Sunday, September 27, 2015

September 27, 2015 - Proper 21B

In the name of God- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            This is a sermon on the Book of Esther. I’ve never preached on Esther before, and chances are that none of you have ever heard a sermon on it either. This is the only time Esther shows up in our rotation of Sunday readings, and it does so as one of two options for the Old Testament reading. And the lectionary that we currently use was first used in 2006, before then, Esther was completely absent from Sunday mornings.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

September 20, 2015 - Proper 20B

In the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            Silence. Our world is so full of stimuli that we are often uncomfortable with silence. There are a lot of reasons why we are silent. Sometimes we are speechless and there just aren’t words that fit the situation. Sometimes we are silent because we are hoping to hear the still small voice of God in prayer. Other times we are silent because we’re afraid of saying the wrong thing. Those of you who are teachers, or students, know that silence in class often means that someone didn’t do the assigned reading. Sometimes silence is a form of protest or anger, as in giving someone the “silent treatment.” Sometimes we are silent when we are guilty and have chosen to “plead the Fifth.” Sometimes we are silent because we just don’t know what to say. Sometime we are silent when we have a question, but are afraid of what the answer might be. Silence comes up twice in the gospel text from Mark this morning, and looking into the meaning behind these silences shows us something about what it is like to follow Jesus.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

September 13, 2015 - Proper 19B

In the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            This section of Mark that we just heard is often referred to as the “turning point” in the gospel. Up to this point, Jesus has been traveling throughout the Galilee region of Israel, while casting out demons and healing the sick, both of which are signs of the coming of the Kingdom of God. The second half of Mark tells the story of the events that will lead to Jesus’ execution in Jerusalem. These verses today are the fulcrum on which the whole story pivots.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

September 6, 2015 - Proper 18B

            Today’s gospel passage contains two separate stories: the healing of the Syrophoenician woman’s daughter and the healing of a deaf man. Each of these passages really is robust enough to stand on its own; the lectionary could have put these two stories in different weeks, but by keeping them together, as Mark did in his writing of the gospel, a connection becomes apparent that we might miss if we were to read these stories separately. What we see in these passages is that hearing leads to speaking, and specifically, to sharing the Good News.