Sermons

Sermons

Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost

Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost Our readings this morning are all about judgment and redemption—or, more specifically, our wrongful doings and God’s judgment of our actions and forgiveness of our wrongful doings.  In a slight twist on this theme, our Gospel readings are about a young man who comes to Jesus with what he thinks is a deep and challenging question about forgiveness: “Good Teacher,” he says, “what must I do to get into heaven?”  In other words, what must I do…

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (observed)

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (observed) In our beloved Grace Cathedral stands a beautiful statue of St. Francis of Assisi by Benjamin Bufano.  The posture of Francis in that statue is in the shape of a Tau cross. Tau is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet and was used symbolically in the Old Testament as a sign to admonish the people to be faithful to God throughout their lives. Those who remained faithful throughout their lives were called the…

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost Several years ago, when I was serving another church, I had a discussion with the leaders of our Family Ministries Group.  It revealed an understanding of ministry that I found troubling. Our parish was on retreat and I happened to get sick on Saturday afternoon.  And I felt there was a pretty good chance I wouldn’t be much better by Sunday morning, so I decided I needed to limit my responsibilities for worship and that this…

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost I have a secret to share will all of you.  Every day I work with God.  I know… I know… it sounds crazy, but I honestly do.  We have laughs, share tears, and find ways to solve the world problems or at least the ones that God is interested in.  God is nothing like I ever imagined and everything I ever hoped for. We have our ups and our downs, our good times and our bad.…

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost I don’t know about you, but there have been a number of times in my life when I have just wanted to disappear and hide in the face of difficult things.  I remember one incident when I was about 11 years old.  My father and I got into one of the worst fights we had ever had.  After it was over, my parents got into a huge fight because my mother was of the opinion that…

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost Oh, God. Breathe into us this day a spirit of wisdom, a spirit of tolerance and a spirit of courage. Amen. Please be seated. When I was young, growing up in Connecticut, I spent quite a bit of time in Maine. During the 60’s and 70’s there wasn’t much diversity there. Believe me. I stood out. People said things like, “Can I touch you? or Can I touch your hair? or We don’t allow our kids…

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost Yesterday, when I was watching part of the funeral service for Senator John McCain, I found myself reflecting on the question of purpose.  I found myself asking a lot of “why” questions.  Why am I hear?  Why are we here . . today? Though it’s not the only reason I’m here this morning, it’s my job to be here. But what made you voluntarily choose to spend the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend – the last…

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost A young man was invited to a party one day. The host filled his pool with sharks. In the middle of the party, the host called his guests to the pool and announced, “If any young man will jump into this pool and swim to the other side, he can have one of three things: my ranch, a million dollars, or my daughter in marriage.” At the other end of the pool, there was a commotion;…

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost Today’s gospel lesson contains a familiar and earthy metaphor for our spiritual life as Christians, which is “eating the bread of heaven.”  For me, this metaphor brings to mind my mother and my sister—because both of them have vocations associated with food and nutrition; my sister is a dietitian.  So, what does it mean for us to ‘eat the bread of heaven?’  We know what it means to eat, physically.  To eat something, physically, we spend…

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost There is a story that I would like to share with you this morning Because I believe that it is a story about the bread of life of which Jesus speaks in today’s gospel passage. If you happened to have been in church last Sunday then you heard the beginning of the story to which today’s reading from the same John Chapter Six is a sequel.  Everyone enjoys a sequel—it imbues one with a sense of…