Jan. 26, 2020 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Jan 26, 2020 in Epiphany, Sermons

Jesus has just heard of John the Baptizer’s arrest, here Matthew reminds us of these words from Isaiah. They had waited for this great light and finally it dawned in the coming of the Messiah. A light which changes everything, which carries the spirit of God’s love into every dark corner. Think of the light of those candles we hold on Christmas Eve or at the Easter Vigil—light in the darkness is transforming, not just as a metaphor but as a reality, in our hearts and souls. Often people tell me they want the uplifting feeling of light and peace of Sunday to carry all week, to tap into when we feel that shadow of darkness. Next Sunday we have a special opportunity to do so is a quietly sacred and beautiful way; Candlemas. (Remember the “Candle” part.) Candlemas is the celebration of Jesus’ first time entering the temple, a ‘presentation’ we call it, by his parents.

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Jan. 19, 2020 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Jan 19, 2020 in Epiphany, Sermons

The Second Sunday after the Epiphany January 19, 2020 “I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6b The other day Barb O’Neal posted a quote by Madeleine L’Engle that said, “We draw people to Christ not by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it.” It definitely called for a Facebook “like” response! I read it between Edith Harman’s service yesterday and this...

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Jan. 12, 2020 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Jan 12, 2020 in Epiphany, Sermons

Baptisms often mean people come together here from a variety of faith traditions, or those from other Episcopal churches, or of no current faith community, and it’s not unusual for them to feel like distant relatives in that setting, or, understandably, like guests who are only here briefly. Perhaps part of that is sitting in the front pews, as we ask those friends and family of the one to be baptized to do; even Episcopalians tend to avoid that front row. I wonder if it’s like the front row in a classroom or movie? When you come back, and I hope you do. please, sit wherever you’d like! Your presence today shows us what a broad gift from God these children to be baptized receive and enrich our experience of the Christian family coming together.

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Jan. 5, 2020 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Jan 5, 2020 in Christmas, Epiphany, Sermons

“They set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was.” They followed that star for some time, arriving in Jerusalem, where they likely presumed it would lead. But after their trek all the way to Jerusalem, the one born to be king of the Jews is not there. The ask Herod, and get rerouted over to Bethlehem, and off they go again, this time arriving at the humble place where the infant lays, watched over by a young mother and an ordinary carpenter. How did they know this was it? Wouldn’t they have expected something grander or more king-like? If they’d known he wasn’t in Jerusalem, with all its beauty and glory, how can they be sure they’ve found the king of the Jews in stable in Bethlehem? The same way we do; by following the wild holy star no matter where it leads, and then kneeling low enough to let it touch our souls.

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Dec. 29, 2019 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Dec 29, 2019 in Christmas, Sermons

Our first reading from Isaiah sets an interesting context for the whole idea of what it is we celebrate in Christmastide. We heard the wonderful traditional words from Luke’s Gospel telling the story in words that recall for us pageants and nativity scenes and even movies about the birth of Jesus. We also heard John’s Gospel, which while lacking visual cues certainly fills our hearts with awe and invites us to contemplate the mystery and power in God’s Word wrapped in human flesh.

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Dec. 25, 2019 – sermon

Posted by on Wed, Dec 25, 2019 in Christmas, Sermons

Last night was vibrantly glorious, God’s house was filled with noise and friends, hearty voices by the scores singing out, the children’s pageant excitement was palpable, as were many loving homecomings for college students, grandparents and old friends. We crowded into this place filling it with raucous glad tidings! Like a box of it stuffed and filled until it bursts open with happy fanfare. This morning is quieter, deeper, and still our hearts are overwhelmed by the beauty of this good news of great joy which has come, once again. This is the Word incarnate that runs deep into the ground of our being, taking root in the crevasses of our souls and saying once again, ah, this is what we’ve waited for, this is what the Christ-seeking heart hopes to find. 

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