Flight to Egypt, Sermon, henry Oshawa Tanner, Matthew 2:13-15 19-23, New Year, Future, Joseph, Herod

Will We Be Dreamers Or Searchers In 2021? – A Sermon On Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

We’re three days into the new year, a time of change and transition often marked by the calendar more than the circumstances of our lives or world. Regardless, the 2020 year end reviews are well underway with commentaries, assessments, and judgments. For some, maybe most, “Good-bye 2020,” could just as well be “Good riddance, 2020.” And “Hello, 2021,” could just as well be “You could’t get here soon enough, 2021.” We’ve quickly greeted the new year with predictions, wishes, and prayers.

I read this in the news, op eds, and on social media. I hear it in the conversations I have with others and in the silence of my own heart. Will 2021 be different from and better than 2020? I suspect all of us, at some level, are asking and living with that question. Continue reading Will We Be Dreamers Or Searchers In 2021? – A Sermon On Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

The Flight To Egypt In Poetry And Music

This coming Sunday one option for the gospel is the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23). Every time read this story I remember the words of poet George Szirtes and the music of Richard Causton. Richard Causton is the composer of the 2015 commissioned Christmas Carol, “The Flight,” performed by King’s College during the Christmas Eve Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. George … Continue reading The Flight To Egypt In Poetry And Music

Sermon, Christmas, Incarnation, Word of God, John 1:1-18

“The Work Of Christmas” – A Sermon On John 1:1-18

I think most of us hear about the Word becoming flesh and living among us and we immediately assume it’s about Jesus. I don’t disagree with that. We see him enfleshing the Word of God throughout his life; enfleshing forgiveness, love, mercy, peace, gentleness, nonviolence, wisdom, compassion, generosity. That was his way of being and living.

But what about you and me? What about the Word becoming flesh in us? Continue reading “The Work Of Christmas” – A Sermon On John 1:1-18

Christmas Day, Luke 2:8-20, Sermon, Pondering

Now What? So What? – A Christmas Day Sermon On Luke 2:8-20

It’s so quiet this morning, so calm, so empty. Christmas Day is one of my favorite services every year. It’s just us and the baby.

Most years I come to Christmas morning with two questions: Now what? So what? I never seem to have a final and lasting answer. So, once again, I come to Christmas morning with the same two questions. Continue reading Now What? So What? – A Christmas Day Sermon On Luke 2:8-20

Nativity of Jesus, Sermon, Luke 2:1-20

By Way Of The Interruptions – A Christmas Sermon On Luke 2:1-20

It began about nine months ago. Life was interrupted when the unexpected and unimaginable happened. And I wondered, “How can this be?” Life was changing and things were getting too real too quick. The government made travel decrees. Some family, friends, and businesses closed to us and said, “No, you can’t come in.” Things just aren’t like they used to be. They probably never will be. So much has changed. It feels like it’s been one interruption after another.

You know what I’m talking about, right? I’m sure you do. It’s not too hard to figure it out. It’s in the air. It’s all around us.

You know, don’t you, that I’m talking about Mary and what she might have thought about the past nine months of her life? I’m talking about the first Christmas. That is what you thought I was talking about, right?
Continue reading By Way Of The Interruptions – A Christmas Sermon On Luke 2:1-20

Priest, Ordination, Sermon, Isaiah 6:1-8

Hold The Tension – An Ordination Sermon On Isaiah 6:1-8

As important as this evening is, it is only the evening of your ordination. And while what we do this evening matters and makes a difference, what will matter most and make the biggest difference is what you do with your priesthood tomorrow, the next day, the one after that, and, God willing, the one ten or fifteen years from now.

I don’t know what those days will be like for you. And neither do you. You don’t know what your priesthood will ask of you or give you. None of us do. So I’m going to give you some words from Isaiah 6:1-8 that might help. Continue reading Hold The Tension – An Ordination Sermon On Isaiah 6:1-8

Advent, Chant, Creator of the stars of night

“Creator Of The Stars Of Night” – An Advent Chant

“Creator of the Stars of Night” is an Advent chant with words from the 9th century. The music, Conditor lame siderum, is plainsong chant, mode 4. This rendition is by two choir members of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Uvalde. Creator of the stars of night,your people’s everlasting light,O Christ, Redeemer of us all,we pray you hear us when we call. In sorrow that the ancient curseshould doom to death a … Continue reading “Creator Of The Stars Of Night” – An Advent Chant

Sermon, Witness, Advent 3B, John 1:6-8 19-28, Mary Oliver

Can I Get A Witness? – A Sermon On John 1:6-8, 19-28

When was the last time you could not help but tell about something you saw, heard, or experienced? It was simply more than you could hold or contain and you just couldn’t keep it to yourself. You had to tell about it.

Before you answer, let me clarify what I am talking about and what I am not talking about. I’m not talking about a juicy scandal, scoop, or gossip. I’m not talking about what you heard or saw someone else say or do. And I’m not talking about simply recounting the events of your day. Continue reading Can I Get A Witness? – A Sermon On John 1:6-8, 19-28

Sermon, Advent 1B, Mark 13:24-37, Apocalypse, Darkness,

New Life Emerges From The Dark – A Sermon On Mark 13:24-37

Today’s gospel, like all apocalyptic literature, takes us to those threshold moments that leave us wondering whether things are falling apart or falling into place. By now most of you know me well enough to know that my answer to that is, “Yes. Yes, they are.”

I’m betting every one of you could tell a story about a threshold time in your life. I wonder what that threshold is for you today. Continue reading New Life Emerges From The Dark – A Sermon On Mark 13:24-37