Parish Life, Future, Truth, Jeremiah 29:1-14, COVID-19, Reflection

Remembering The Future – A Reflection On 2020

Twenty-twenty. When I say those two words I’m not sure if I intend them as a statement or a question. A lot of things could be said about 2020.

It feels like we have been exiled from our homeland, from the way things used to be, from what was familiar and comfortable, and maybe even taken for granted. It feels like we are living in a foreign land, waiting and wanting to go home.

I don’t know when we’ll get to go home. I hope and pray that with the vaccines and continued use of masks and social distancing we can return sooner than later. But I don’t know. So what do we do in the meantime? Continue reading Remembering The Future – A Reflection On 2020

Heart, Listening, Truth, Sermon, John 1:43-51, 1 Samuel 3:1-20

Deep Listening – A Sermon On John 1:43-51

If 2020 showed us anything it revealed how necessary that kind of deep and intentional listening is, and how difficult it is to sort through all the voices we hear, both within and outside ourselves, and discern a truthful way forward. I don’t expect that kind of listening to be any less necessary or difficult in 2021.

Who are you listening to these days? Who are you not listening to? What are you listening for? What do you want to hear and what do you not want to hear?
Continue reading Deep Listening – A Sermon On John 1:43-51

Sermon, Mark 1:4-11, Acts 19:1-7, Social Justice, Baptism, Baptism of Jesus, Responsibility

All Are Responsible – A Sermon On Mark 1:4-11 And Acts 19:1-7

Last week, some of you may remember, I ended my sermon by asking this question: Will we, in 2021, be different from and better than how we were in 2020?

There’s not much about the first ten days of 2021 that suggests we will. I think it’s still an open question and, I hope, still a possibility. But after the events of last Wednesday and the assault on our nation’s capitol I’m just not so sure we will be.

As I reflect on the events of last Wednesday I keep going back to words from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, “Few are guilty, but all are responsible.” Continue reading All Are Responsible – A Sermon On Mark 1:4-11 And Acts 19:1-7

Henry Van Dyke, The Story of the Other Wise Man, The Fourth Wise Man, Artaban, Epiphany, Magi

Do You Know The Story Of The Fourth Wise Man?

As you know, the Feast of the Epiphany commemorates the magi or wise men visiting Jesus in Bethlehem and bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:1-12). Holy scripture does not tell us their names or how many there were. No one knows for sure. Eastern Orthodoxy says there were twelve but our tradition says there were three, probably because there were three gifts, and names them Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. But what about the fourth wise man? Continue reading Do You Know The Story Of The Fourth Wise Man?

Epiphany, House Blessing With Chalk

Epiphany 2021 House Blessing With Chalk

The Church has a custom of blessing homes on the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6) and the weeks following. Family and friends gather to ask God’s blessing on their homes and those who live in or visit the home. It is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in our home, our comings and goings, our conversations, our work and play, our … Continue reading Epiphany 2021 House Blessing With Chalk

Christ, Pantocrator, Epiphany Proclamation of Easter

Epiphany Proclamation Of Easter 2021

The ancient Church had a practice of announcing the dates of Easter as well as other feasts and fasts that do not have a fixed date. Since the Epiphany is a fixed date feast (January 6) and also the last major fixed date feast before we enter the Easter cycle which is characterized by moveable dates, it was a convenient time to proclaim the date … Continue reading Epiphany Proclamation Of Easter 2021

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