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Feast Days

Apr. 5, 2020 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Apr 5, 2020 in Feast Days, Holy Week, Lent, Sermons

It is said that for one’s soul to come to God we must either travel the path of love or the path of suffering. And really, if we love deeply, we know we risk suffering for that love. Jesus’ procession into his last days dynamically reminds us of this I think we try to shield children from pain and loss as much as we can, including from the pain and messiness of Jesus’ last days. When we’re young it’s understandable to learn such things at a child’s level, and  sometimes children themselves seem to filter out the scary or bad parts; perhaps this is how God protects them. As we grow up we learn this protection no longer serves us, and that yes, bad things can happen to good people.

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Feb. 2, 2020 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Feb 2, 2020 in Epiphany, Feast Days, Sermons

Today we see the last glimpse of Jesus as an infant, and this moment in the temple is our pivot from Christmastide toward Easter. Today is the start of preparations for all that Jesus will become, heard through the words of the prophet Anna and blessed Simeon, and seen through the actions of Joseph and Mary. Though many Episcopalians have never observed it before, The Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple, or Candlemas Day, has been celebrated since the 4th century. Originally infant presentations and purification blessings were carried out in accordance with the law set forth in Leviticus, prayers being offered when mother and child entered the tent or Temple for the first time.

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Nov. 3, 2019 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Nov 3, 2019 in Feast Days, Season after Pentecost, Sermons

I began this week naming and praying for those beloved among us who have died since last All Saints Day, and I invite your prayers as well; for Sharon Boyd, Richard Pfeiffer, Roland Harper, James Julien, Mort Harmon, Chris Pierce, John Barry, and this past week, Edith Harman. They’ve been by my side as I considered the All Saints scriptures, and I invite us to imagine them as part of that crowd assembled around Jesus in today’s reading. 

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Sep. 29, 2019 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Sep 29, 2019 in Feast Days, Season after Pentecost, Sermons

On this celebration of St. Michael’s Day we’ve had the scripture and images of the Archangel Michael told, and even brought to life in pageant, and in doing so each year we’re invited into the timeless story of Michael, and to live into its rich depth. When Nathanael encounters Jesus he asks, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus says he saw him under the fig tree, before Philip called him. There is a surface-sound to the conversation at first, and yet Nathaniel realizes there is something deeper going on. In spite of asking Jesus how he knew him, in that moment Nathanael knows Jesus for exactly who he is, not just some roving rabbi, but the Son of God!

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Feb. 3, 2019 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Feb 3, 2019 in Epiphany, Feast Days, Sermons

The Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple: Candlemas February 3, 2019 Celebrated since the 4th century, the church has called this at times the Purification of Saint Mary the Virgin, The Presentation of Christ in the Temple, and Candlemas Day. It seems a familiar rite that parents bring their new baby to the place of worship for special blessing, as we hear in today’s gospel, and it might recall for us infant baptism more than ancient biblical teaching. We need to remember though that it was tied up in a ritual of powerful transformation though, when women who had given birth...

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Nov. 4, 2018 – All Saints’ Sunday – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Nov 4, 2018 in Feast Days, Season after Pentecost, Sermons

Icons of All Saints show Jesus surrounded by many saints, similarly our celebration of All Saints today, including today’s baptisms, depicts the heart of what a saint is. Christ is at our center too, represented in our altar, our cross and our gathering. Today the ‘altar cloth’ made up of all those saints whom we love and see no longer, and like in our gospel, some of us are still dressed metaphorically in mourners’ clothes, and yet that altar is alongside a font in which the newest among us will be baptized. In the icon, all of the saints are arrayed around Christ with countless dimensions of brilliance, color, individuality and symbols of their faithfulness, and they reflect the luminosity of Christ like those we have named on the All Saints ribbons! They are lives through which we can see God from a multitude of different perspectives. Keep that image of the icon in mind this morning, remembering that Christian icons are always a path for entering into relationship with the Triune God. Like Jesus’ life-affirming action at Lazarus’ tomb that day, they are an instrument through which God becomes accessible to humanity, and the same is true of baptism.

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