Author: Nicholas Knisely

Do something before it’s too late.

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Sermons and audio

This week’s parable from St. Luke’s Gospel follows directly in the text from the parable we heard last week, the parable of the dishonest steward. Do you remember that one? There was a well-off manager of a rich man’s estates. He was rich because he’d been cooking the estate books and skimming off the top. When he was found out, he came up with a scheme to let his boss’s partners pay off their outstanding […]

Make Friends for yourself with what you have while you can… you’ll need them, if not immediately, eventually.

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Sermons and audio

I remember the first time I heard this reading. I was in a wealth Washington DC Episcopal church. I was in grad school. I was struck by the strangeness of story and the unfamiliar term “mammon”. I spent weeks trying to understand what Jesus was saying. I’m not sure that I ever worked it out. Years later, in 2008 as Dean of Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix during the market collapse and the subsequent regional depression, […]

The Church of the Second Chance

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Sermons and audio

I’ve wondered lately if the next time we plant a congregation, we might choose to name something other than after a saint or an event of Jesus’ life or even a doctrine. Maybe we could name it after something we need? Something like the Little Church of the Second Chance… Jesus caused a scandal among his friends and the people in his community by actively including people who were, well, a little embarrassing to be […]

How do we become selfless?

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Sermons and audio

This is a hard saying. Who can bear it? Jesus is telling us to hate the people we should love the most: our parents, our spouse, and our children. This thought, taken on its own, contradicts so much of the rest of his teaching as to leave us confused and filled with wondering about his meaning. But it’s important to remember that you can’t just pluck a verse of scripture out of the Bible and […]

Common Virtue in Common Life

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To imitate Jesus is to live a life that is characterized by self-control (temperance) and meekness. To live that way is to live a virtuous life. We don’t talk very much these days about the need to live virtuously in our own lives. It seems we’ve gotten very good at pointing out the flaws in others – even in the Church. But Jesus gives us a model of what can happen when we live a […]

We don’t have to protect God or God’s holiness…

Sermons and audio

This Gospel reading, describing the indignation of a leader of a congregation when Jesus heals a woman on the Sabbath day, has an important lesson for us today, and one that has nothing to do with Judaism or purity law. The indignation of the leader of the congregation isn’t foreign to my own experience. We have all sorts of ways that we get indignant with other people if they don’t conform to what we think […]

I have come to set fire to the World

Sermons and audio

We imagine, viewed through the news of this moment in World History, that all conflict is destructive and regrettable. We imagine that heaven is a place where a great angelic choir sings together in a great harmonious sound, where there is no dissonance, no conflict, but only pure music. But what if sometimes conflict is necessary for transformation. What if conflict, pain and strife aren’t destruction, but birth? What if fire comes not to burn […]

Some thoughts on the Lambeth Call on Human Dignity

Religion

The bishops and bishop-elect of the Diocese of Connecticut posted a letter to their diocese about the just concluded Lambeth Conference. (I haven’t yet done so, I want a bit more time to reflect on what happened before I do.) In their letter they do a fine job of reporting on the experience we had in the afternoon on August 2 as the gathered bishops took up the question of the proposed Lambeth Conference Call […]

A Sermon for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 13C) – Luke 12.13-21 1 by The Rev. Canon Andrew Gerns

Sermons and audio

Thanks to the kindness of Canon Gerns, I have this fine sermon to share with you this morning. As I’ve mentioned, I’m in Canterbury attending the Lambeth Conference this week. I send you greetings from the mother church of the Anglican Communion and prayers for all of you this week. Thank you Andrew for this gift.   May only God’s word be spoken.May only God’s word be heard and believed.Amen. It has been said that […]

Teach us to pray. And then, by your grace, let us change the world by our prayers.

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Prayer changes things. I’m not certain how. I know it changes me. I know it changes other people as they pray. I’ve seen it. I believe it changes the world, though I don’t know by what mechanism it does this. I’ve fashioned my life around this belief. The lessons this week talk about prayer, and particularly about how the presence of righteous people can turn aside wrath. We hear Jesus’ disciples asking him to teach […]