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All Are Responsible – A Sermon On Mark 1:4-11 And Acts 19:1-7

Last week, some of you may remember, I ended my sermon by asking this question: Will we, in 2021, be different from and better than how we were in 2020? There’s not much about the first ten days of 2021 that suggests we will. I think it’s still an open question and, I hope, still a possibility. But after the events of last Wednesday and the assault on our nation’s capitol I’m just not so sure we will be. As I reflect on the events of last Wednesday I keep going back to words from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, “Few are guilty, but all are responsible.”

Do You Know The Story Of The Fourth Wise Man?

As you know, the Feast of the Epiphany commemorates the magi or wise men visiting Jesus in Bethlehem and bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:1-12). Holy scripture does not tell us their names or how many there were. No one knows for sure. Eastern Orthodoxy says there were twelve but our tradition says there were three, probably because there were three gifts, and names them Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. But what about the fourth wise man?

Epiphany 2021 House Blessing With Chalk

The Church has a custom of blessing homes on the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6) and the weeks following. Family and friends gather to ask God’s blessing on their homes and those who live in or visit the home. It is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in our home, our comings and goings, our conversations, our work and play, our …

Epiphany Proclamation Of Easter 2021

The ancient Church had a practice of announcing the dates of Easter as well as other feasts and fasts that do not have a fixed date. Since the Epiphany is a fixed date feast (January 6) and also the last major fixed date feast before we enter the Easter cycle which is characterized by moveable dates, it was a convenient time to proclaim the date …

Will We Be Dreamers Or Searchers In 2021? – A Sermon On Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

We’re three days into the new year, a time of change and transition often marked by the calendar more than the circumstances of our lives or world. Regardless, the 2020 year end reviews are well underway with commentaries, assessments, and judgments. For some, maybe most, “Good-bye 2020,” could just as well be “Good riddance, 2020.” And “Hello, 2021,” could just as well be “You could’t get here soon enough, 2021.” We’ve quickly greeted the new year with predictions, wishes, and prayers. I read this in the news, op eds, and on social media. I hear it in the conversations I have with others and in the silence of my own heart. Will 2021 be different from and better than 2020? I suspect all of us, at some level, are asking and living with that question.

The Flight To Egypt In Poetry And Music

This coming Sunday one option for the gospel is the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23). Every time read this story I remember the words of poet George Szirtes and the music of Richard Causton. Richard Causton is the composer of the 2015 commissioned Christmas Carol, “The Flight,” performed by King’s College during the Christmas Eve Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. George …

“The Work Of Christmas” – A Sermon On John 1:1-18

I think most of us hear about the Word becoming flesh and living among us and we immediately assume it’s about Jesus. I don’t disagree with that. We see him enfleshing the Word of God throughout his life; enfleshing forgiveness, love, mercy, peace, gentleness, nonviolence, wisdom, compassion, generosity. That was his way of being and living. But what about you and me? What about the Word becoming flesh in us?

Now What? So What? – A Christmas Day Sermon On Luke 2:8-20

It’s so quiet this morning, so calm, so empty. Christmas Day is one of my favorite services every year. It’s just us and the baby. Most years I come to Christmas morning with two questions: Now what? So what? I never seem to have a final and lasting answer. So, once again, I come to Christmas morning with the same two questions.

By Way Of The Interruptions – A Christmas Sermon On Luke 2:1-20

It began about nine months ago. Life was interrupted when the unexpected and unimaginable happened. And I wondered, “How can this be?” Life was changing and things were getting too real too quick. The government made travel decrees. Some family, friends, and businesses closed to us and said, “No, you can’t come in.” Things just aren’t like they used to be. They probably never will be. So much has changed. It feels like it’s been one interruption after another. You know what I’m talking about, right? I’m sure you do. It’s not too hard to figure it out. It’s in the air. It’s all around us. You know, don’t you, that I’m talking about Mary and what she might have thought about the past nine months of her life? I’m talking about the first Christmas. That is what you thought I was talking about, right?

The Christmas Proclamation

Throughout the season of Advent, the Church has reflected on God’s promises, so often spoken by the prophets, to send a savior to the people of Israel who would be Emmanuel, that is, God with us. In the fullness of time those promises were fulfilled. With hearts full of joy let us hear the proclamation of our Savior’s birth.