Author: Nicholas Knisely

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

Sermons and audio

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 […]

Why the sudden shift to the Lambeth Conference program?

Climate Change / Reconciliation / Religion / Science

The unexpected release of a series of Lambeth Conference Call statements on assorted subjects, and the equally unexpected news that bishops attending the Lambeth Conference next week would be voting on them, has knocked a bunch of Anglicans around the world back on their heels. Some in the Communion are delighted with this sudden turn – but most of the voices I hear are dismayed. And here in the Episcopal Church, many people in our […]

Right now, we need to be like Mary.

Sermons and audio

We live in a world that talks and proclaims with increasing intensity. But is anyone listening to anyone else? Sure, we hear what is being said, but rather than hearing the other person, we are formulating a rebuttal while the words are still ringing in our ears. In the Gospel reading this week, Mary chooses to sit and listen to Jesus. And Jesus commends her for it. In this week’s sermon, I speak about the […]

General Convention #80, Dispatch 1

General Convention

I’m grabbing a few minutes between sessions on this second day of our meeting to post some quick impressions of what it’s like here at this unusual General Convention. We’re a year late, and unexpectedly shortened in our meeting, and rather than the leisurely pace of the first week of Convention typically, we’re hammering our way through the work we have before us. There’s a focus here that usually only emerges about halfway through in […]

I saw Satan fall like lightning

Sermons and audio

In this week’s Gospel reading, Jesus sends the disciples as heralds into the countryside to proclaim the Peace to people and the Kingdom of God. When they return, they joyfully report that they have witnessed the forces arrayed against God routed and fleeing before them. Jesus responds to their joy and triumph by telling them, prophetically, that he saw the Satan fall like lightning. The Ruler of this World’s time of dominion is coming to […]

Love can overcome division


Paul writes to the Galatians and strongly affirms their freedom in the Gospel. But he warns that their freedom can become a base of operations for earthly passions and emotions to create division and pain. The reading from Luke’s Gospel this week, where the disciples want Jesus to smite the Samaritans because they don’t agree with Jesus’ behavior, is an example of what Paul is talking about. So too is this long month of the […]

Love will overcome division

Sermons and audio

When St. Paul writes his letter to the people of the Church in Galatia, he’s writing because of a challenge to his teaching, and a change in the way that they are living out their faith. Paul taught them that the Law of Moses was only part of the truth of God. He taught that the rest of God’s will for Creation was revealed in the life and person of Jesus. And Paul taught that […]

Some thoughts on scripture’s role in Anglicanism


The question of how Anglicans (Episcopalians) use the bible has come up a couple of times this week in various conversations. And as luck would have it, I’m working my way through a book by Paul Avis on what we mean when we speak about an Anglican Church, and in my reading this morning, I came across this quote: This faith is said to be ‘uniquely revealed’ in the Holy Scriptures. Here the Scriptures are […]

A Contradiction wrapped in mystery

Sermons and audio

Is God one or is God three? The answer is as you’d expect; “yes”. You’ll most likely encounter the nature of God that you are seeking. Is Love a state or is Love a relationship? The answer is “yes”; it depends how you are looking. Is Light a particle or a wave? Again, the answer is “yes”; it depends how you look. The Doctrine of the Triune God contains within it a great truth and […]