“A shoot shall come from the stump of Jesse.” The reading from the Hebrew Scriptures opens with such a particular and strange image. It may be obvious to many of you, but I needed to look into it a little bit because this year for some reason it intrigued me. Why does Jesse have a … READ MORE…

So here we are again, back at the beginning of the church year. We have completed the cycle of seasons and returned to the starting point. Everything about this beginning feels contradictory: nature’s seasons begin with spring, but here we are starting out as the natural world is packing up for the winter, putting away … READ MORE…

As you may know, there is a tradition now from SSJE of “Adventword” where a word is given each day as a prompt for social media to react.  The Cathedral photographer Susan responds to this prompt from her own library of photographs, on the SPC page.  These were our photographs this year, with a brief … READ MORE…

Today, the third Sunday of Advent, is known as “Gaudete” Sunday. That means “Rejoice”. For those who treat Advent as a penitential season of fasting, today is the mid-point when you can take a break, have that glass of wine or piece of chocolate. It’s a companion to the fourth Sunday in Lent, and both … READ MORE…

Imagine you are walking down a city street. It is night, and the street is dark. The buildings around you are ancient, stained black with the soot of centuries. You see a light shining from a street-level window, piercing the darkness. As you come abreast of the window you see a Bible on a bookstand, … READ MORE…

The Rev. Canon Jeff Martinhauk Advent 4B, December 24, 2017 St. Paul’s Cathedral, San Diego 2 Sam 7:1-11,16; Luke 1:26-38 The story from second Samuel this morning is one of great hope and anticipation. As the text says, the Lord has just helped King David defeat all of his enemies, and Israel is now at … READ MORE…

Christmas preparations have a way of bringing to mind old family traditions and conversations. When I think of the Christmases of my childhood I envision the special, handpainted china that we used at Christmas dinner, and recalling the festive table, I immediately hear my mother’s voice, saying things like, “Children are to be seen and … READ MORE…

It’s Advent. Advent means chocolate calendars, silly animated videos of Hershey’s kisses and dancing reindeer, premature Christmas carols, lights in the window, happy conspiracies over gifts, sparkly clothes, holiday sweets. And now, this, courtesy of Scripture: Grim confessions. Apocalyptic prophecies. Human sin and divine anger. The Psalmist’s desperate plea for rescue: “Restore us, O Lord … READ MORE…

During this time of Lent, Advent feels like it was a long time ago. But we recently received some notes that show the many blessings that came from the Advent project created by our outgoing Director of Children, Youth, and Families, Robin Taylor. You may remember that more than 30 St. Paul’s families signed up … READ MORE…

I had a friend once who worked very hard to make sure that all of his plans went the right way. He followed all the rules. He worked hard. He found a spouse. He had children. He saved money. He did everything he was supposed to. But one day, his world came crashing in, and … READ MORE…

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