Apr. 28, 2019 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Apr 28, 2019 in Easter, Sermons

In John’s gospel the biggest sin is not about morality but about belief. So when John tells the resurrection story and fills it with one after another of them who don’t believe what is told them, don’t believe the empty tomb means resurrection, don’t believe it could be true, he’s telling us something — but what? We come to this reading a full week after hearing the Easter Day gospel about the resurrection, since then we’ve held a funeral with other readings, some of you were plunged right back into work, some are still trying to recover from Holy Week, and some were at an entirely different service yesterday even as we prepared for this one (but I’ll tell you about that later). I’m saying that it feels like a lot of water has gone under the bridge since our Easter proclamation. If you sit down and read John’s gospel, or even chapter 20 from which our reading is taken, you discover that this scene with the disciples is happening just a few short hours after the tomb was discovered to be empty—on the same day. They are still reeling from what happened earlier that first Easter morning (as are some of us!) and now as they try to reconcile his body gone, their having once again failed to be faithful to Jesus by their doubts. It seems every time someone opens their mouth, they’re all mystified and trying to figure out what really happened, what it meant, who’d seen what and where, and what ‘believe’ even means.

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Apr. 21, 2019 – Easter Day – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Apr 21, 2019 in Easter, Sermons

We have arrived at Easter morning through the path a week of liturgies recalling Jesus entry into Jerusalem, the last supper with his friends, washing their feet, and through his death on a cross and burial in a tomb. Today we celebrate his resurrection from the dead; and the fact that that through his death and resurrection we can experience a love so profound, a forgiveness so absolute, that it sets us free. From the earliest days of Christian life this has been the most important thing to know and to pass on about Jesus the Christ, and we are so glad to be together, so glad you are here, on this most holy day of the year! People wonder if all of this can be true or even relevant these days or whether it matters at all. If that’s you, you are not alone in that wondering. Life experiences and world events can cause us to doubt and question, be angry with God or with God’s church; if so, again you are not alone. Even lifelong Episcopalians and most ardent Christians have wrestled with this, and no matter how smoothly we say the responses in church, how well we know scripture or sing hymns, this mystery of faith is sometimes just that; a real mystery.

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May 20, 2018 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, May 20, 2018 in Easter, Pentecost, Sermons

The Day of Pentecost & Ground Breaking for the Parking Lot and Rain Garden May 20, 2018 What an exquisitely spirited weekend this is! We come to celebrate Pentecost, The team worked incredibly hard these past weeks to get ready for upcoming construction, we break ground for our new parking lot, and we Episcopalians get to feel joyful pride at having our own Presiding Bishop, The Most Reverend Michael Curry preach at the royal wedding yesterday (from an iPad no less!). It was a wonderful sermon—I hope if you’ve not already seen it you’ll take some time this week to do so. His words about...

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May 13, 2018 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, May 13, 2018 in Easter, Sermons

You’ve been hearing about next week’s Pentecost and groundbreaking celebration, when we’ll wear red and orange and yellow – flame colors symbolic of the coming of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, as she appeared like flames above each of them as the received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Today is the last Sunday of Eastertide, and this past Thursday was Ascension, when the church honors Jesus’ post-resurrection ascent to heaven. We are between Easter, Ascension and Pentecost, which means we’re in the middle of much lively change, both in our church year and in our life as a congregation. We have not yet left Eastertide, nor entered Pentecost, so we are in that waiting place. I often want to see it as a straight path with milestones or scenic views, like ‘Christmas up ahead” or “City of Easter in 6 Lenten miles!”—maybe even “Warning, Pentecost crowd and fire hazard—slow down!” Alas, that clarity is not before us.

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May 6, 2018 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, May 6, 2018 in Easter, Sermons

The Sixth Sunday of Easter May 6, 2018 This passage from John’s gospel is dearly loved and points us towards the change in Jesus’ relationship with the disciples—both of greater demand and greater love. Here he shifts them from being his disciples to being friends. It includes a line which can be troubling because it sounds like Jesus is saying their friendship is conditional; “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” I think of friendship as two people who accept each other and love each other as they are, and yet here Jesus makes it conditional upon their doing what he commands....

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Apr. 29, 2018 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Apr 29, 2018 in Easter, Sermons

The Eunuch whom Philip the deacon and evangelist encounters, looks at the water and says, “What is to prevent me from being baptized?” I admit I’m a bit envious that the queen’s treasurer, someone out on the road, asks Philip, “What is to prevent me from being baptized?” Outside of this community, many of the conversations I have with people about faith and baptism are from the reverse perspective; ‘why should I get baptized?’ —as if I can argue them into it or offer Jesus up as the simplistic answer to all that they think is wrong with their lives.

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