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Fr. Rick Morley
Basking Ridge, NJ
Daddy, husband, priest, baptized child of God
Recent Activity
A Garden Path is moving from Typepad to WordPress, from one server to another, and from to So, this should be fun! will continue to be around for a while, but you'll want to start directing your bookmarks to Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2011 at A Garden Path
The story of Isaac and Rebekah tells me that God can use a buffoon. A buffoon like me. Great things can come of a buffoon. God can bless people through a buffoon. Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2011 at A Garden Path
The Akedah is one of those chapters of the Bible which reminds us all too well that we don't have a neat and tidy little religion that is country-club respectable in all ways at all times. Sometimes the story comes off the tracks. But, the story somehow finds it's way back onto the tracks. There is always the possibility of redemption. Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2011 at A Garden Path
Thanks for this JR - and greetings to a fellow alum. I won't tell you at what stage of life I was in, in 1969...but "twinkle" and "mother's eye" come quickly to mind! I had a similar line of thought about the "wind sound". My personal conclusion (to date) is that, while curious, it doesn't effect the link to Ruach and Genesis 1 & 2. The tongues of fire are also "tongues, AS fire." Seems to add to the mystery of the event. The Holy Spirit came down and it SOUNDED like wind, and it LOOKED like fire...but that's the best we can do... It reminds me of the sound of Jesus' voice in Revelation - "like the sound of many waters." (Although, if I go back in my notes, I'm sure my good Candler New Testament professor, Luke Timothy Johnson, had a couple of ideas on this!) Pax, Rick
On this day when we remember fathers, let us offer our prayers to God, who has adopted us as sons and daughters through the waters of baptism. O God, you formed your son Adam from the dust of the ground, and breathed your holy breath into his lungs, giving us... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2011 at A Garden Path
This isn't a text to absolutize. You can't (or at least shouldn't) attempt to build a theology of the trinity around this...This is Paul invoking the fullness of God in prayer over a community (koinonia) in Corinth that had it's issues. Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2011 at A Garden Path
I think it's helpful in this regard to not separate the Resurrection of Jesus and Coming of the Holy Spirit as two wholly separate and different things. They are two different things, but they have lots of overlap - and they are in a fuller sense two actions of the one-and-the-same sweeping act of God: God reconciling all things to Himself, God making all things new. Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2011 at A Garden Path
I'm on the edge of glory And I'm hanging on a moment of truth Out on the edge of glory And I'm hanging on a moment with you - Edge of Glory, Lady Gaga In the fourth chapter of First Samuel Israel suffers a major defeat at the hands of... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2011 at A Garden Path
Dave - we have a baptism at St Marks on Sunday too! A great text for ushering in new inhabitants of God's House. See you tomorrow!
Toggle Commented May 18, 2011 on easter 5a: sir, your room is ready at A Garden Path
The Grand Story of God is the beautiful story of a God who not only created us out of the dust of the ground, made us in His holy image, and breathed his life into us - but it's also the story of a God who has pursued us to the ends of the earth from the beginning. Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2011 at A Garden Path
Fred, that's a wonderful insight. Thanks so much. Bruce, that's a homiletical perspective/ use I hadn't thought of - but will come in handy!
Toggle Commented May 12, 2011 on easter 4a: enter at A Garden Path
Dan, you just made my day!
Toggle Commented May 10, 2011 on easter 4a: enter at A Garden Path
Jesus promises to prepare a place in His Father's house for us. And that's where this passage strikes me in the gut: In God's House, where His Name is worshiped, and where He dwells...I have a place. A spot. I am invited in. You're invited in. We're invited in. Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2011 at A Garden Path
Simon, wonderful contribution! Thank you.
Toggle Commented May 9, 2011 on easter 4a: enter at A Garden Path
Robert, thanks for your response. I especially appreciate your willingness to converse about it. I'd say two things: First, whatever Jesus meant in Luke's "narrow door" teaching, I've found that many people have overlaid moralism onto it. I think it's because of Jesus' command to "strive," rather than just "try" to get through the door. In Luke Jesus wants us to work hard to get through that door, not just "try." Second, my point here is that the two teachings have been conflated - and they are two different teachings that simply share a similar metaphor. In John 10, there is no "narrow" applied to the gate at all. That's not part of Jesus' point here. The point is that Jesus comes in to take us out. And there is no "strive" here either. We simply hear his voice, and follow him out. Not a single bootstrap anywhere! I find this passage far more about the Incarnation than the Cross - of course a major theme in John. Anyway, happy sermonizing!
Toggle Commented May 9, 2011 on easter 4a: enter at A Garden Path
First off, let me just say how thrilled I am that the church as a whole, and individual Christians of several stripes, are having the discussion of Matters Eternal. Whatever one may think of Love Wins or Wittmer's response Christ Alone, I think the fact that people who occupy both pulpits and pews are now talking passionately about salvation, and not just bedrooms, bodes well for the Faith. Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2011 at A Garden Path
Thanks Nathan! Hope Eastertide is glorious in south Jersey!
Toggle Commented May 5, 2011 on easter 3a: on the road again at A Garden Path
This little allegory that Jesus gives in the opening verses of the tenth chapter of John is actually an account of the meaning of the Incarnation: Jesus enters the world to lead us out. Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2011 at A Garden Path
On this day when we remember our mothers, let us offer our prayers to Jesus, the son of Mary. Because on this earth we are all sons and daughters of Eve, let us pray for the whole world and the church universal, that we might behold each other as brothers... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2011 at A Garden Path
In the story of the journey to Emmaus there's something going on. Yes, the disciples, like Mary Magdalene in John's account of the Resurrection, were in Jesus' presence and didn't know he was there. That says something about the Resurrected life: it's the same life, the same person - but... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2011 at A Garden Path
For several years now I’ve been intrigued by the hypothesis of Dr. Elaine Pagels that the Gospel of John was written as a critique of the Gospel of Thomas. In many of her works, but especially in “Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas” she paints the picture of two... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2011 at A Garden Path