Sermons

Easter IV

The imagery of sheep and shepherds would not have been lost on those who first heard these words of Jesus. Not only was it a common figure of speech in the Hebrew scriptures - there were also a lot of sheep around. The way that sheep and shepherds relate to one another is indeed an appropriate comparison to make with the relationship that Christ has with his people. There is, in fact, a close bond that is shared between sheep and their human caretakers. You may know that in many parts of the world, where sheep are an important part…

Most people know the story of the Road to Emmaus. Here in France there is a homeless ministry called Emmaus, and its founder, Abbé Pierre, was considered the most popular man in the country. So much for secular France…One of the attractions of today's gospel story is that Luke uses a favorite literary device of mystery novels and films. We know it’s Jesus walking with Cleopas and What’s-His-Name, but they don’t.

I didn't pay a lot of attention to St. Thomas, a.k.a., Didymus or the Twin, a.k.a., “doubting”, until I was ordained to the priesthood on his feast day, December 21, twenty-nine years ago. After my trip to Iraq just before the war, and later, as we helped to provide asylum for 1300 Iraqis threatened with death for reasons of their faith, I got to know a lot more about Thomas. The story goes that he went to the east, where he founded churches, including the Chaldean Church in what is now Iraq, and the Mar Thoma Church in India. Thomas is said to...

Easter 2014, The Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity. We have come to the culmination of what the Church calls “Holy Week,” which is actually the beginning of a second week, “Easter Week.” We have reenacted in real time the betrayal, death, and entombment of Jesus. Perhaps you were able to be with us as all of us helped strip the altar down to the bare wood on Thursday night, or Friday when we prayed in the shadow of death that Christ would put his cross between us and judgment. Or last night...

A review of "Revealing Heaven: The Christian Case for Near-death Experiences" (by John W. Price) Since the publication of books by Raymond Moody and Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, there has been a great deal of literature on the phenomenon of near-death experiences. There are battle lines drawn. On the one hand are mainstream scientists and other skeptics, who categorically reject these experiences as anything more than hallucinations created by a dying brain. On the other are authors like John Price, who as a chaplain has heard hundreds of these reports, and is convinced that they are authentic insights into the afterlife.

The Institution of the Rev. John Perris as Rector of Christ-the-King Church, Frankfurt, Germany. We have today a new beginning. And also another chapter in the ongoing story of Christ-the-King. It is appropriate, in a way, to institute your Rector on the first Sunday of Lent. Now I am not saying that after today Fr. John will be shoved out into the desert to be tempted of Satan! Of course, there will be moments… but we can say that the Holy Spirit has moved in the usual mysterious way to shove John and Cat and Alex into Germany.

Ash Wednesday 2014, Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. Today is no feast, for sure. It is a Fast, one of two obligatory fast days for Episcopalians, the other being Good Friday, of course. How you observe your fast is up to you. Many people choose to “give something up” for Lent, beginning today. That is abstinence, not fasting. Fasting is the reduction of food consumed. The point is, either way, to mark a difference in our usual routine. This difference is...

Traditionally the church has talked about two kinds of martyrs – white martyrs and red ones. Red martyrs shed blood for claiming their faith, like Perpetua and Paul, or because of the challenge that they’ve offered to the principalities and powers of this world – like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Oscar Romero. White martyrs are remarkable witnesses to the way of Jesus, who give their lives sacrificially, but more often die in their beds – people like Dorothy Day...

[Anglican Communion News Service] Isaiah looks forward to God rescuing His people, instantly recognisable, leading them in victory. Hebrews looks back at the great line of prophets and says this arrival is the climax to the whole of history. John starts with those words that send shudders up the spine, consciously echoing Genesis, “in the beginning ……. ”

Today is a great Sunday: called “Stir-up Sunday” because we prayed earlier that God would stir up the power of the Spirit and come among us. What a powerful prayer — no pun intended. And God is answering that prayer today. It is also called “Gaudete Sunday” which is Latin for “rejoice”, quoting Paul’s injunction to the Philippians to “rejoice always and again I say rejoice!”

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