Sermon for August 12, 2018 focusing on Paul's letter to the Ephesians

Fear and honour,
praise and bless,
give thanks and adore
the Lord God Almighty in Trinity and in Unity,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
the Creator of all.
(From the Rnb XXI, 2) St. Francis of Assisi
Our Church’s patron, St. Augustine, once said: “Hope has two beautiful daughters.Their names are Anger and Courage.”
Truly it seems like an odd thing to say about the Christian concept of hope.Odd that that anger can be an important element of faith.The reason why I mention this quote is you may have noticed that St. Paul begins his letter by affirming anger and I quote: “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger…”
Paul allows for anger within the community with the condition to lay it to rest before you sleep.However, later in his letter he states: “Put away from you… anger…” in order to allow for the way of forgiveness, and God’s love. You might have noticed that S. Paul seems to be talking about two different kinds of anger.On the one hand, anger can be the roots of a…

Dazed and Confused: Moving beyond the Historial Jesus


Risen in the Life and Love of God

My brothers and sisters in our risen Christ, today we finally get to start celebrating.We get to celebrate for fifty days!Did you know that?Easter Sunday is the first day of 50 days of celebration of our risen Lord!It is a season, not just a day.
There is good reason for this.Just like the apparent confusion about Jesus’ empty tomb by Mary, Peter and the beloved disciple, we need time to digest the gravity of the events that have just taken place from Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.Thus, let us feast on today’s gospel. First we have Mary who discovers an empty tomb and to her terror she believes that the body of Jesus was taken away or stolen.So she rushes off, in her confusion, to tell Peter and the beloved disciple the atrocity that has been committed.
Now you must understand, Peter and this other disciple were not sprinting to the tomb of Jesus because they believed something good was happening, they too like Mary, were concerned that the body of the historical Jesus had…

Theological Musings on Palm Sunday and Holy Week

Palm Sunday sets the stage for the most magnificent Theo-drama found in the liturgies of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Great Easter Vigil.

In the Palm Sunday Service, we are struck with Jesus riding the colt and people honoring the king of kings.  The image depicts God is with us, among us and in solidarity with us.  This passage certainly gives us enough to reflect on, but it does not stop there.

The transition in the Palm Sunday liturgy goes from a celebrations into the Passion--a deep sense of remorse, of emptiness.  Only after the Son of God gets wrongly convicted as a criminal and crucified, we begin to understand how God is not only with us, but God is for us.  God is the only one who can truly bring life and our true purpose through the frightening and exposing reality of death.  God by taking on the form of our frail humanness banishes our sins so that we can continue our love relationship with God now and within God's Kindgom. 
If you think the Palm Sunday celebra…

My Father's House: Jesus and Purifying the Temple

My sisters and brothers in Christ, today’s gospel paints an unfriendly picture of Jesus. It is disturbing, and quite frankly contrasts the hippy folk hero that we often attribute to Christ. It is a gospel that is found in all four books of the New Testament and it signals the seriousness of Jesus’ mission. Jesus’ consuming zeal was a statement about the faith and about the religion. This a story about how Jesus begins his mission to reform a religion that was exploiting the common people who were seeking to find God.

John makes a clever connection with Jesus coming to the temple for Passover. Jesus becomes the new Moses, who will lead the people to a new Passover, from death to life, to be truly redeemed. He must first purify the temple which was selling goods that were plundered and resold for sacrifice. It was stolen goods and clearly unworthy for an offering to God because it broke the Mosaic law, put the consumers into sin and, thus, these shady money changers did not bel…

Sermon Feb. 18/18: A new Conscience in Christ

In Genesis, we hear about Noah’s Ark. One of the most popular biblical stories filled with the images of the great flood, the building of ark, animals and a rainbow. Overcome with the more Hollywood image of this tale, we often forget that this is a story about God making a change in His own behavior. God promises to never use divine anger as a means of punishing his divine art piece, creation, and his reflected divine image, humanity.

The God of Israel, is moved with remorseful compassion. In other words, the very thing God set out to do was to create life, not destroy it. How do we know that God was moved by this event? God created the rainbow to be a reminder to God’s self to not give into anger and destroy his creation again—the rainbow is not for us to remember, but for God to remember his side of the contract.

The first temptation we need to resist, then, is believing that God is involved in any horrific acts of violence, and terror within the world in order to p…