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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Feb. 11, 2018 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Feb 11, 2018 in Epiphany, Sermons

Growing up our phone was a heavy black wall mounted affair with an overstretched coil of cord and a loud unalterable ‘Ma Bell’ ring. Now it is this sleek version whose ring can be anything from the bells of Westminster to Lady Gaga’s latest hit – and yes, the old-timey telephone ring of my childhood is still an option. This can be transformed into a calendar, alarm clock, sound system, library, game console, flashlight, shopping mall, bus schedule, personal trainer, mailbox, newspaper, grocery store, photo album, camera, map, GPS, video cam, compass, carpenter’s level, home thermostat, security system, and much more – and yes, a phone too. A big selling toy this Christmas was a 5-pack transformer toy where five different trucks (dump-truck, tractor, bulldozer, cement truck, and crane) become five different robots, and your child can make them all into one giant multi-tasking robot! Adults and children alike love to control things with great precision and autonomy. When are we most irritated by them? When they don’t do just what we want! When we cannot control them as we think we ought to be able to. We like to be in control of our transformations! Well, Jesus’ transfiguration takes it out of our hands.

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Feb. 4, 2018 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Feb 4, 2018 in Epiphany, Feast Days, Sermons

Today we celebrate the feast of Candlemas which honors Jesus being presented in the temple by Joseph and Mary, according to Jewish tradition. Aged Simeon and the Prophet Anna who had long awaited his coming, and are prophet and witness to the fulfillment of God’s promise revealed in the one we call the light of the world.  We first gathered at the entrance with an icon of the ‘Presentation of Jesus in the Temple,’ with candles to symbolize the light of Christ entering, and amidst ‘Candlemas Bells’ (also called snowdrops) which are a sign of purity and life breaking through the ‘death’ of winter. They are often the first blooms to come up as snow begins to melt and there is much lovely folklore about them you can look up or ask me about later. Widely celebrated in England, Candlemas is the first day one is allowed to bring the ‘Candlemas Bells’ indoors, first bringing them to the altar for the feast day to recall the promise of greater light to come, and only after that may they be brought into people’s homes. It falls midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox; just when we are wearied by the long winter nights and rainy days, we see the hint of lengthening days and the growing light in the world.

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Jan. 21, 2018 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Jan 21, 2018 in Epiphany, Sermons

The Third Sunday after the Epiphany January 21, 2018 All three readings remind us that following God and answering God’s call will cost us. We didn’t hear Jonah’s whole story of his fearful running away from what God calls him to, but we certainly know it in our minds as we hear of his ultimate acquiescence in going to Nineveh and proclaiming what he was told. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians he lists the ways of what most would think are normal life behaviors, and that because time has grown short we are to reorganize our priorities and turn our lives towards the faith we hold dear....

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Jan. 14, 2018 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Jan 14, 2018 in Epiphany, Sermons

The Gospel according to John has this beautiful powerful pattern of moving from the local to the more global; from John in the wilderness, who encounters and identifies Jesus, then to Jesus’ first disciples. The pattern is not only about this widening circle in numbers, it is also immediately about Jesus calling someone who then goes to tell and invite someone else. Andrew is called by Jesus and then he calls his brother Simon Peter. Next Jesus calls Philip, and like with the first two disciples, it is Philip who shares the good news with Nathaniel. To each of them Jesus says, “Come and see!” and from here one out, that phrase will be repeated, not by Jesus, but by those who are understand who he is and what it means, and who then say to others, “Come and see!”

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