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

Thankfulness, Thanksgiving, COVID-19

Thankfulness In 2020

“What could we possibly be thankful for in 2020?” That’s the question Steve Hartman of the CBS Evening News recently asked his kids in this video.

I suspect many of us might be asking ourselves the same question Mr. Hartman asked his children. His daughter answered, “Well, instead of saying what we’re thankful for, we could say what was hard for us.” Yes, we could. It’s been a hard year in so many ways. But does difficulty negate or diminish Thanksgiving or giving thanks? Continue reading Thankfulness In 2020

The Great Judgment, Matthew 25:31-46, Sermon, Christ the King Sunday, Sheep and Goats,

Sheep Or Goat? Yes We Are – A Sermon On Matthew 25:31-46

So what do you make of today’s gospel (Matthew 25: 31-46)? Is Jesus separating the good from the bad? Is Jesus saying some are welcome and included in the kingdom but others are rejected and excluded? Is Jesus keeping score of what we’ve done and left undone and then handing out rewards and punishment? And if he is, are you in or out, a sheep or a goat?

I wonder if we’ve misunderstood what’s happening when Jesus separates. Maybe the separation Jesus makes doesn’t look a thing like the separations we usually make. Maybe the purpose of the separation Jesus makes is the exact opposite of the purpose for which we often make separations. Continue reading Sheep Or Goat? Yes We Are – A Sermon On Matthew 25:31-46

Oil Lamp, Sermon, Matthew 25:1-13, Proper 27A, Parable of the Bridesmaids

Pushing Back The Darkness – A Sermon On Matthew 25:1-13

Where is there light in your life and the world today? And where is there darkness in your life and the world today?

I wouldn’t be surprised if for many or even most of us our first answer is based on how we feel and what we think about the results of our presidential election. But that is not what I am asking about and I hope that’s not the basis for any of our answers. I am asking about something more important than that. I am asking us to look deeper than that. Continue reading Pushing Back The Darkness – A Sermon On Matthew 25:1-13

Here We Are – A Baptismal Sermon On the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:1-12

Emmitt, though you are only four and a half months old you are never too young to hear the Beatitudes for the first time, and neither are the rest of us too old to hear them again for the first time. Today you are being immersed in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12) as a way of being, a path to be followed, principles by which to guide your life. They describe the divine life, the life of Jesus. And whether that life exists in this world depends on you and the rest of us. We never accomplish the beatitudes as a task completed. Instead we strive, day by day, to live into them. Continue reading Here We Are – A Baptismal Sermon On the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:1-12

Reading The Book Of Nature

There is “a great book,” Saint Augustine says, “the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Note it. Read it.” St. Anthony also knew about this book. Once when a visiting philosopher asked how such a learned man as he got along in the desert without the benefit of books, Anthony replied, “My book is the nature of created things, and … Continue reading Reading The Book Of Nature

Love’s Only Hope In This World – A Sermon On Matthew 22:34-46

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

These, Jesus says, are the two commandments on which everything else hangs. They are two sides of the same thing. You can’t truly have one without the other. This is about more than our feelings or affection for God and one another. It’s about our commitment to the life and well-being of the other. It’s a choice we make every day – to love or not to love.

I wonder what that love looks like. I wonder what your life and my life would be like if we held those two commandments as the guiding principles for what we do. I wonder what we might create and achieve if we embodied and lived those commandments. Continue reading Love’s Only Hope In This World – A Sermon On Matthew 22:34-46