Sunday, November 29, 2015

November 29, 2015 - Advent 1C

O Come, O come, Emmanuel. Amen.
            What an absolute joy it is to be back in this pulpit, in this worship space. After three years of planning and five months in the Parish Hall, we are back home. The organ sounds amazing, the altar is stunningly beautiful, the Baptismal font can be seen in all its grandeur, the duct work has been replaced, the ceiling structure is now structurally sound. What a glorious morning this is!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Day 2015

In the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
It is a joy to spend part of this day with you as we celebrate the Eucharist. As you may know, Eucharist is a word which means “good thanks” in Greek. There is no better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than gathering in the name of God to give thanks for the grace, love, and salvation with which God blesses us.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

November 8, 2015 - Proper 27B

In the name of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
What would a stewardship season be without the widow and her two coins? It would be Thanksgiving without the turkey, Halloween without the candy, or St. Luke’s without the birthday prayer. It’s a fairly well-known passage: a widow puts in the only two coins that she has to rub together and Jesus lifts her up in comparison to those who give out of their abundance. In the context of stewardship and trying to raise funds for the church, we preachers often use this widow to encourage you to give more. But if you’ll recall my first sermon in this stewardship season, I made it clear that I don’t do guilt and I don’t do shame. We’ve taken the passage from St. Paul as our central message this year: Everyone should give whatever they have decided in their heart. Not because of guilt or obligation, but because God loves a cheerful giver.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November 1, 2015 - All Saints' B

Almighty God, we give you thanks for the grace and virtue shown in the multitude of your saints. Give us the courage to follow in their footsteps of loving service in your most holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, throughout all generations. Amen.
            “Unbind him, and let him go.” I’ve always found those words by Jesus to be among his most powerful and important. As John narrates the Gospel, this incident with Lazarus is the tipping point in the story. When word of this event reaches the chief priests and Pharisees, John records that “From that day on they planned to put him to death.” Jesus’ parables and other miracles made people uneasy because they upset the power dynamics of the day, but this one crossed the line. Lazarus died and when Jesus arrives, he commands that Lazarus get up, and he does. They worry that if word spreads that Jesus has this power, that Rome will come and crush them. And so they decided that it would be better for one man to die than for an entire nation to be destroyed. Jesus knows all of this, and so that makes his statement even more compelling: “unbind him, and let him go.”