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.
Peace going and coming
Between now and Trinity Sunday (following Pentecost) in the lectionary scriptures, Jesus lays a heavy emphasis on the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is essential according to Jesus that he depart so that the Spirit will come: the Holy Spirit, the paraclete (companion/helper), Spirit of Truth, one third of the Divine Triad. Although traditionally referred to as the third person of the Trinity, it may make more sense to think of the Holy Spirit as the actualizer and energizer of Divine Love.
It seems perfectly reasonable to understand the person of Jesus as God incarnate. It gets a little more challenging to apply the label person to God or the Holy Spirit, doesn’t it? So why spend so much time dwelling on the Trinity? Maybe the answer is wrapped up in our own persons/selves.
If one tends to be a very concrete, action-oriented person then one may relate to the person of Jesus who lived and died as one of us, working to make a difference in the world while he lived on earth.
If one tends to be more abstract in thought, then pondering the ineffable, numinous God may resonate more deeply.
If one tends to be both reflective and energized to make a difference in the world, as partners in God’s reconciling mission, then the Holy Spirit may be a welcome companion on the way.
Read more: Rector's Message
God is like the Divine Mr. Clean Magic EraserActs 11:1-18 Revelation 21:1-6 John 13:31-35
“By this everyone will knowthat you are my disciples,if you have love for one another.” (Jn 13:35)In the name of our God of Vision: Creator, Liberator, Sustainer. Amen
What's on the menu? Often when I preach, the issue at hand is food: multiplying loaves, breaking bread at the table, crumbs under the table, who’s at the table, or like today – forbidden foods on a picnic blanket. Maybe it's because life cannot be sustained without food. Maybe it's because eating is significantly social. For whatever reason, it grabs our attention as it comes at us again and again in scripture.
Peter's picnic perplexity is not so much about what can or cannot be eaten; it's about Who's in & Who's out. God intends to mash-up the traditionally held perspective on clean and unclean, not just what but who. God serves up a piping-hot new vision.
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