the parables. The judgment falls on those who reject the invitation to the banquet initially. The judgment of the guest without the wedding robe is another judgment of someone who got into the party, but still wanted to party on his own terms (he didn't want to put on the garment ... which was likely provided as all the riff-raff were pulled off the street just as they were). The party is on God's terms, not ours. Our only obligation is to say "yes" and join the bunch ... which includes people who we probably wouldn't like or who would be an embarrassment to us. We don't get into the party by our own merits ... only by God dragging us in by our earlobes. That's grace.