Author: Nicholas Knisely

Jesus comes to bring a new kind of community, one built on a foundation of love.

Leave a comment
Sermons and audio

Jesus is asked by two of his disciples to “do for them whatever they ask of him.” What they specifically want is to be given higher status than the others in the community. Jesus uses the moment as an opportunity to teach a foundational truth. He summons the whole group of disciples as they climb up the road to Jerusalem, and tells them that their relationships going forward need to turn from a self-centered focus […]

Wealth confers powers we are not morally ready to receive.

Leave a comment
Sermons and audio

In this week’s Gospel reading, Jesus encounters a rich young man who wants to inherit eternal life. (Interesting way of putting it.) Jesus tells him to obey the moral law. The rich man professes that he has always done so. Jesus, lovingly, tells him that to be perfect, he must give away his wealth. And the young man is shocked and leaves, unable to do so. It isn’t the wealth per se that is the […]

The connection between Ancient Aliens and White Supremacy

comments 2
Religion / Science

I’ve wasted some afternoons binge watching the TV series Ancient Aliens on Hulu over the past few years. It seems like a harmless “what if” exercise. And it’s fun when in a particular episode I’m introduced to some new site or artifact that I’d not heard of before. But I do notice that if I know something about what’s being presented, the information shared is not very robust and often weirdly wrong. In an article […]

Jesus points us again and again to the deeper reality that surrounds us. And by so doing, give meaning and context to our lives.

Leave a comment
Sermons and audio

When Jesus is asked a question about the rules regarding the breaking of marriage vows, we neither fully understand the context of the question nor the intent of the questioners. But Jesus, in his response the question, seems to ignore both and answers in such a way as to get us to the deep meaning of marriage itself. Jesus’ answer to a question about divorce looks to another part of Scripture to make sense of […]

Let’s try something new. Let’s put aside that which divides us and recognize Christ in each other.

comment 1
Sermons and audio

Here’s my challenge to the church around the world today. How about if we call a truce? The world is on fire, it is being flooded and the climate is changing. The people are homeless and searching for a place to take them in and as they seek, they’re being persecuted when they ask for help. The hungry and the lonely are struggling. There’s an ongoing world-wide pandemic. There’s so much need. What would it […]

Every human being is made in the image of God, and thus is infinitely valuable.

comment 1
Sermons and audio

Jesus is the most complete image of the fullness of God that we as humans can comprehend. Jesus came to serve us, to die for us, and thereby to restore us to the original relationship with had with God in the beginning. If we want to follow Jesus, we will need to put aside any sense of our own entitlement or idea that we are somehow more worthy than any other person. (And the converse […]

An Empire unlike any earthly one

Sermons and audio

God’s Realm, Jesus’ Kingdom, is different than the earthly ones. It isn’t different because it’s unreal, otherworldly or some sort of fairy tale. It’s different because it’s built on a radically different foundation. Liberation and Peace come not through military triumph, but through love, service and self-sacrifice. It’s the essential characteristic of the God we worship. It’s fitting that the cross has become the symbol of our faith. God’s love is self-sacrificial. God’s love is […]

Jesus travels to the regions beyond and something surprising happens

Sermons and audio

People on the margins seem to have a different relationship with God, with Jesus, and an ability to presume upon that relationship, than do the rich and the powerful and the well connected. This seems obvious, and unsurprising given the way that the whole of Holy Scripture speaks of God’s special love for the poor and marginalized, but in the Church today, we still seem surprised when we encounter it. I cannot tell you how […]

Do not use the Bible to prove the wrong point

Sermons and audio

In this week’s Gospel, we hear Jesus’ critique of the religious leaders of his community. He is speaking within a context different than ours to a people who were facing challenges that we are not. His words to the religious leaders, while sounding harsh to our ears, are not that different than the sorts of sustained critiques that they leveled against one another. In the narrative of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus has just fed the multitude […]

Statement regarding the new statue of Blackstone in Pawtucket

Current Affairs / Reconciliation / Rhode Island

My statement regarding the statute of the Rev. William Blackstone in Pawtucket RI: It was with surprise that we learned today of the William Blackstone statue erected in Pawtucket. It is regrettable that such a monument would be approved and given municipal funding without seeking more input from our Indigenous neighbors. Colonizers like Blackstone are a troubling feature of our American history, and we would do well to reflect on the opinions of those who were on this land […]