The 1st draft ending to Matthew’s Gospel

The Inspiration of St. Matthew by Caravaggio

The Inspiration of St. Matthew by Caravaggio (1602)

Since the eleven refused to leave their hiding place, Jesus met them there.  When they saw him they looked at one another with suspicion, and were deeply afraid. Jesus said to them. ‘It is up to you now. Stay inside and bar the door. Build a community that will insulate itself from the dangers of this world.      If new people enter, make it difficult for them to open locked doors, understand insider language and connect the faith you practice to their daily lives.   Test them. Judge them.  If you do allow others to join you, make sure you only let in those who match your politics, economic status, cultural references, language and ethnic background so they don’t stir up any trouble or challenge your set ways.’ Jesus vanished to never be seen among them again.”

The Holy Spirit then came to Matthew saying,

“You better try a 2nd draft.”

So he did.

“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.  When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’ Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20)

Which draft are you using?


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“The Jesus Way” is the Lutheran Outdoor Ministry theme for 2016.

Here is my min msg on “PRAYING.”

“‘And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

 ‘When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

 ‘Pray then in this way:

Our Father in heaven,
   hallowed be your name.
   Your kingdom come.
   Your will be done,
     on earth as it is in heaven.
   Give us this day our daily bread.
   And forgive us our debts,
     as we also have forgiven our debtors.
   And do not bring us to the time of trial,
     but rescue us from the evil one.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you;  but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:5-15)

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“The Jesus Way” is the Lutheran Outdoor Ministry theme for 2016.

Here is my min msg on “SERVING.”

“Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God,got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’

Jesus answered, ‘You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’

Peter said to him, ‘You will never wash my feet.’

Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.’

Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!’

Jesus said to him, ‘One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.’ For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, ‘Not all of you are clean.’

 After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But it is to fulfill the scripture, “The one who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.” I tell you this now, before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am he. Very truly, I tell you, whoever receives one whom I send receives me; and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.’” (John 13:1-20)

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A letter (not from Hogwarts) to my 11 year old daughter on her birthday

mia.pops.bday.2016.21 July, 2016

Dear Mia,

Congratulations on your eleventh birthday. Wow. You are growing up! I’m sorry to report that there is no Hogwarts Letter addressed to you today. What can I say? Their loss. There is no one I know more magical than you – with your vivid imagination, wonderful curiosity, and unique way of seeing the world with fresh eyes, you have more magic to offer than any spell or potion you could ever learn in a wizarding school. Besides; I don’t think Mom and I could bear to have you away from us for seven years anyway.:)

It is a joy watching you grow, learn, gain confidence in yourself and become the leader I know you can be. You are one of the few people I know that truly gets what faith is all about – not just as an idea about God you can believe in, but as a way of seeing the world through God’s eyes to love and care for others. Mia, you have one of the biggest, caring hearts I know. Thank you for that. It is a gift in you I cherish deeply.

Don’t grow up too fast. I love your moments of just being a kid: Laughing. Playing. Creating. Imagining. Learning. Discovering. But also take to heart that as you age and ask new questions, you can always lean on Mom and I to be there with you to help you navigate them.  (You wouldn’t have that at Hogwarts, BTW.)

Know that while you are not going away to a school few muggles could see or understand, you can always visit them in the novels, and see them again in the movies. While we read and watch them again together; remember that you always have a forever place at the table with your family, and that you are a forever love to me.  You are as your Great Papa used to say, “Cara Mia”; my precious one.

Happy Birthday Mia!  Share the magic and never forget to be who you are.

mia.pops.bday.2016.letter.With much love,


Co-Headmaster, Sinibaldo House


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2 Bald Pastors / Episode 23: eformation



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“Sit and play at the feet of the Master” sermon on Luke 10:38-42 (with SKIT!)


Sermon on Luke 10:38-42
“Sit and play
at the feet of the Master”

St. Paul Lutheran Church
Old Saybrook, CT

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Which direction are you leading?


“Are you leading people toward the last ten years   or toward the next ten years?”*


I’m not sure where I heard (or read) this quote, but I have been thinking about it a lot lately – especially when it comes to church.  Often I feel pulled in opposite directions.

Which way are you leading?

If you cannot anwer that question, you are probably stuck in the crosswalk.

Just remember: Jesus never gave specific directions for what the church should look like and how it should be run. What he did do was tell stories, heal the sick, forgive sins, include outsiders, and invite those who seek him to leave everything, pick up their cross and follow.

It is time to get moving.


* If you know this quote – please let me know who said it! Thx.

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