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Epiphany

Feb. 23, 2020 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Feb 23, 2020 in Epiphany, Sermons

The blinding brilliance we hear of in the gospel is a fitting culmination to this Epiphany season of light, before entering into a less exuberant season with Lent’s more reflective tone. Yes, Ash Wednesday is only three days away (services are Noon and 7 PM). So today is a great celebration of the light of Christ and our Alleluia joy, which explains the word ‘light’ appearing 48 times and ‘Alleluia’ 27 times in the 10:30 bulletin! As is our tradition, at the end of services today we will ‘bury the Alleluias’ to embody our closing this season of Jesus’ nativity light until we dig them up again in six weeks on Easter Eve. That night, out by the columbarium, we will burn them to create the light igniting our new Paschal candle before carrying it in as his resurrection light. 

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Feb. 16, 2020 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Feb 16, 2020 in Epiphany, Sermons

When was the last time someone made you really angry? Who hacked you off to the point where you could think of little else? Can you think of a time you made someone else feel that way, inciting their hatred or vengeance beyond what seemed reasonable parameters? Sadly, both come to mind fairly easily for myself, and no matter which position I’m in—it feels awful! My gut is in a knot, I don’t sleep much, and the situation preoccupies me. This isn’t unique to me; it’s a very human way to feel and to some degree we’ve all been there. Think about what that feeling does to you, and how you want it to be gone.

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Feb. 9, 2020 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Feb 9, 2020 in Epiphany, Sermons

The names of people who have died are in my calendar and as the anniversaries come around, I can pray for their spouses or families. So, I’ve been recalling Roland Harper’s wonderful way of storytelling and his knowledge of history, and about Wade Nixdorff’s brilliant sense of humor and the bottle of scotch he was given while collecting for the food bank. Sharon Boyd was a master craftswoman and endlessly creative, including her creativity in getting people to do what she wanted. Edith Harmon’s love of New Yorker cartoons paired so well with her humor and strong political opinions—shared freely, as was her wisdom and directness. The deep joy of Chuck Blondino’s scripture-come-poetry set to music, his courage, and his knowing smile are so clear. Nancy Cross’ love of birds, her wry (sometimes wicked) humor and powerful determination come to mind, along with my mother’s insightful gift of hospitality, her love of teaching and tendency to be an art snob. My husband’s mother Betty was outspoken, had an eye for antiques, and a gift for playfulness, and I can also hear her say “Katherine, do you think you’re being subtle?” I thought I was being polite by my obliqueness, though she clearly preferred directness!

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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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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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