Sunday, May 31, 2015

May 31, 2015 - Trinity Sunday B

In the name of the Holy Trinity- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
This sermon is a bit of a milestone for me. About a year ago, I stood nervously in this pulpit for the first time as I preached a sermon on the texts of Trinity Sunday in front of the search committee when I was here for an interview. I’m not sure if they liked it, or if they chose to call me in spite of it, but either way, I am so very happy and thankful that I still have the privilege of speaking from this pulpit. Trinity Sunday is a tough day on which to preach. Most Sundays we have a narrative to explore, but today we have before us an unexplainable mystery. God is three, but also one. In school, I got as far as calculus, but never quite figured out the math behind the Trinity. As seminary professors are fond of saying, “to say anything definitively about the Trinity is to commit heresy.” Up front, we must acknowledge that the concept of the Triune God is a mystery, and mysteries are not intended to be solved, but rather appreciated.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

May 24, 2015 - Pentecost B

Descend, O Spirit, purging flame and brand us with Jesus’ name. Confirm our faith, consume our doubt; sign us as Christ’s within, without. Amen.
There’s a story of a parish secretary who wrote all of the priest’s sermons, but never got any of the credit for doing so. Finally, she could stand it no longer, so on Sunday when the priest was in the pulpit he said “and this is the most important thing to understand, it is an example of the most complex feature of the human condition as expressed by the great fourth century theologian…” The priest turned the page and saw a blank sheet of paper marked only with the words “You’re on your own now.” Last Sunday, our Collect prayed, in part, “Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit.”

Sunday, May 17, 2015

May 17, 2015 - Easter 7B

In the name of the Risen Lord. Amen.
            “The Church should not be run like a business,” or so many people say. We hear the message in Scripture that we should be “in the world, but not of the world,” and so the Church often finds resistance when business strategies are employed within our walls. The first chapter of the book of Acts though is a chapter about the business of the Church. Acts, which is the second volume written by the author of the gospel according to Luke, tells the story of the organization, mission, and growth of the early Church.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ascension Day

In the name of the Risen Lord. Amen.
            The Feast of the Ascension is a feast day a bit like George Selkirk. “Who’s that?,” you ask. That’s the name of the man who started in right field for the Yankees the year after Babe Ruth retired. Today is a forgotten celebration in the Church year. This day is actually one of the principal feast days listed in the Book of Common Prayer, and the theology and story of today are as important to our faith as any other.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

May 10, 2015 - Easter 6B

In the name of the Risen Lord. Amen.

Have you ever been at a social gathering where you walked up to a group of people having a conversation in which you had no clue what was happening? That’s what today’s reading from Acts feels like. The whole of chapter 10 of Acts is, I think, one of the most compelling and informative passages in the entire New Testament, but it’s hard to understand in isolation. So before we dive into the text and consider what the Holy Spirit is saying to us today through it, let’s review the tenth chapter of Acts.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

May 3, 2015 - Easter 5B

In the name of the Risen Lord. Amen.
            “I am the vine, and you are the branches.” It’s such a great metaphor for the Christian life and vocation. But I want to focus on the reading from Acts this morning, so you’ll have to reflect on that metaphor throughout the week. Each verse of this passage from the Acts of the Apostles is saturated with meaning. In the John passage, Jesus speaks of bearing fruit, and this Acts passage is a great description of what that might look like in a real life situation.