A congregation gathers on a Sunday morning. There has been a lot of preparation. The altar has been set, bulletins have been printed, the heat turned up. The choir has practiced. Worship begins with The Word: Scripture and sermon, hymns and prayers have challenged and inspired. At God's Table, all come to to be reconciled to God and one another through Christ's body and blood. Renewed and strengthened we are Sent to live into our calling as apostles in the world. But first... the fellowship of coffee hour awaits. The Church, St. Paul said, is the body of Christ and each a member. It's true! Never perfect, filled with all sorts and characters and yet, a beautiful living organism of God's grace.
“O Love how deep, how broad, how high” (H82 #448)
On the first Sunday of Lent we sang the words of this hymn before the Gospel. Many understand that Lent is a time of deepening one’s relationship with God but do we remember that it is also a time of broadening God’s love with the world? It is a time to tear down walls between one another, between ‘territories’, states, nations, countries.
God’s love wants to flood out upon the world but humanity’s self-focus and bias against ‘the other’ chokes God’s love. God’s love is dammed-up; and the reservoir of God’s healing is held back by the blockades people erect.
God’s love is a flood of justice and compassion, not just for a few but for the whole world as we heard in God’s promise in the story of Noah. God’s covenant is with the whole world. God’s desire is to write God’s law in the hearts of God’s people (Jer. 31/Lent 5). God demands nothing less than the same from those who claim to be followers of Jesus and to serve as Jesus (Jn 12/Lent 5). Rather than pointing the finger in judgment, we are asked to care for ‘the least of these.’ And Jesus reiterates the new covenant God continues to affirm, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.” Think of it like God’s cloak of love wrapped around the world.
Read more: Rector's Message
God Jumped into the Water!Yr B Lent 1 Youth Sunday (Gen. 6-9; Mark 1:9-15)
And God remembered…as God’s vision spanned the length of the rainbow arching across the world, 'this is the sign of the everlasting covenant between me and thee and all that inhabits the Earth.' Amen.
The story of Noah’s salvation becomes the 2nd story of creation. It’s a story of mythic proportions; of a god-sent flood intended to destroy the pervasive wickedness growing out of creation gone awry. A ‘Great Flood’ myth is a featured tale of cultures worldwide. It usually follows closely on the heels of the Creation myth which attempts to explain how the universe came into existence.
But it isn’t too far into the story of humanity, really the blink of an eye, that we too soon forget the goodness from which we are made.
Read more: This Week's Sermon
"We are the Episcopal Church, welcoming all and practicing our faith through worship, discipleship, fellowship and service."
Transcripts of earlier sermons