Father Jonathan gives us a fascinating way to consider the trinity; not as a baffling theological concept; not as a box that has to be checked off in your belief system; but as a poetic, beautiful way to think about life. God, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, in a continuous outpouring of love, in a dance with hands extended for you to join in. A concept that could make not only athiests come to love God, but even Christians!
A sermon from the Rev Stuart Hoke who is a retired Episcopal priest and a leader in Recovery Ministries for the national Episcopal Church.
The story of Lazarus is not about death. It's about life.
Everything in the church is purple, that means it's Lent. Next comes the Great Litany, and all those reminders of how things are supposed to be going. The process is simple: face the guilt and shame, admit the sins, be forgiven, release it all. Done.
Go forth to love and serve the Lord.
There was in the [church] a man with an unclean spirit. When this man's fundamental evil was confronted by the pure message of Jesus, it arose in fright and challenged Jesus.
Jesus comes not to destroy, but to cleanse; not to banish us, but to banish our repressed "unclean spirits" and bondage. Your daughter is not a donkey.
Saint Paul (Our patron Saint) got a crystal-clear message from God as to what he should be doing with his life. The rest of us don't (usually) get it spelled out so clearly. Father Chuck explores the idea that it takes courage to be what God intends you to be.
Answer God's call. You are a soul searching for good. You will not be misunderstood.
In the wake of several racially-charged incidents, Father Josh addresses the issue of racism and gives us all something to think about.
In the wake of the violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, Father Jonathan gives a perspective. How goes the world? Is it turning toward a Good, Loving and Just God? What sort of persons will you be?
Two servants are given a huge amount of money, they take risks, work hard and double the investment. The third servant also gets money to invest. He plays it safe, stashes his master's money, out of fear of losing it, and he is thoroughly chastised, stripped of his belongings, and "banished to the outer darkness". What's the message here?
Jesus' detractors try to trap him by setting up a false choice between heresy and sedition. (Either of which is a virtual death sentence in the Roman empire.) Jesus creates a brilliant metaphor that silences his detractors using a Roman coin to point out that we always straddle the sacred and the profane in our everyday lives, and we must deal with both.
Today's parable is about violence. Jesus tells a story of evil actions (multiple murders) that would arouse feelings of anger, retribution and violence in just about anyone. But, of course, once he finishes the story and has aroused these feelings in his listeners, he uses them to instruct and teach.
God's love took on a body and came to us in the form of Jesus Christ. God was here among us.
When we share the Eucharist, we speak metaphorically of body and blood, but remember that this sacrament is as close as we get to the REAL physical presence of God as Jesus solemnly reminds us "this is my body, this is my blood". We are also blessed with these bodies. Everything we do with them—our minds and hearts—can be to grow, serve, and expand into "the unspeakable sweetness of love".
Moses was saved by a curious sequence of actions by five resourceful women: midwives, mothers, princesses and a big sister. It's a wonderful story that Josh weaves together into a lesson for us all.
It all starts with a Canaanite (gentile) woman confronting Jesus and his entourage. She is a mother determined to help her child—pleading for help. The disciples are annoyed. Indeed, Jesus appears annoyed and seems to dismiss her with a "not my job" remark.
But this woman is not easily dismissed.
The fourth of July celebrations remind Father Chuck of the greatest gift that we have as Americans and as Christians. Freedom. Liberty. Free choice.
Father Chuck recounts a near-death encounter with an Orlando timeshare marketing machine. He is torn between the prospect of an annual getaway to warmth and sunshine and higher, better uses of his money.
Today's sermon is from Reverend Lee Cunningham, who is a retired priest from a different faith tradition. But, more importantly, Lee is an active parishioner at St. Paul's, and he and his wife Charlene have contributed much to the life of our church. Reverend Cunningham is a student of parishes, congregations, church organization and their evolution. In this sermon he gives us a clever thought model to use for organizing ourselves and our missions: front end vs. back end. He pulls no punches, and gives us a "full length" sermon.
It is vital for us to hear his observations (critique) of St. Paul's. It is based on his many years in the ministry and his loving outsider's perspective.
The Holy Spirit is the most difficult concept for some of us to understand. It is sometimes referred to as "the sanctifier". What does that mean? If you are filled with the spirit what happens? Speaking in tongues? Going into a mystical trance? Maybe, but that's not the point. Father Chuck explains the Holy Spirit in very practical terms.
Many Christians regard the execution of Jesus as a tragedy and assign blame. If only he hadn't been killed, things would be different. This view is wrong; and thinking this way has caused much pain, prejudice, and violence over the centuries.
When you blame somebody for Jesus' crucifixion (maybe the Jews, the Romans, Satan, this evil world) you miss the point spectacularly. The crucifixion was followed by the resurrection. Jesus had to die.