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Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ
“But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.’” Matthew 3:15.
We have a very short Gospel reading today, that even in its brevity includes themes that could take a long time to unpack. But I promise to be brief (since we have a long...
Numbers 6:22-27; Luke 2:15-21
Years ago I was haunted. I was serving in a parish where I discovered that a former rector had been dabbling in voodoo and exhibiting inappropriate behavior. Some kind of nastiness started following me around. I incensed the building and prayed. It followed me home. I hired a Spiritual Director to be told...
Isaiah 9:2-17; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-18
For the past several years my typical Christmas Eve sermon has been about putting religion back into this Holy Day that has become ambiguous winter Holiday. Typically I would point out how Santa and Rudolph have superseded the importance of Our Savior. I also enjoy pointing out that only two...
Dreams Come True
Isaiah 7:10-16; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25
The nativity stories have been so sentimentalized I wonder if we can still hear them? Even Crèches with Shepherds and Wise men have conflated the stories from Luke and Matthew into sort of a Fairy Tale for children.
Of the four Gospels only Matthew and Luke give...
What if it's All True?
Isaiah 11:1-10; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12
What if this it’s all true? What if everything in human history has been leading up to this point? What if God really does have a plan and we are a vital part of it? What if the collect is true: God sent his messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our...
Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44
On a certain Sunday morning a wife goes to wake her husband for Church. He resists, “Ah, I just want to stay in bed today. I never get to sleep in.” She encourages him, “Come on, once you get up you’ll be glad you did.” He protests, “But I...
The What and the Why
On this Thanksgiving Morning I am remembering a Christmas story. It is the parable of the adult daughter learning from her mother how to cook the Christmas Ham. As usual Mom started by cutting off thick slices on each end of the ham. The daughter asks, “Why do you always do that?” Mom answers, “I learned...
In these Last Days
Malachi 4:1-2a; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13; Luke 21:5-19
Robin Williams once said, “I only ever play Vegas one night at a time. It's a hideous, gaudy place; it may not be the end of the world per se, but you can certainly see it from there.” (brainyqoutes.com)
Many of us were...
We are not all the Same
Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18; Ephesians 1:11-23; Luke 6:20-31
In recent times All Saints Day and All Souls Day have become more and more conflated. That is, since renewing our understanding of the import of the ministry of all baptized persons, the term saint has become liberalized. This is a good thing. We each need to understand that in our...
The Gospel we heard today is proclaimed each year in the Eastern Church the Sunday before the start of Lent. It is called Zacchaeus Sunday. The story of Zacchaeus is highlighted because it is s an illustration of how repentance works.
To repent is to practice humility and remember our small stature before the Lord. Repentance is about...