Sermons

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.

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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.

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Jun. 4, 2017: Pentecost (sermon)

Posted by on Sun, Jun 4, 2017 in Easter, Pentecost, Sermons

Jun. 4, 2017: Pentecost (sermon)

The Day of Pentecost: Whitsunday The 50th Day of Easter June 4, 2017 Sometimes people who aren’t at all religious take a somewhat disdainful view of us, as if to say, “How can you believe in God when you see what’s happening in the world around us?” or “It’s so simplistic and convenient to have God and prayer as the answer to any problem, but it doesn’t work.” Those who witnessed the coming of the Spirit that day “sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’” That’s the only possibility if one’s heart is tightly closed. Typically, I run into non-faith perspectives that either blame God...

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May 28, 2017: Easter 7A (sermon)

Posted by on Sun, May 28, 2017 in Easter, Sermons

We tend to think of our lives as ‘cradle to grave,’ in perhaps a bow-shaped arc, with a beginning and an end. Christ offers us an alternate perspective and a vastly different trajectory—on both ends of that arc. Created and born into this world as children of God, we are those whom God formed and knew before we were born, and then in this life we live and grow, explore our faith and seek to know God. Finding our way in Christ lets us see how limiting our vision of beginnings and endings has been, and are reminded today that eternal life is life in Christ, in this life and the life to come. In the prayer to God the Father that Jesus offers for his disciples he says, “And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” So instead of that bow, imagine instead a font-shaped arc, ends disappearing beyond our sight!

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May 21, 2017: Easter 6A (sermon)

Posted by on Sun, May 21, 2017 in Easter, Sermons

At about age ten I went to Camp Red Cliff, then a Girl Scout Camp. It was my first time being away from home for long, and excited as I was, a whole week at sleep-away camp was scary, and saying goodbye to my parents was hard. My pocket knife was a sort of constant companion, and when not in use I held it in my pocket, rubbing it’s reassuring black ridges and steel edges. I called to mind my father’s strong presence, his skilled hands, his patience in teaching me to whittle. Touching it in my pocket I felt strong and able too. I got through the first day mostly holding it tight. That night was different. We slept eight girls to each large tent, suitcases under the bunk beds, window flaps up to catch any slight breeze in the Utah desert, and I felt that lump of loneliness and separation from family as I got ready for bed. Under my pajamas I found my mother had tucked one of her handkerchiefs, with a drop of the only feminine indulgence I ever knew her to use; Channel 22. It was as if she were there, holding me in her arms! I snatched the handkerchief from the suitcase and leaped into my sleeping bag before anyone could see my tears. They were right there with me in my fears, loneliness, apprehension. These talismans reassured me that I could handle whatever challenges came along. That they were with me, and that I was loved.

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May 14, 2017: Easter 5A (sermon)

Posted by on Sun, May 14, 2017 in Easter, Sermons

May 14, 2017: Easter 5A (sermon)

The Fifth Sunday of Easter May 14, 2017 The reading from John we just heard is familiar to us—most often we hear it at funerals. Its reassurances speak out to us in grief, as we think of those we love following Jesus as the Way, finding rest eternal in the dwelling place of many rooms, welcomed by our Lord. The opening words, “Do not let your hearts be troubled” seem strange to our grieving ears though, because in such moments we often are just that; troubled. We need to recall that the disciples were troubled too, as they listened to Jesus saying goodbye to them in this quiet late hour,...

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