Author: Nicholas Knisely

The wounds remain though the new life begins

Sermons and audio

Both Luke’s and John’s Gospels include accounts of the resurrected Jesus appearing in the Upper Room to his disciples and showing them the wounds that his transformed body still carries. The wounds on the transformed person signify many things. Among others, they show us that this is the same person who suffered and died. And, they show us that this body is a new creation, which exists in a different way than the old body […]

What sins you bind, are bound. What sins you loose, are loosed.

Sermons and audio

If you step back just a bit from the events of this week’s Gospel reading from the Fourth Gospel, and look at how it functions in the larger narrative, you can begin to see that the Temple and the Priesthood is being remade along with everything else on the First Day of the New Creation. Rather than focusing on the experience of St.Thomas, let’s consider the meaning of Jesus’ words to the gathered community in […]

Has the Pandemic brought an end to our hyper-mobility?

Current Affairs / Religion

Susan McWilliams Barndt has a brief essay posted on the new site “Current” that talks about the implications of new sociological data showing that Americans are moving less and putting down deeper roots than they have in decades: Rooting for the Future – Current: Because we know that the more people move, the more they tend to be focused on their individual selves rather than on their communities, favor “duty-free” relationships, have less of a […]

Easter Day 2021

Sermons and audio

Each year, as we hear the story of Easter Day, there’s some detail or piece of the account that seems to stand out. This year, for me, it’s what Jesus says to Mary of Madgela, the First Apostle, when she encounters him in the garden at the first light of day. Jesus is recasting his relationship to her, to the other apostles and to each of us in that moment before he ascends to his […]

Palm Sunday 2021 – Hosanna!?

Sermons and audio

Most years we celebrate Palm Sunday beginning in the church yard, blessing the palms, carrying them singing and shouting Hosanna around the neighborhood and then into the church nave. It feels like we move from light into darkness as the full liturgy progresses and we hear the Passion narrative and celebrate the Lord’s Supper. This year many congregations are focussing on the Liturgy of the Palms because it keeps the worship out of doors in […]

Look upon the bronze serpent and live! Huh?

Sermons and audio

In the opening of today’s Gospel, which includes the famous passage about Jesus coming to save not to condemn the world, Jesus says he must be lifted up like the bronze serpent Moses fashioned in the wilderness to save the Israelites from the snakes that were attacking them. This week the scriptures take us deep into the mythic world of the late Bronze Age, the World’s empires and the wandering in the wilderness of our […]

By what sign do you do these things? How shall we recognize a true prophet?

Sermons and audio

John’s version of the cleansing of the temple has it take place in the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, not as part of the events of Holy Week. In John’s version, Jesus’ actions driving out the cattle and overturning the money changing tables doesn’t cause an angry response, but instead it raises questions. By what sign do you do this? The people recognized that Jesus was acting in the traditional way of a prophet. But […]

How do we save ourselves? By caring for the people around us.

Sermons and audio

In Mark’s Gospel this week we hear Jesus remonstrate Peter when Peter misunderstands what true life is about. Peter imagines that the Messiah’s appearance will usher in a new world that is a better version of the present one, with the true King taking rule from the powerful and the rich. But Jesus has come to recreate the world and transform all relationships. It is in caring for others that we find the best version […]

And the angels waited upon him…

Sermons and audio

The Gospel lesson for the First Sunday in Lent is traditionally the story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. This year the lesson is taken from Mark’s’ Gospel and has his version of the story. As you might expect, Mark’s version makes its points in a sharp staccato rhythm. Each word means something and evokes an image of something extraordinary taking place. In particular this version presents Jesus as the new Adam, remaking our story […]