Sermons (Page 2)

Sermons (Page 2)

Third Sunday of Advent

The Gospel reading for this morning has always puzzled me.  The story is pretty simple; John the Baptist sends some of his followers to talk to Jesus, to ask if he is really the Messiah, or whether they should keep looking.  Then, rather than getting into a bunch of theological jargon, Jesus simply tells them to look around at what they see going on and to decide for themselves.  What they see, of course, is amazing.  The blind are receiving…

Second Sunday of Advent

If there is one thing that my work as a priest has taught me, it is that life is full of uncertainty.  And, perhaps because of that reality, many of us spend a great deal of time searching for things that we believe we can count on.  A fisherman will go back to that special spot that always produces fish.  A gardener will find it difficult to switch from tried and true varieties of vegetables.  People look for sure things…

First Sunday of Advent

There’s a book I read a number of years ago that I occasionally return to for reflection. The Gospel of Inclusion was written by the former Pentecostal mega-church pastor, Carlton Pearson.  In this book, Pearson, who now preaches a Gospel of universal salvation, spends a great deal of time looking at the concept of “the end times.” The end times is the theological belief in the 2nd coming of Christ as a day of judgment when Jesus will return and…

Feast of Christ the King

In his ministry, Jesus once declared, “For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners”. Now, we Episcopalians sometimes get a little jittery around the word “sin.” And I believe we are justified in feeling that way. The word sin has been co-opted over the centuries and used to denote an act that is some ethical, moral, or legally religious transgression against God. And with that definition, sin has been used to make many people feel or believe…

Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost

A young man phones up his father at work for a chat. The dad says, “I’m so sorry, son, I’d love to talk, but I’m up to my neck in work today” Son says, “But dad, I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you.” Dad says, “OK, but since I’ve got no time, just give me the good news.” Son says, “OK.  Well, the air bags work . . .” I know they’re corny, but I love…

Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost

If you’re a teacher or you know someone who is a good teacher, you’ll appreciate this story.  There was a priest who, for many years, made it his policy to refer the theological questions of six-year-olds to his wife.  Since she taught young children, he thought she had a much better grasp than he did on how to address the questions children asked. One day, a first-grader brought a drawing of a skeleton into class where his wife taught English…

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

One of the movies I used to watch with Adam when he was young was “Angels in the Outfield.”  In this movie, a young boy who is living in a foster home invests his hopes and dreams in the fortunes of a losing baseball team.  The boy’s biological father (who has abandoned him) promises before he leaves that when this baseball team (the Angels) win the pennant, he’ll come back for him and they’ll be a family again. So, the…

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Greg Anderson is the founder of Cancer Recovery Foundation International, a global affiliation of organizations whose mission is to help people prevent and survive cancer.  Anderson was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer in 1984. He was given 30 days to live. In December of this year, he will turn 72.  In his book “Living Life on Purpose” Anderson tells the story of a man whose wife had left him. He was completely depressed. He had lost faith in himself, in…

Feast of St. Francis (observed)

Welcome to St. Francis Sunday — the Sunday when we remember the person most associated with animals in the history of Christianity. I have always loved St. Francis Sunday because it reminds me that Jesus’ life, Jesus’ death, Jesus’ resurrection, the good news for a broken world that we celebrate every Sunday — these events were not just for me, not just for humankind, but for all of creation. A relationship between God and the non-human animals of the world…

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

The Very Rev. H. T. Knight Theologian Karl Barth once said to a preacher:  “Take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both.  But interpret newspapers from your Bible.” It’s hard to pick up a newspaper or watch the news these days without hearing about climate change.  The front page of yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle had a photo of a young person at the climate march holding up a big sign:  “ADULTS! DO YOUR HOMEWORK  (THE KIDS HAVE DONE…