Thursday, November 23, 2017

November 23, 2017 - Thanksgiving A

In the name of God Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            Thanksgiving Day is listed as one of the major feasts of the Church year in the Prayer Book, and it’s rare for a secular or national holiday, which Thanksgiving is, to be officially recognized by the church calendar. But there is great wisdom in making sure that there is a religious component to this national day of gratitude, tradition, and family. As you likely know, the word “Eucharist” is a Greek word that means “good thanks,” so coming together to partake of God’s sacred meal of thanksgiving before we gather around a table later today to give thanks is most appropriate.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

November 19, 2017 - Proper 28A

In the name of God Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of your holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life. That is perhaps one of the more well-known prayers contained in our Book of Common Prayer. It was written by Thomas Cranmer for the first Prayer Book in 1549 and is rooted in a passage from Romans. This morning, instead of preaching on a specific passage of Scripture, I’d like to use this wonderful prayer to speak about Scripture as a whole.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

November 5, 2017 - Proper 26A

In the name of God Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            It’s been said that preachers only have one sermon. Each week, we just put a different spin on the thing that is most important in our theology. There’s a lot of truth in that. I think that I have more than one point that I preach about, but probably not more than three. I wonder if you have an idea of what those might be? I’d love to hear how my sermons are heard, so feel free to send me a message and let me know what you hear as the central claims of my preaching. Today, in considering this portion of Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, one of my primary preaching points will be on display.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

November 2, 2017 - Feast of All the Faithful Departed

In the name of God Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            When I was in Israel a few years ago, I saw many memorable archeological and religious sites. But of the things that most stuck in my mind was a modern exhibit at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. They have a 1/50th scale model of the city of Jerusalem as it stood in the 1st century. At over 20,000 square feet, it provides an incredible way to visualize the ancient city. As our tour guide was using a laser pointer to show us different aspects of the city, he came to a part of the city wall and said “Now, ignore that wall; it wasn’t there during Jesus’ lifetime.” But yet, as we stood there looking at the model, that wall was very clearly there.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November 1, 2017 - Feast of All Saints

In the name of God Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
            “Blessed feasts of blessed martyrs, holy women, holy men, with affection’s recollections greet we your return again. Worthy deeds they wrought, and wonder worthy of the Name they bore; we, with meetest praise and sweetest, honor them forevermore.” Those words come from a 12th century text about the saints of the Church. The Feast of All Saints is the day on which we offer our thanks and praise for the witness of the Saints. We do so not because they are perfect examples of how to live, but rather because with all of their diversity of stories and gifts, they were all reshaped by God’s redeeming love. In short, the Saints are people who, being rooted in the difference that Christ made in their lives, made a difference in this world.