Sermon Review

Sermon Round-Up Easter 7 2014

Bishop Jane preached this Sunday celebration of St. Peter’s 100th anniversary and Bella’s baptism.
I have no idea what I might’ve preached on.

Priest Giroux, Blest be the ties that bind
“I can only testify to my own experience. I feel that presence in the bread and cup of the Eucharist. I feel that presence in the pages of the four Gospels. I feel that presence when I am with other Christians. I feel that presence when I serve the world with you. It’s not the way I would have designed it. I’d prefer something more tangible and physical.”

Priest Romanik, Comeback
“What is significant about the Ascension? What does it tell us about Jesus Christ and the nature of the God we worship? One of the most conspicuous elements of the Ascension is that it is characterized by absence.”

Bishop Fisher, Ascension not #tbt
“Yet the risen Jesus completely ignores this request for a Throwback Thursday.”

(Here’s the list of people I usually listen to. Am I missing someone?)

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SR In Which Paul is Wiser, Easter 6 2014

Link: In Which Paul is Wiser, Easter 6 2014

Summary of what I was saying and why:
I love this story. Paul in Athens at the altar to an unknown God.
Early last week, I was talking about some troubling part of theology and how I resolved it for myself with Genesis 1. All things were created good and holy and to the delight of God.
And then Christmas parties in Lent and Easter bunnies during Epiphany-tide became a sermon.
(Also, really stuffed bunnies. Live bunnies are pets and shouldn’t be purchased lightly.)

Theology: Evangelism
Jesus Count: low
Good News: Everything can be used to tell our story of Jesus.

What did I change on my feet?
Not a lot. I found the end on my feet. But this mostly preached as I’d sketched it out.
What didn’t work/what did I miss?
I think there are so many more stories and examples that I didn’t include. And I think I might have been able to lean into my stories more. Make them examples of seizing the moments to tell my story.
I missed an opportunity to really play with “always be ready to defend the hope that is in you” bit in the Epistle. It could’ve melded in beautifully.
What did work?
Christmas parties in Lent. True family story and joke. Which, this week, served the Gospel.

Other sermons I liked:

Priest Baum, Easter 6
“In a romance, the Advocate is not sent to be our helper in the courtroom, but is sent by God to win our hearts. What if God loved the world so much that he sent his only son? Doesn’t Jesus show the ultimate depths of God’s love for you, in that he is willing to lay down his life proclaiming the love of God? Jesus walks among us, preaches the Good News to us, and then . . . well . . . we don’t want to hear it. His courtship is rejected in the Court of Human Hearts.”

Priest Pattison, Easter 6
groping for God, and the courage to go out
“Probably the shortest time to answered prayer.”

My personal rule is that I include preachers from the Anglican/Episcopal tradition. But it is my guideline and this is too good:
Pastor Parker, Paul and Moralistic Therapeutic Deism
“Paul does not just re-interpret the unknown God, but re-interprets the whole religious system. The God that Paul knows is the one who created all things. The God that Paul knows is the one who gives us life and movement and being — and does not require petty sacrifices in order to show mercy. The God that Paul knows, know us — knows what it is like to be born, to live, and die as one of us.”

(Here’s the list of people I usually listen to. Am I missing someone?)
The Anglican Church of Canada uses the Roman Ordinary Time numbering system instead of numbering the Propers. Because all of this is new to me, I’m now indicating both numbering systems.

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SR: God’s Inn, Easter 5 2014

Link: God’s Inn, Easter 5, 2014

Summary of what I was saying and why:
I got entranced early in the week with the idea of God being the connection between each of our vast creative possibilities. But I couldn’t figure out how to preach it. Then I remembered the story I mention. And sermon.

Theology: eschatology and hospitality
Jesus Count: low
Good News: God has a room prepared, customized, just for you.

What did I change on my feet?
The conclusion. And I did a better job of it at the first service. Later I rambled too much.
What didn’t work/what did I miss?
I don’t think I got the ‘so what’ part. It was tacked on and I think it felt like it.
What did work?
God’s Inn, infinitely personalizable for you. I want a library theme, myself, all the books.

Other sermons I liked:

Priest Campbell-Langdell, The Wideness of God
“Because our hearts should not be troubled, but we must live in a way that gives us life and gives life to the world. We can strive to live in a way that banishes the fear of the powers and expectations of this world and puts work and productivity in its rightful place. To live in a way that allows us to wonder in God, to long for what is to come and to live into the good gift of the now.”

Priest Mix, The Truth about the Truth
“That letting go, that acceptance that I can plant and water, but only God gives growth, that is freedom for me. It allows me to be a skeptic, and a pragmatist, and occasionally a pessimist. Yes, I’m responsible for the work, but God is responsible for the result. It allows me to devote myself to the best scholarship I can, without fear of the outcome.”

From last week:
Pries Arnold. tells the story of a sheep who became a shepherd. Go read it.

(Here’s the list of people I usually listen to. Am I missing someone?)
The Anglican Church of Canada uses the Roman Ordinary Time numbering system instead of numbering the Propers. Because all of this is new to me, I’m now indicating both numbering systems.

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SR Shepherds, Baptism, and Abundance Easter 4 2014

Link: Shepherds, Baptism, and Abundance, Easter 4 2014

Summary of what I was saying and why:
Good Shepherd with a bad death coming up. Acts and Baptism. Holding all things in common and stewardship. Abundant life that risks and loses everything.

Theology: stewardship
Jesus Count: low
Good News: We are called to abundant life where all is lost because everything has been given.
What did I change on my feet?
What didn’t work/what did I miss?
I had a sermon that was struggling because, as I realized Sunday morning, it was three sermons. Perhaps I’ll tease out just one for next year.
What did work?
There were a couple of good lines in there.

Other sermons I liked:

Priest Baum, Easter 4
“This morning, the Good Shepherd is calling you out of your pew to come to the green pastures of this altar, where you will find the live-giving food and drink of new and unending life in him.”

Priest Collins, Lead us not into Penn Station
“Jesus gives us much credit, I believe, maybe too much. I wonder, do we really know God’s voice when we hear it? I don’t know that we always do. I’ve spoken to many a faithful Christian, good people who try to live good lives, who try to avoid temptation and Penn Station alike. And very often, these folks struggle to hear God’s voice, strain to hear the loving voice of God in times of trial and loss.”
Priest Downs, With: Jesus, Shepherds, and Feeling Alone
For Jesus to guide us, however, we have to let go; trusting that the way Jesus leads us doesn’t pass only through abundant fields, but desolate valleys. In many ways, that’s the proof we need, for doing things “right” doesn’t yield universally happy results. We are assured there will be valleys and we are assured His presence, whether or not we feel it.

(Here’s the list of people I usually listen to. Am I missing someone?)
The Anglican Church of Canada uses the Roman Ordinary Time numbering system instead of numbering the Propers. Because all of this is new to me, I’m now indicating both numbering systems.

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SR: Amid the Crumbs, Easter 3 2014

Link: Amid the Crumbs, Easter 3 2014

Summary of what I was saying and why:
I was not supposed to preach this week. But due to email and schedule mishaps I did. There were two bits of the Gospel that had grabbed me. When Jesus asks the disciples what thugs had happened and the brokenness of the breaking of the bread.

Theology: Eucharist
Jesus Count: average
Good News: God amidst the crumbs.

What did I change on my feet?
Everything. At the early service I focused on our answers to Jesus’s question. At the late service I took a swing at the brokenness of the bread. At both I was thankful for the Holy Spirit. And remembered why my sermons take 8-16 hours of prep.
What didn’t work/what did I miss?
So much. At the first service I veered to far into relativism. At the late service my language got sloppy–a little more prep and attention to that would have made the sermon significantly better.
What did work?
The Holy Spirit. 🙂

Other sermons I liked:

Priest Romanik, Strangers
“The disciples share a meal with a stranger, and that stranger is revealed to be Jesus Christ himself. It’s important to notice that the disciples do not simply provide Jesus with food for his journey; they invite him to sit at table with them. The disciples do not simply provide for the stranger; they invite the stranger into a relationship.”

Priest Baum, Easter 3
“And so now, under the spiritual anesthesia of not recognizing the resurrected Jesus, Jesus will do what needs to be done. He begins with Moses and all the prophets, and shows them how the scriptures point to exactly what has happened. Jesus can explain to them why he is the answer to their hopes.”

Priest Downs,
“All this Walk and Talk was critical to move the story but it is here, in the stopping, sharing, and eating that it comes together.”

Bishop Fisher, Broken. Whoa!
“And after we break the bread, broken pieces are placed into our hands.
And mysteriously, by eating this broken bread, we become one Body in Christ to serve the world.
By eating broken bread, we are resurrected.
For God only resurrects dead things.
God only raises those who are broken.”

(Here’s the list of people I usually listen to. Am I missing someone?)
The Anglican Church of Canada uses the Roman Ordinary Time numbering system instead of numbering the Propers. Because all of this is new to me, I’m now indicating both numbering systems.

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SR: Touch and Taste and See, Easter 2 2014

Link: Touch and Taste and See, Easter 2 2014

Summary of what I was saying and why:
I love this story. At the second service we had an Easter Festival of Readings and Praise, so this was meant to be a brief sermon.

Theology: Eucharistic
Jesus Count: average
Good News: Taste and see that the Lord is good.

What did I change on my feet?
This was all off a fairly rough outline. So I didn’t so much change things as flesh them out.
What didn’t work/what did I miss?
If I’d spent more time writing this out I think I’d have done a better set up for ‘taste and see that the Lord is good.”
What did work?
Ending with the line from the psalm, which is also used in the Eucharistic prayer. Loved that.

Other sermons I liked:

Priest Baum, Easter 2
“Jesus met the cowering disciples on a Sunday morning where they were: locked in a room, and fearing to proclaim their faith to the world outside. Jesus met Thomas the unbeliever on a Sunday morning where he was: stuck in a trap of being unable to believe, and facing a life of isolation because of unbelief. And in both cases, Jesus declared peace, brought courage and faith, and prepared them to turn the world upside down through their proclamation.”

Priest Downs, Trusting Us, a simple act of faith
“This is why the faith matters. The doubt Jesus rejects is the kind that doesn’t allow us to forgive.”

Bishop Fisher, Unexcused Absence
“I would rather that we focus on the invitation of Jesus to believe, even when we mess up and when we skip out on the resurrection the first time.”

(Here’s the list of people I usually listen to. Am I missing someone?)
The Anglican Church of Canada uses the Roman Ordinary Time numbering system instead of numbering the Propers. Because all of this is new to me, I’m now indicating both numbering systems.

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SR: Darkest Hour Palm, Sunday 2014

Link: Darkest Hour, Palm Sunday 2014

Summary of what I was saying and why:
Palm/Passion Sunday is wonderful and really hard to preach. And I don’t know how not to say something. I started thinking about how attractive Jesus must have seemed, riding into Jerusalem. It could all be real…and then we’re outside the tomb, defeated. And we need to stay there a bit.

Theology: Resurrection
Jesus Count: Medium
Good News: This is the darkest hour

What did I change on my feet?
Ten minutes before the first service I realized that we weren’t doing the Liturgy of the Palms (first Holy Week at St Peter’s). Suddenly I needed a new beginning.
What didn’t work/what did I miss?
At the later service I left out the part about the story of faith being God’s love story for us. At the early service I think I soft pedalled the end.
What did work?
I think I mostly hit a balance between the promise of good news and the reality of the dark place the Gospel reading ends at. And I think this sets up the arc of my preaching for Holy Week.

Other sermons I liked:
Bishop Fisher, Staggering Violence & Peace
“My friends, I chose to be with you this morning – to share in the staggering acts of violence on the last day of Jesus on this earth.
I chose to be with you this morning – to challenge us to have a peaceful response to the staggering violence all around us.”

Priest Arnold, What wondrous love is this?
“This was evil’s one last chance to destroy God, and so evil threw all of its best weapons against Jesus – betrayal, doubt, pain, mockery, humiliation, shame, abandonment, and finally, the robbery of life itself. All of these, evil hurled at Christ, and he absorbed them all with divine peace and hope. And there, on the cross, Jesus shattered evil’s power.”

Priest Kadel, Palm Sunday
“We are moving quickly toward Easter, the Feast of the Resurrection. But the joy of that feast doesn’t come from the spirit of a party—“Hey-Sanna, Ho-Sanna, Sanna, Sanna, Ho”, but in Jesus complete and fearless giving of his life, his entirely loving life, for his people, the poor and the humble. For us.”

(Here’s the list of people I usually listen to. Am I missing someone?)
The Anglican Church of Canada uses the Roman Ordinary Time numbering system instead of numbering the Propers. Because all of this is new to me, I’m now indicating both numbering systems.

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SR Bound by Toilet Paper, Lent 5 2014

Link: Bound by Toilet Paper, Lent 5 2014

Summary of what I was saying and why:
As so many others do, I love Ezekiel and the dry bones. And I can’t read it without hearing a story of (re)creation. And then with Lazarus the question of how bound we are appeared.

Theology: Salvation
Jesus Count: medium
Good News: Jesus breaks bindings to give life.

What did I change on my feet?
Not a lot.
What didn’t work/what did I miss?
At the earlier service I did a better job of ending on “are we wearing our bindings so that they are easy to break?”
What did work?
The camp story.

Other sermons I liked:

Priest Downs, Unbinding, Emptying the Tomb
“But the necessity of Lazarus’s death is based not on permanence of physical death, but the temporary and subjective nature of true death. Jesus’s power is found not in preventing death, but in bringing life. It is not in intervening in Lazarus’s death, but giving him new life.”

Deacon Bright, Lent 5
“Notice too it isn’t Jesus who unbinds Lazarus. Jesus calls on the community, on those who are gathered around, to unbind him. Are we busy helping our brothers and sisters with their burial cloths, are we at work unbinding them, or are we complicit in keeping them bound?”

Bishop Fisher, How I Met your Redeemer
“My name is Lazarus.
And when I thought I was a dead duck,
Jesus wept for me and he called me out of my tomb and he hugged my neck and he loved me.
And that, my friends, is
How I Met Your Redeemer.”

(Here’s the list of people I usually listen to. Am I missing someone?)
The Anglican Church of Canada uses the Roman Ordinary Time numbering system instead of numbering the Propers. Because all of this is new to me, I’m now indicating both numbering systems.

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SR Water Enough, Lent 3 2014

Link: Water Enough, Lent 3 2014

Summary of what I was saying and why:
I’d preached on the woman at the well last year and wasn’t ready to go back there. I love preaching on water because it means baptism. Somewhere I got stuck on the question of enough water. And then “enough water for what?”

Theology: Baptism/Evangelism
Jesus Count: low
Good News: God gives us abundant water and asks us to share.

What did I change on my feet?
The conclusion. Not only did I write it on my feet but it took a bit of a new direction.
I tweaked the first couple of paragraphs that morning.
What didn’t work/what did I miss?
Especially at the second service the end rambled a bit. At the first service, I had a technology failure and I only recorded the first two minutes. Always charge your recording device. Also, don’t forget this while you’re on vacation.
What did work?
Preaching on social justice issues isn’t my strong suit. I was happy that it wiggled in a bit on this one.

Other sermons I liked:

Priest Arnold, Hope is a kind of thirst
“In baptism, we dip down into that pure spring and the water stays with us. Our thirst for the living water is quenched, and the spring of grace is always flowing.”

Priest Garner, Sermon for Lent 3A
“Our lives are filled with thirsts. We are thirsty for financial security. We are thirsty for social acceptance. We are thirsty for the comfortable life that means we don’t have to worry about being thirsty for anything. But inside all of us there is a longing that is deeper than our physical needs—a thirst for peace with the one who made us.”

Dean Richards, The Woman at the Well and our habitual responses
Habitual responses, a consideration of ‘gyne’, and living water.

(Here’s the list of people I usually listen to. Am I missing someone?)
The Anglican Church of Canada uses the Roman Ordinary Time numbering system instead of numbering the Propers. Because all of this is new to me, I’m now indicating both numbering systems.

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Sermon Round-up: Lent 2 2014

After the mad dash of the last six months, I’m taking a few days off to sleep, unpack and enjoy my new home. As is my custom, here are some of the sermons is particularly enjoyed for Lent 2.

Priest Downs, Revealed Honesty and the Christian
“Repeating back the liturgy with our noses in a book shows no less blindness to the Spirit.”

Priest Sherer, Eternal Life: Our Reality
“This is the point Jesus is trying to make to Nicodemus: it isn’t about doing life right so you win the prize of eternal life later, it’s about living in eternal life right now.”

Priest Lightcap, Urgent
“I wonder sometimes — and please, this is only me wondering —
I wonder if we do ourselves a disservice
By making the life of faith so easy and so accessible.”

Priest Romanik, Dark Horse
“Abram was a nomad, a herdsman, a man without pedigree or evident talent, a dark horse, and God tells him to trust that he will be a means of blessing for the whole world.”

As for what I might have preached on? I was embracing vacation. 🙂

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