Jan. 13, 2019 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Jan 13, 2019 in Epiphany, Sermons

The Christian church doesn’t much engage in this sense of being baptized with fire. We’re scared off by the very idea of one coming who clears the metaphorical threshing floor saving the grain and burning the chaff, for fear we or those we love be part of that chaff, or lest we be seen as those who think our way of faith sees others as chaff and we as exalted grain. We think the Holy Spirit descending as a dove is some wild miracle the likes of which we 21st century Christians will never see, one given to only those cool biblical first century ‘baptizees.’ Certainly, intelligent reality-based proper Anglicans would never expect it!

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Jan. 6, 2019 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Jan 6, 2019 in Epiphany, Sermons

I want to offer these words by Pope Francis from Evangelii Gaudium or The Joy of the Gospel: “God has found a way to unite himself to every human being in every age. He has chosen to call them together as a people and not as isolated individuals. No one is saved by himself or herself, individually, or by his or her own efforts. God attracts us by taking into account the complex interweaving of personal relationships entailed in the life of a human community.” God attracts us by taking into account the complex interweaving of personal relationships entailed in the life of a human community. Exactly!

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Dec. 24, 2018 – Christmas sermon

Posted by on Mon, Dec 24, 2018 in Christmas, Sermons

We need both faith and courage from cradle to grave, to get us up when we tumble, to restart us when we fail, to continue on even in the face of danger and fear—to find that light which shines in the darkness and focus more on the light than the dark. It may have taken courage to come here tonight! It is one of the qualities I most appreciate because it is so closely tied to our becoming who one really is, and courage is necessary to really know oneself. Let me be clear, it’s not about the courage to try and then succeed, it’s about courage to act knowing you may not succeed, not get what you want, and we may not like what we end up with. Every person in the Christmas gospel reading tonight shows courage in the face of danger or difficulty.

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Dec. 23, 2018 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Dec 23, 2018 in Advent, Sermons

This Sunday ends our Advent season, and after today’s scriptures and hearing the last four weeks speak to us it is clear it is a season that is about with hope and anticipation. Other times we might find this in looking forward to a baby, a wedding, a trip or visit with someone we love, but Advent is about hope, preparation, and anticipation of that first Christmas, which might not have been so easily or happily anticipated. Considering the circumstances of the world around Mary and Joseph, the long journey at the late of a first pregnancy, and the birth being away from home and in a place where the animals were kept, that first ‘Advent’ waiting might have been more about praying for the babe’s arrival to be safe and the child healthy even in desperate times amidst fear and worry, and plenty of unknowns.

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Dec. 16, 2018 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Dec 16, 2018 in Advent, Sermons

I admit, I’ve been listening to Christmas carols, —even while it is yet Advent! I’ll bet many of you do too. Yes, we love anticipating Christmas but not because it lets us escape the practices which Advent rightly calls us to, today in the words of John the Baptizer. These practices are what make us ready for this beloved annual celebration of the coming of the Christ child, this call to repentance and amendment of our ways is rightly put first again and again as we learn to do those things John speaks of as a pathway to genuine community in Christ and to deeper faith. We cannot get to Bethlehem and the infant messiah without first hearing this wilderness prophet calling us to account. Sure, people all around us might skip this part, but our arrival at the manger will be truly faithful and fruitful only after self-examination and thoughtful re-commitment to act. 

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Dec. 9, 2018 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Dec 9, 2018 in Advent, Sermons

What a list of leaders Luke gives us; The Emperor Tiberius, Pontius Pilate, Herod, his brother Philip, Lysanias, Annas, Caiaphas, and finally John son of Zechariah brings up the end. John is of no rank or power like the other ruling leaders named. Yet we know his story and he is likely more familiar to us though, and you’ll remember that he was born to older parents thought to be ‘barren’, that his mother Elizabeth and Jesus’ mother Mary are cousins, and that John is conceived shortly before Jesus is. We are told John is sent as Jesus’ precursor of forerunner.

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