Brownie Barks on Obedience

I have a question for you…it has to do with obedience. Dogs are supposed to be so obedient and we even go to classes called “Obedience Class” so we can become even more obedient. Now most of you know me by now. I am generally pretty obedient. When the Rev wants me to come with her or get in the car or come to the office, I am usually pretty obedient, (I might have to smell a couple more shrubs on the way to church, but I am just checking to see who has been visiting.)

So here’s the deal. I got into that tangle with the bobcat last month and I had to keep those bandages on my leg for weeks! The Rev picked me up and put me into a big sink and washed my leg and rebandaged it for weeks! It was weeks. Get it? Even so, I left the bandages alone and did not chew them at all! Oh! She did try to make me wear the “cone of shame.” Well, I wouldn’t even stand up with that ridiculous
get-up on. I mean, I was going to be obedient and wear it… I just wasn’t going to move. See, like I said. Obedient to the core. Well, most of the time. For you see, my injury was nearly healed, and they kept putting the bandage on, and I knew fresh air was best at this point… so I finally gave in and chewed it off.

Brother-Brownie-in-castI was disobedient and I feel badly about that. There were chewed-up bandages everywhere. And I really don’t like being disobedient; I feel guilty. Found myself wondering what Christ teaches about obedience and guilt. It’s amazing how Jesus teaches us about almost any
subject with which we might need help. First, Jesus models the behavior in Luke 2:51 when he slipped away from his parents and then was obedient to them. In John 14:23 again, it’s pretty clear. Jesus says, “Those who love me will keep my word….” We need to be obedient and I suppose I was not obedient to the Rev.

And then the guilt—well, we will all have guilt from time to time. Because we all make mistakes. The beauty of our Savior is His teaching on forgiveness. Jesus was and remains a ministry of forgiveness. As we begin our new year together, let’s consider forgiveness as we start everything freshly and with love.

I will try to be obedient. And when I fail, I will be forgiven and can begin again—which means I shall also forgive others and do my best to remain obedient.

God loves you and all His creatures, including me.

Blessed Christmas Friends,

Brownie-Barks-Signature-Paw

Dear 8-lb 6-oz Infant Baby Jesus

Christmas Eve sermon delivered by Reverend Wendy Huber, with many thanks to Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) and Talladega Nights for wanting to party with the dear 8-lb 6-oz infant baby Jesus.

The Gospel: Luke 2:1-14(15-20)

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see– I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

[When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.]

Dust Off Your Goodness

4th Sunday of Advent sermon delivered by Reverend Wendy Huber at St. Bart’s in Hempstead.

The Gospel: Luke 1:39-45(46-55)

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

[And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.

His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.

He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;

he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,

according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”]

Let Them Know Us by Our Gentleness

3rd Sunday of Advent sermon delivered by Reverend Wendy Huber at Hempstead Episcopal Church.

The Gospel: Luke 3:7-18

John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.

Visit, Care for, and Love Each Other

2nd Sunday of Advent sermon delivered by Reverend Wendy Huber at St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church in Hempstead.

The Gospel: Luke 3:1-6

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:

‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.

Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,

and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;

and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'”