All posts filed under: Sermons and audio

Why can people always count on Christians being jerks to each other?

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Sermons and audio

Why is so hard to love one another? It’s such a rare thing that the powers of this world plan on our apparently endless capacity for division and strife in the Church. The division starts from the beginning and continues to this day. The division was the proximate cause of Jesus’ death (by Judas’ betrayal) and conflict causes almost all of the Epistles to be written. Jesus asks us to do just one thing in […]

So you’ve heard the voice of the Good Shephard… now what?

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Sermons and audio

The fourth Sunday after Easter is traditionally called Good Shephard Sunday; and we read passages from Scripture where Jesus explains that he is the Good Shephard, the one that will lay down his life for his sheep. This week’s reading comes from the end of his teaching on this language and imagery. It takes place in the Winter, in Jerusalem, and is followed by the account of raising Lazarus from the dead. There’s much to […]

How do we feed the sheep, or tend the lambs?

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Sermons and audio

This week we hear the final chapter of John’s Gospel. Like much of John’s Gospel, it’s different but similar to the other stories about Jesus. But this is placed at the very end of the Gospel, and follows a few verses that could well have been an original ending. John’s Gospel starts with an extraordinary Prologue; “In the beginning was the Word…” and ends with this passage as an Epilogue. I don’t think that’s by […]

He showed them his hands and his side. Then they were glad…

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Sermons and audio

The past is a foreign place. That’s a point made regularly by a favorite author of mind. It’s a reminder that when we try to understand the mindset of people for distant from us in history, we are always going to fall short. Their ways of thinking, their ideas and understandings of events are formed from a different worldview than ours. So I’m not surprised that the way the narrative of the Jesus’ appearance to […]

What is our apostolic witness to Easter Joy today?

Sermons and audio

The first apostle, the Apostle to the Apostles, was Mary Magdalene. That’s a surprise to some people, but it is an ancient tradition and today’s Easter Gospel closes with the reasons we make that claim. But while Mary was the first apostle, she was just the beginning of a worldwide movement that has, for almost twenty one centuries, spread out from that garden in Jerusalem to share the Good News of the Resurrection to all […]

Palm Sunday: how do we respond to terrifying evil?

Sermons and audio

This Palm Sunday, like many before, is being observed in a time of war. And as in many previous wars, the evil acts committed against the innocent, young and old, strip away any sense we might have had that civilization had somehow transformed human nature. The war in Ukraine remind us that humanity has a profound need of healing, forgiveness and transformation. The story of the Passion of Christ takes on an urgency and a […]

Are we using the Church to meet our needs? For own ends?

Sermons and audio

This week’s Gospel tells the story of the extravagant act of adoration by Mary toward Jesus. She anoints his feet with something like $30,000 worth of perfumed oil. Judas sees it and objects that the money could have been better spent on the meeting the needs of the poor. The author of the Gospel tells us that Judas’ objection wasn’t made out of concern for the poor but because he wanted the money that was […]

The Church is called to extravagant acts of reconciliation

Sermons and audio

This Sunday’s Gospel is one of the most familiar parables in the canon of scripture. It’s the story of the Prodigal Son, an arresting story that Jesus told to the shock and surprise of the people who originally heard it. It’s filled with shocking and scandalous behavior on the part of all three of the main characters: the Father, the Older Son and the Prodigal Son. When it is heard in the culture in which […]

We seek straightforward connection between actions and consequences. Turns out it’s complicated.

Sermons and audio

I’m not able to post a sermon this week. I’m at the House of Bishop’s meeting and I don’t have access to the resources I need to be able to film a sermon and then post something. But I’m delighted that one of my favorite preachers/writers, The Rev. Canon Andrew Gerns, a colleague of mine from when I served in Bethlehem PA, has posted a wonderful sermon on this weekend’s texts. I’ve posted his writings […]

Jesus, our Mother

Sermons and audio

Others often describe Jesus in his day as the Lamb of God. In the Gospel passage read this week in church, he describes himself not as a lamb who will be slain, but as a Mother Hen who wishes to save the ones who reject him. The image is both familiar and foreign to us because while we know about hens and chicks, few of us have enough familiarity with foxes and hens to get […]