Jul. 30, 2017 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Jul 30, 2017 in Season after Pentecost, Sermons

The kingdom of heaven is like a group of teenagers who went to work at the Blackfoot Idaho Reservation, rising at 6:30 AM, working with children and doing hard chores in the sun until 2 PM, and then went and worked even harder until 6:30 PM at the local food bank. When they were finished they did not wilt or complain or whine, rather they wanted to do it all over again, and to do the same here at home.

The kingdom of heaven is like the chaperones and youth who, at the end of the workday, needed rest and peace, amidst all the noisy clamor, uncertainty, and close quarters among new companions. When they felt God’s grace descend on them in the Compline prayers each night, they came to hunger for it and call others into that sacred time too.

The kingdom of heaven is like people of all ages who entered a room filled with treasure books that no one could find, and they spent countless hours making them visible and accessible. Even knowing it was only the start of a multi-year job, they undertook this call from God because starting it was more faithful than letting chaos reign defeat among that treasure.

Read More

Jul. 23, 2017 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Jul 23, 2017 in Season after Pentecost, Sermons

The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 11A) July 23, 2017 Sermon audio (MP3 format): The Rev. Katherine Sedwick: The parable we heard today is about the response to evil mixed in with good. The focus is not on the identity of that evil or ‘enemy’—but about discerning and separating evil from good. The weeds referred to in the parable are darnel, which looks very much like wheat, both in seed form and as it grows, so it makes a perfect example of our own difficulties in discerning a life in Christ    amidst the presence of both good and evil. This gospel setting may seem unrelated to our...

Read More

Jul. 9, 2017 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Jul 9, 2017 in Season after Pentecost, Sermons

We hear the words of Zechariah each year on Palm Sunday, and they are borrowed by all four gospel writers. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” ‘Triumphant’ and ‘humble’ are hard to picture in one person, no? Today I want us to notice the last lines too; “Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.” They had long been “prisoners of hope.”

Read More

Jun. 25, 2017 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Jun 25, 2017 in Season after Pentecost, Sermons

Often church is where we want to think nice prayerful thoughts, feel the peace of God in this holy space, be forgiven and blessed, enjoy being with those who share common values. I think many of us feel a brief insulation here from the 24-hour news cycle of divisive talk, tragedies, hate crimes, political schism, and the like. Perhaps we like the weekly pause from difficult family issues, judgments, and problematic or demanding relationships, and all the other parts of our world that bring the gut-clenching tension of hostility, discord and conflict. Here’s Matthew’s gospel bringing us these very notions, Jesus saying “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother” and so on. We hear him follow up with the pronouncement that “whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it” —and we think, man, I came on the wrong Sunday! Family strife and pain is inescapable though, and everyone here owns some experience of one or more of these things. Coming here is part of how we seek healing and commit to being healers ourselves.

Read More

Jun. 18, 2017 – sermon

Posted by on Sun, Jun 18, 2017 in Season after Pentecost, Sermons

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” He saw them, and it stirred his compassion for them. Seeing someone deeply, being close enough to hear the story or feel their pain moves Jesus to compassion, and so he sends the twelve to do what he’s been doing himself, to tend to those who are “harassed and helpless.” This time he’s not sending them far afield, rather to the regions right around them.

Read More

Jun. 11, 2017: Trinity Sunday A (sermon)

Posted by on Sun, Jun 11, 2017 in Sermons, Trinity Sunday

Jun. 11, 2017: Trinity Sunday A (sermon)

Did you ever watch Jeopardy!? It’s a game show where contestants are given ‘the answer’ and they have to supply the question. The game board might say, “Saint Michael’s Episcopal Church” and of course the correct response would be, “Who is the most wonderful faith community in Western Washington?” Note that the contestant does not get credit for a correct answer if they fail to phrase it in the form of a question. Today’s answer is “The Holy Trinity” – so what’s the question we as contestants would give? “What is the beautiful and multi-faceted experience of the eternal divine, alive in the people of St. Michael’s?” My point is that for centuries we preachers have had it backwards—we don’t need to explain the Trinity; The Trinity is the explanation. Whether we know God as Father, Son and Holy Ghost, Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier, or in the Greek as Sophia, Logos and Spiritus –we experience God fully already, and the concept of Trinity just answers how that can possibly be.

Read More