Healing Snakebites

Sermons at All Saints Parish: Sunday, March 18, 2012 (Fourth Sunday of Lent)

Texts: Numbers 21:4-9/John 3:14-21 (“As Moses raised the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up….”)

I always have to smile when the Old Testament reading we just heard comes back around. I like to call it “Snake on a Stick” Sunday. We know the story is very, very old – scholars tell us it was written more than 3,000 years ago – and its images are unforgettable: struggle in an endless desert; people whining, full of resentment at God; deadly snakes biting, people dying; Moses praying desperately for the people; a strange sculpture on a pole that heals you just by looking at it.

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A few times each year, All Saints celebrates Sunday morning with more informal, themed services. In June, we drew on music from Lennon and McCartney. Here’s the sermon.

In the summer of 2009, four teenagers and three adults from All Saints Episcopal Church San Leandro traveled to western Uganda to work at Sunrise House, an AIDS orphanage. This is their story.